Abscess Requiring Drainage

Abscess Requiring Drainage and seeking medical care

What is an abscess?

A skin abscess is a tender mass generally surrounded by a colored area from pink to deep red. Abscesses are often easy to feel by touching. The vast majority of them are caused by infections. Inside, they are full of pus, bacteria and debris. Abscesses are usually painful and warm to touch and can show up any place on your body. The most common sites on the skin in your armpits (axillae), areas around your anus and vagina, the base of your spine, around a tooth, and in your groin. Inflammation around a hair follicle can also lead to the formation of an abscess, which is called a boil (furuncle).

Unlike other infections, antibiotics alone will not usually cure an abscess. In general an abscess must open and drain in order for it to improve. Sometimes draining occurs on its own, but generally it must be opened with the help of a warm compress or by a doctor in a procedure called incision and drainage.

If your wound begins to develop an infection, it is important to recognize the symptoms so they can be treated as early as possible. If redness begins to spread out from the wound, or if it begins to swell and increase in tenderness, or if you see green or yellow pus, you should seek medical attention immediately. Other signs include swollen lymph nodes, body aches, chills, or fever.

Seeking Care for Abscess Requiring Drainage + What to Expect

When you come to one of iCare Emergency Room & Urgent Care’s locations with an abscess or infection of injury site, our iCare team led by an experienced ER physician has the tools necessary to treat an abscess.  After a medical history review and exam, your care team, led by an experience ER Physician will clean and treat your wound including assessing the need for stitches or antibiotic ointments. They will then dress or bandage your wound.

After your wound is treated at iCare, the practitioner will leave you with specific instructions for caring for your wound. However, as a general guide, it is best to keep all wounds clean in order to prevent infection. Wash your wound with clean water and a mild soap per your doctor’s instructions. If provided with an antibiotic cream, apply a thin layer before dressing it. Dress or bandage your wound loosely so that blood flow is not restricted, and be sure to change the dressing daily so that an infection does not begin to grow. Refrain from scratching any itchy scabs so that they can heal properly.