A cutaneous abscess is an accumulation of pus in the dermis and subcutaneous tissue that occurs as an inflammatory response to invading bacteria. When they involve hair follicles they are called furuncles. The most common pathogens are streptococci, Staphylococcus aureus, and MRSA. Abscesses are tender, fluctuant, and erythematous masses of varying sizes. Uncomplicated masses are treated by incision and drainage procedures. Large, numerous, or recurrent abscesses, as well as those accompanied by systemic symptoms such as fever, also warrant oral antibiotic therapy. Recurrent abscesses suggest the presence of a bacterial reservoir, in which case treating the nasal mucosa and using antibacterial body wash may help to resolve the condition.
KeywordsAbscess Bacterial infection Bacteria Pustule Erythema Staphylococcus aureus Staph Streptococcus Strep Infection Cellulitis Skin and soft tissue infection SSTI Fluctuant Purulent Pus I&D Incision and drainage Antibiotics Oral antibiotics MRSA
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