Treatment For Abscesses Specialist

Tower Wound Care Centers -  - Wound Care Specialist

Tower Wound Care Centers

Wound Care Specialists located in Cedars Sinai Medical Towers, Los Angeles, CA & Encino, CA

When dealing with the pain of abscesses, visiting Tower Wound Care Center for drainage is the best option. Here, our doctor are expertly skilled to address abscesses so that patients throughout Los Angeles, Encino, and Santa Monica, CA can find the relief they need.

Treatment for Abscesses Q & A

What is an abscess?

An abscess is a mass of pus and debris surrounded by a deeper colored area from pink to red. Abscesses are can be easily felt and are often painful and warm to touch. The most common areas are in the armpits, areas near the anus and vagina called Bartholin gland abscess, the base of the spine called a pilonidal abscess, and in the groin. Inflammation near a hair follicle can also cause an abscess, this is called a boil.

What causes an abscess?

Abscesses are the result of a blockage in the oil or sweat glands, swelling of hair follicles, or slight breaks and punctures in the skin. Bacteria get beneath the skin or into these glands, which causes inflammation. The middle of the abscess softens and will contain dead cells, bacteria, and additional debris. These can get bigger, causing tension beneath the skin and even more swelling. Pain results from the pressure and swelling. Those with a weakened immune system can develop particular abscesses more frequently. Those with a decreased ability to fight infections are at a higher risk of developing more severe abscesses and can include:

  • AIDS
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Leukemia
  • Severe burns
  • Severe trauma
  • Chemotherapy
  • Crohn's disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Chronic steroid therapy
  • Alcoholism or IV drug abuse
  • Peripheral vascular disorders

Additional risk factors include exposure to unclean environments, contact with persons who have specific types of skin infections, lack of hygiene, and poor circulation.

What is the treatment?

The doctor will usually open and drain the abscess. The area around the abscess will be numbed with local anesthesia though it can be difficult to completely numb the area. Patients may be provided with a type of sedative if the abscess is bigger. The area will be coated with an antiseptic solution and sterile towels will be placed all around it. The doctor will create an incision to totally drain the abscess of pus and debris. The doctor will then place some packing into the cavity to lessen any bleeding and hold it open for a 24 to 48 hours. A bandage is placed over the top. Instructions regarding home care will be provided. Most patients feel better immediately after the procedure. Antibiotics will also usually be prescribed.

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