Search Our Site:  
Share this article:   Bookmark and Share
Custom Search

Signs and Symptoms of Abscesses

Abscesses are an accumulation of pus that can occur anywhere on the body.  They typically occur on the skin and on the inside of organs and tissues.    Abscesses occur when an area of tissue becomes infected and the immune system tries to fight the infection.  Abscesses often follow a staph, viral or bacterial infection.  We have put together a list of the most common signs and symptoms of abscesses below.

Also, we have information on diagnosis, helpful books and valuable resources for patients.

The Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Abscesses:

  • Inflamed, pus-filled sores
  • Red spots, bumps or white/yellow pustules
  • Swollen, red and hot area around a lesion
  • Chills
  • Malaise
  • Fever

Boils are abscesses that form around a hair follicle.  Boils often surface on the face, the buttocks, in the underarms and in the groin area.  Generally, boils do not spread.

Dental abscesses are a fairly common type of abscess; they can be prevented with proper dental care and hygiene.

Furuncles are usually a staph infection of the sebaceous glands

Carbuncles are groups of boils where the skin is red, painful, swollen and warm.  They form an elevated lump on the skin.

Diagnosis of Abscesses

An abscess is diagnosed by a health care practitioner through a visual examination.  An abscess can occur to anyone at any age.  If you believe that you have signs and symptoms of an abscess, see a medical practitioner immediately.  Many abscesses clear up on their own, but some require immediate treatment to prevent the spreading of the infection.  Antibiotics may be required, and in some cases, the abscess may be cut and drained.

Books and Articles For People With Signs and Symptoms of Abscesses

Abscess – A Medical Dictionary, Bibliography, and Annotated Research Guide to Internet References
ICON Health Publications
The Treatment of Wounds, Ulcers, & Abscesses
Sir William Watson Cheyne

Diagnosis and treatment of abdominal abscesses
Irving M. Ariel
A treatise on the operations of surgery,: With a description and representation of the instruments used in performing them: to which is prefixed an introduction … treatment of wounds, abscesses, and ulcers,
Samuel Sharp

Abscesses Resources

General Patient Resources

  • Better Medicine

Information including symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, causes, videos, forums, and local community support.

  • WD

Abscess information including symptoms, diagnosis, misdiagnosis, treatment, causes, patient stories, videos, forums, prevention, and prognosis.

Medical Resources

  • Medline Plus

A service of the US National Library of Medicine.

  • Web MD

Comprehensive article on causes, symptoms, tests and treatment.

  • Pub Med Health

Reviews causes, risk factors, symptoms, treatment, prognosis and complications.