Doctor's Notes on Skin Abscess
A skin abscess is a small collection of pus within the skin. A skin abscess is sometimes referred to as a boil. A skin abscess can occur anywhere on the body. There can be many causes of skin abscesses, including an ingrown hair, splinters or foreign objected that have become lodged in the skin, or plugged sweat glands.
The first symptom of a skin abscess is a red and tender area on the skin. The area becomes hard, firm, and more painful or tender. Eventually, there is softening of the tissue at the center of the hard area with pus formation. Pus is composed of white blood cells that fight the infection. Associated symptoms can include spontaneous drainage or weeping of pus from the area.
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Anal AbscessAnal abscesses include perirectal abscess and perianal abscess. Both types of abscesses need immediate medical attention. Causes of anal abscesses include individuals with medical conditions such as diabetes, AIDS/HIV, Crohn's disease, those on immune system suppressor drugs, pregnancy, STDs, and anal fissures. Symptoms of anal abscesses include pain in the anal area, pus drainage near the anus, fever, lower abdominal pain, painful bowel movements, fatigue, and night sweats. Treatment of anal abscesses is often surgery.
Breast Infection (Mastitis)Breast infection, or mastitis, is a bacterial infection of the breast and nipple caused by bacteria in a nursing infant's mouth. Mastitis causes redness, swelling, and pain in the breast. Treatments include oral antibiotics in most cases.
Dental AbscessBacteria from a tooth cavity can cause a dental abscess, or infection of the mouth, jaw, or face. Symptoms include pain, swelling, facial redness, gum inflammation, pus drainage, and occasional difficulty fully opening the mouth. Unless the abscess ruptures on its own, the abscess will need to be cut open and drained by a health-care professional. Dental abscesses can be deadly if left untreated.
Finger InfectionFinger infections can be caused by a variety of bacteria and viruses. Types of finger infections include paronychia, felon, herpetic whitlow, cellulitis, infectious flexor tenosynovitis, and deep space infection. Symptoms and treatment of a finger infection depend on the type.
Hand InjuriesHand injuries can be divided into six categories. 1) cuts and lacerations, 2) fractures and dislocations, 3) soft tissue injuries and amputations, 4) infections, 5) burns, and 6) high pressure injuries. Treatment of hand injuries depends on the type of injury.
Peritonsillar AbscessA peritonsillar abscess is a collection of infected fluid and pus in the throat next to one of the tonsils. Symptoms are pain, swelling, diffiulty breathing, speaking, and swallowing. This condition can be caused by strep throat, dental infection or other infection. Doctors may treat the abscess by draining it and administering antibiotics.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.