What is an abscess? Symptoms, causes and how to treat the disease

An abscess is an infection and inflammation from the accumulation of pus in a cavity. The cause is usually a bacterial infection. It can be internal or external. Abscesses are very common in children.

Abscess causes

Isolation of an infection

Abscesses can form almost anywhere in the body caused by infections, mainly bacteria, such as ‘Staphylococcus aureus’, parasites and foreign materials. The immune system directs white blood cells, leukocytes, mainly neutrophils, to the infected area so that they accumulate in the injured tissue. This produces inflammation and pus that is the accumulation of living and dead white blood cells, dead tissue, bacteria, and other substances.

There are several types of abscesses:

– Dental abscess. On a tooth.

– Gingival abscess. In periodontal tissue.

– Abdominal abscess. In the abdominal cavity.

– Liver abscess. In the liver.

– Lung abscess. In the lung.

– Peritonsillar abscess. Around the tonsils.

Anorectal abscess In the area of ​​the anus and rectum.

– Bartholin’s abscess. In Bartholin’s glands on both sides of the vaginal opening.

– Brain abscess. In the brain.

– Epidural abscess. In the spinal cord, skull bones, spinal column, or outer covering of the brain.

– Breast abscess. Breast obstruction. It can be a mastitis .

– Skin abscess. On the skin.

– Subcutaneous abscess. Under the skin.

– Abscess of the psoas. In the long muscle lateral to the lumbar region of the spinal column and the pelvic cavity.

– Boil .

– Abscesses on soft palate. It can be a symptom of HIV positive.

Abscess symptoms

Inflammation and pus accumulation

External abscesses are detected thanks to the redness, inflammation and pain caused by the accumulation of pus. Internal abscesses

Abscess diagnosis

Physical exam, specimen, and imaging tests

The physical examination is usually sufficient to diagnose an external abscess; A liquid sample can be taken to identify the cause. However, internal abscesses will require imaging tests such as computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Abscess treatment and medication

Depends on the type of abscess

The abscess is usually about draining, in some cases surgery is required, and antibiotics are prescribed.

Abscess prevention

Good personal hygiene

Prevention measures are mainly proposed for external abscesses since they are usually caused by lack of adequate hygiene or an untreated wound. Good hand hygiene, washing them with soap and water for about 20 seconds, and personal, can be very effective in preventing an infection. In addition, it is also important to keep cuts and wounds clean, dry and covered.


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