If you develop a skin abscess, don’t wait to seek professional medical help. Abscesses are usually harmless, but without proper treatment, they can become infected and cause other complications. At NewMed Immediate Care in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, urgent care specialist Ruchir Thakkar, MD, treats abscesses in patients of all ages. If you or a loved one has an abscess, schedule an appointment today. Call the office to speak with a team member or book a consultation online today.
An abscess, or boil, is a raised, puss-filled bump that develops just below the skin’s surface. Abscesses can occur on any part of the body, but they’re especially common on the back, face, chest, and buttocks.
The majority of abscesses resolve on their own with the use of over-the-counter ointments and creams. Larger abscesses may require laceration and drainage or professional wound care to limit the risk of infection.
The most obvious symptom of a pimple is a large, raised bump on the skin. As the abscess grows more substantial, you might also experience:
You might also notice that the skin around the abscess becomes sensitive or warm to the touch.
NewMed Immediate Care regularly treats patients with abscesses. Some of the most common causes include:
A bacteria called Staphylococcus is the leading cause of skin abscesses. The bacteria usually enter the body through a cut or laceration and begin to multiply.
Anyone can experience an abscess due to a bacterial infection, but you’re at a higher risk if you have diabetes, a weakened immune system, or a chronic skin disease like eczema or acne.
Infected hair follicles are another common cause of abscesses. If a hair becomes trapped and is unable to break through your skin, an infection can occur. Abscesses caused by infected hair follicles usually occur after shaving or spending time in a poorly chlorinated pool or hot tub.
To diagnose an abscess, NewMed Immediate Care reviews your medical history and visually examines your abscess. A thorough inspection allows your provider to determine if an injury or ingrown hair is the underlying cause. Afterward, your provider carefully swabs the abscess to test for the presence of bacteria. If you have several ulcers, they might also order a blood test or urinalysis to rule out underlying medical conditions.
Treatment of an abscess depends on its size and severity, and its effect on your overall quality of life. If you have a small sore, you might benefit from over-the-counter medications or warm compresses.
If your abscess doesn’t respond to conservative treatments, NewMed Immediate Care might recommend draining the abscess during an outpatient procedure or taking a round of prescription antibiotics.
To explore your treatment options for an abscess, schedule an appointment at NewMed Immediate Care. Call the office or book a consultation online today.