When an infection is present in the body, an abscess can form as the immune system works to fight the infection. The most important thing that you can do is visit a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Don’t try to drain or pop the abscess at home because it could lead to complications that require emergency treatment.
Abscesses and Cysts
An abscess is an infected area filled with pus. The immune system forms a wall to prevent the invading bacteria from attacking the organs and other parts of the body. If the infection grows, then the risk of complications increases because the area is less stable.
Symptoms of an abscess include:
- The area is tender to the touch, or can sometimes be quite painful depending on the location and severity of the infection.
- It is irritated and swollen
- The skin is red or pink in color
- The infected area is warm to the touch
- You will see that the skin is rounded or “raised”
- Sometimes there is visible pus or drainage
- A severe infection will also cause a fever
As the infection worsens, these symptoms will become more severe.
Cysts also form on the skin or inside the body. But cysts grow slowly and aren’t usually painful. In most cases, a cyst isn’t considered a medical problem unless it is bothering you. If a cyst becomes infected or sore, then it is time to talk to a doctor about treatment.
How Abscesses Form
Abscesses can occur inside the body or on the surface of the skin. An abscess can form by itself, or sometimes it develops because of a cyst that becomes infected. Most often, bacteria enter the body through an opening in the skin. For example, a small cut or scratch could be a weak point that introduces bacteria, then an infection forms. Ingrown hairs can also be a cause for the development of an abscess.
The risk of abscess formation increases for patients with diabetes or poor circulation. Additionally, low immune function can increase the likelihood of an infection.
Treatments for Abscesses
When medical care is obtained in the early stages of an abscess, it is a treatable condition with minimal complications. But major complications can develop if the infection is left untreated. This infection can spread to surrounding tissue, resulting in serious damage and invasive treatment.
You can follow at-home treatment recommendations, but don’t hesitate to talk to a doctor if the symptoms worsen. Hold a moist, warm cloth over the affected area for 20 minutes. Repeat several times a day.
Sometimes, the pocket of infected fluid needs to be drained. But other minimally-invasive treatments can be used first. The best solution is to schedule an appointment at a local urgent care to consult with a doctor for diagnosis and a treatment plan.
Local Urgent Care Services
If you live in Frisco, Fort Worth, or the surrounding areas, then visit one of our convenient medical centers. iCare ER and Urgent Care offers a team of board-certified doctors and experienced nurses, with emergency services available 24/7. We are ready to treat everything from small infections to major trauma. Come to our emergency room if you need immediate medical care: (214) 407-8668.