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Boils and carbuncles
What is a carbuncle and what are its symptoms?
Have you ever had that one giant ‘pimple’ that just hurts so bad? And it just takes so much time for it to be gone? Does it contain lots of pus and have multiple ‘heads’? Does it keep increasing in size and is tender to touch?
That could just be a carbuncle.
A carbuncle is made up of a cluster of ‘boils’. And ‘boils’ are mini bumps filled with pus that are caused by a bacteria infection.
What causes a carbuncle?
Now you may ask, why a sudden skin bacterial infection? This bacteria could have possibly entered your hair follicles thanks to easy access caused by a wound or scrape which may be due to shaving and many more. Poor personal hygiene may also just be a cause of a carbuncle occurrence. A person with a history of skin conditions may also be more prone to having carbuncles.
How are carbuncles treated?
Depending on its severity based on its size, location and duration of growth, a person can be treated differently.
An incision and drainage of the carbuncles is one of the main ways to cure a carbuncle. However do bear in mind that this can only be performed by a doctor under sterile condition in order to prevent further infections.
As a carbuncle is most likely due to a bacterial infection (most commonly Staphylococcus aureus), a doctor may prescribe either an oral or topical antibiotic to counterattack this bacteria infection adjunctive to the incision and draining.
To cope with the pain caused by this carbuncle, some painkillers may also be prescribed.
What to do to prevent a (future) carbuncle?
Well, hygiene is key. Just like any other infection, good hygiene practice is the best way to prevent a skin infection like a carbuncle. Wash your hands regularly, avoid squeezing your boils or pimples and make sure your clothes and beddings are clean and changed regularly. Be so clean, and leave those bacteria with no way to attack you!
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Disclaimer: As a service to our users and general public, Doc2Us provides health education contents. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
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