Abscess (patient information)

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Abscess

Overview

What are the symptoms?

What are the causes?

Who is at highest risk?

When to seek urgent medical care?

Diagnosis

Treatment options

Where to find medical care for Abscess?

What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?

Possible complications

Abscess On the Web

Ongoing Trials at Clinical Trials.gov

Images of Abscess

Videos on Abscess

FDA on Abscess

CDC on Abscess

Abscess in the news

Blogs on Abscess

Directions to Hospitals Treating Abscess

Risk calculators and risk factors for Abscess

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Overview

An abscess is a collection of pus in any part of the body that, in most cases, causes swelling and inflammation around it.

What are the symptoms of Abscess?

Symptoms of an abscess depend largely on where the abscess forms. Some common symptoms include:

What causes Abscess?

Abscesses occur when an area of tissue becomes infected and the body's immune system tries to fight it. White blood cells move through the walls of the blood vessels into the area of the infection and collect within the damaged tissue. During this process, pus forms. Pus is the buildup of fluid, living and dead white blood cells, dead tissue, and bacteria or other foreign substances. Abscesses can form in almost any part of the body. The skin, under the skin, and the teeth are the most common sites. Abscesses may be caused by bacteria, parasites, and foreign substances.Abscesses in the skin are easy to see. They are red, raised, and painful. Abscesses in other areas of the body may not be obvious, but they may cause significant organ damage. Some specific type of abscesses are:

Who is at highest risk?

People with recent history of infection are at increased risk for abscess.

When to seek urgent medical care?

Call your health care provider if you think that you may have any type of abscess.

Diagnosis

Often, a sample of fluid will be taken from the abscess and tested to see what organism is causing the problem.

Treatment options

Treatment varies, but often surgery, antibiotics, or both are needed.

Where to find medical care for Abscess?

Directions to Hospitals Treating Abscess

What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?

The prognosis depends on site of infection, type of organisms causing it and the patient profile(age, immunity status, comorbidities)

Possible complications

It can spread to other parts of body through blood(septicemia)

Sources

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001353.htm


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