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Boils and Carbuncles
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Boils and carbuncles

From MayoClinic.com

Diseases & Conditions A-Z

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WOMEN'S HEALTH

Hair/Nails/Skin

Boils are infected, pus-filled swellings in the skin that are often located in or near hair follicles. They are most often found on the back of the neck and in other moist areas of the body like the armpits and groin, but may be anywhere on the body. Sometimes several boils form close together in a cluster. A carbuncle is formed when several boils merge to form a single deep abscess with several heads or drainage points. An abscess may be so deep that it may not surface for a long time. Although most skin conditions aren't life-threatening, they can be uncomfortable and emotionally distressing. This is particularly true of inflammatory conditions such as boils and carbuncles - painful, pus-filled bumps that form under your skin when bacteria infect one or more of your hair follicles.

Boils usually start as red, tender lumps. The lumps quickly fill with pus, growing larger and more painful until they rupture and drain. Although some boils disappear a few days after they occur, most take about 2 weeks to heal.

Boils can occur anywhere on your skin, but appear mainly on your face, neck, armpits, buttocks or thighs - areas where you're most likely to sweat. Sometimes boils occur in clusters called carbuncles. Although anyone can develop these painful infections, people in poor general health or with medical conditions such as acne and diabetes are at increased risk.

You can usually care for a single boil at home, but don't attempt to lance or squeeze it yourself, which may spread the infection. Call your doctor if a boil or carbuncle is extremely painful, lasts longer than 2 weeks or occurs with a fever. In that case, you may need antibiotics or surgical drainage to clear the infection.

 

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 

 



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