What is a Furuncle?
A furuncle is a type of abscess that forms around a hair follicle and contains pus occurring due to an infection by bacteria, parasite or a foreign substance like splinters, needles, wounds, etc. It starts as a red tender lump which rapidly fills with pus, and as it grows it may burst. It mainly affects the thighs, armpits, buttocks, face, and neck, occurring in places prone to hair, sweat, and friction, and tends to start in a hair follicle. Individuals with weakened immune systems, adolescents, and young adults are more susceptible to furuncles than younger children or older adults.
Furuncles may heal without any medical intervention. Sometimes they burst and heal without a scar within 2 days to 3 weeks.
Staph. Aureus infection is the most common cause of furuncle. It can enter the skin through a hair follicle, or through a cut or graze in the skin.
The following conditions increase the risk of developing furuncles:
- Certain conditions that weaken the immune systems
- Skin conditions: Psoriasis, eczema and acne.
Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms include pain, redness, swelling and warmth on touch. The redness can involve the surrounding skin as well.
Diagnosis for the skin abscess or boils is done on the basis of its clinical presentation and/ or by excision (cutting open to release the pus).
- Apply a warm cloth for 10 minutes a few times a day.
- Wash hands thoroughly after touching the site.
- Avoid squeezing a furuncle or carbuncle, as this increases the risk of spreading.
- Keep the skin clean by washing it regularly.
- Immediately cleanse all skin wounds, cuts, and grazes.
- Put a sterile bandage over any cuts to help prevent infection.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and exercise regularly.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein on request, is not to be taken as a replacement for medical advice or diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. DO NOT SELF MEDICATE. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN FOR PROPER DIAGNOSIS AND PRESCRIPTION.
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