Skin abscess (collection of pus)

Skin | Dermatology | Skin abscess (collection of pus) (Disease)


A skin abscess is a localized collection of pus that generally develops in response to infection or to the presence of other foreign materials under the skin. An abscess is typically painful, and it appears as a swollen area that is warm to the touch. The skin surrounding an abscess typically appears pink or red.

Causes and Risk factors

Skin abscesses are fairly common. They occur when an infection causes pus and infected material to collect in the skin. Skin abscesses may occur after a bacterial infection (often staphylococcus), a minor wound or injury, boils, folliculitis.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Your doctor can diagnose the condition based on the appearance of the area. A culture or examination of any drainage from the lesion may help identify what organism is causing it.

Moist heat (such as warm compresses) may speed healing and may help a skin abscess drain. Do not push and squeeze on the abscess. The doctor may cut open and drain the abscess, after placing some numbing medicine in the area. Packing material may be left in wound to help it heal and not close over again. Antibiotics are given by mouth to control the infection. ...