A skin abscess is a tender mass generally surrounded by a colored area from pink to deep red. Abscesses are often easy to feel by touching. The vast majority of them are caused by infections. Inside, they are full of pus, bacteria and debris.
Painful and warm to touch, abscesses can show up any place on your body. The most common sites on the skin in your armpits, areas around your anus and vagina, the base of your spine, around a tooth, and in your groin. Inflammation around a hair follicle can also lead to the formation of an abscess, which is called a boil.
Unlike other infections, antibiotics alone will not usually cure an abscess. In general an abscess must open and drain in order for it to improve. Sometimes draining occurs on its own, but generally it must be opened with the help of a warm compress or a doctor in a procedure called incision and drainage. RELATED: Simple home remedies to treat minor burns
A boil or abscess can be treated in the following ways;
1-If the abscess is small (less than 1 cm or less than a half-inch across), applying warm compresses to the area for about 30 minutes 4 times daily may help.
2-Do not attempt to drain the abscess by squeezing or pressing on it. This can push the infected material into the deeper tissues.
3-Do not stick a needle or other sharp instrument into the abscess center, because you may injure an underlying blood vessel or cause the infection to spread.
4-For larger or persistent skin abscesses, your GP may prescribe a course of antibiotics to help clear the infection and prevent it from spreading. Sometimes, especially with recurrent infections, you may need to wash off all the bacteria from your body to prevent re-infection (decolorisation).This can be done using antiseptic soap for most of your body and an antibiotic cream for the inside of your nose.
However, antibiotics alone may equally not be enough to clear a skin abscess, and the pus may need to be drained to clear the infection. If a skin abscess is not drained, it may continue to grow and fill with pus until it bursts, which can be painful and can cause the infection to spread or come back.
- Applying heat
- Castor oil
- Neem oil