Skin Abscess Follow-up
- Carefully follow any instructions regarding wound care recommended by a health care provider.
- A health care provider may have the patient or the caregiver remove the packing. If so, removal works best while the area is moistened with water.
- After the packing has been removed, soak or flush the area for 10-20 minutes, three to four times daily to allow the wound to heal properly.
- Keep all follow-up appointments as a health care provider may want one to return for a recheck of the wound. Sometimes the wound may require repacking if it continues to drain pus.
- Report any fever or increased pain or redness to a health care provider immediately.
Is It Possible to Prevent a Skin Abscess?
- Maintain good personal hygiene by washing the skin with soap and water regularly.
- Take care to avoid cutting oneself when shaving the underarms or pubic area.
- Seek medical attention for any puncture wounds:
- Especially if the person thinks there may be some foreign material or debris inside the wound or under the skin
- If the person has one of the listed medical conditions that may weaken the immune system
- If the person is on steroids, chemotherapy or other immunosuppressive medications, or dialysis
What Is the Prognosis for a Skin Abscess?
- Once treated, the skin abscess should heal. The prognosis is generally excellent, but some individuals may suffer from recurrent abscesses requiring medical attention.
- Most people do not require antibiotics.
- The pain should improve almost immediately after drainage and subside more each day.
- Soak or wash the area daily until the wound heals -- about seven to 10 days.
- Usually one can remove the packing by the second day. It rarely needs to be replaced.
- After the first two days, drainage from the abscess should be minimal to none. Healing of sores should occur in 10-14 days.
Baddour, Larry M. "Skin abscesses, furuncles, and carbuncles." UpToDate.com. June 2015. <http://www.uptodate.com/contents/skin-abscesses-furuncles-and-carbuncles?source=search_result&search=Skin+Abscess&selectedTitle=1~45>.
Goldstein, Beth G., and Adam O. Goldstein. "Overview of benign lesions of the skin." UpToDate.com. June 2015. <http://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-benign-lesions-of-the-skin?source=search_result&search=cyst&selectedTitle=1~150#H59809494>.
Margesson, Lynette J., and F. William Danby. "Pathogenesis, clinical features, and diagnosis of hidradenitis suppurativa (acne inversa)." UpToDate.com. June 2015. <http://www.uptodate.com/contents/pathogenesis-clinical-features-and-diagnosis-of-hidradenitis-suppurativa-acne-inversa?source=search_result&search=hidradenitis+suppurativa&selectedTitle=2~42>.
Last Reviewed 9/11/2017
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