Abscesses are tender and painful masses on the surface of skin that feel warm to the touch. They are pink to deep red in color and can show up anywhere on the body. Common abscess sites include the armpit (axillae), the base of the spine, anus, or around hair follicles. All abscesses should be addressed by a professional, but they can be particularly dangerous if they develop near the rectum or groin.
Abscesses are infections that can have a few possible causes. If an oil or sweat gland obstructs, abscesses can develop underneath the gland. If the skin is punctured or breaks, germs can get underneath the skin and an abscess may form as the body’s defense mechanisms try to kill of the germs. Another common cause of abscesses is inflammation of hair follicles. If hair is plucked, nicked, or shaved, this can trigger an inflammatory response causing an abscess.
Do not attempt to squeeze, puncture, or drain an abscess on your own as this may injure the underlying blood vessel and make the infection spread. If you suspect that you have an abscess, make an appointment with an Ogden Clinic physician.
Ogden Clinic physicians diagnose and treat abscesses often, usually through draining the sore. Abscesses are not difficult to drain but should be drained professionally. Schedule an appointment today if you have a sore larger than 1 cm or if it continues to grow.
After an Ogden Clinic physician drains the abscess, you will be given home care instructions. It’s important that the sore stays clean and uncontaminated while it heals. You may also be instructed to soak or flush the wound as part of your home care. Rest assured your Ogden Clinic provider will give clear direction on how and when to address the wound. After a couple of days, drainage of the abscess will be minimal; you may no longer need to drain it. Abscesses usually heal on their own when proper follow-up care is used.