All you need to know about abscess treatment
A skin abscess is an area of pus that develops under the surface of the skin or within the skin. It is caused due to bacterial infections and can be found on the chest, buttocks, or even the face. People also report hair follicles becoming infected and forming an abscess called a furuncle. These abscesses might be present in hairy areas like the armpit or the pubic region. People also suffer from carbuncles, which are multiple infected follicles that form a single mass. Friction, sweat, or minor trauma can trigger the growth of these abscesses and need to be treated accordingly. Doctors will start the abscess treatment procedure with a round of antibiotics. Alternatively, you could try applying heat using a soft cloth to help reduce the abscess and get it to drain on its own.
What is the treatment procedure for large skin abscesses?
- If the skin abscess is large and needs to be drained, the doctor will prepare you for a minor surgery while using an anesthetic. You will remain conscious and the area will be numbed.
- The doctor will make an incision and drain the abscess of its puss. He may proceed to leave the wound open with dressing and add a saline solution to the hole left by the abscess, to help it heal.
- If the abscess is deep, the doctor may insert a gauze wick to help it stay open. The procedure could also leave a small scar. The wound dressing will help the pus drain away.
What is the procedure for an internal abscess?
- For an internal abscess, the abscess will need to be drained either through the insertion of a needle, which is called percutaneous drainage or through surgery.
- The kind of procedure will depend on the location of the abscess and the size of it. The doctor will take a call after careful inspection of the abscess.
- The doctor then drains the abscess and prescribes antibiotics in order to kill the infection and prevent it from spreading. Afterward, the doctor is supposed to administer antibiotics either intravenously or orally with tablets.
How will the percutaneous drainage of an abscess be carried out?
- If the abscess is small, then the doctor will be able to drain it using a needle, which is fine. However, the doctor will administer a local anesthetic or a general anesthetic.
- The doctor will also use Computerized Tomography (CT) scans to help guide the needle into the abscess. The doctor will then proceed to make an incision and then insert a plastic tube called a catheter into the hole so that the pus can keep draining into a bag.
- Sometimes, people need to stay overnight or a few days so that the pus can keep draining and the infection does not spread. The procedure could leave a small scar as well.
When does surgery become necessary for abscess – treatment?
- Surgery is often used as a last resort option as in most cases, a simple percutaneous drainage procedure suffices.
- However, if the needle cannot reach the abscess, or if the percutaneous procedure could not remove all the pus or if the internal abscess is very large, a surgery may be required.
- The surgery depends on where the abscess is located and how big it is. It is usually initiated with an incision and then the pus is washed out after which the doctor will provide post-operative care and monitor the situation closely.
How do you prevent the recurrence of an abscess in the future?
- While the abscess is not entirely unavoidable, there are some measures you could take, to help the situation. These include washing your hands with an antibacterial soap or cleanser to avoid bacteria encountering skin.
- You must ensure that any cuts, scrapes, or bruises are treated with care. They must be cleaned, covered and kept dry until they heal properly.