What is a carbuncle?

Carbuncle, Lumps and BumpsA carbuncle is a painful cluster of red, swollen boils that are connected under the skin. A boil is an infection of a hair follicle that has a small collection of pus, called an abscess, under the skin. They are tender and painful and cause a severe infection which could lead a scar. A carbuncle is also known as a staph skin infection.

Who gets carbuncles?

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Carbuncles are typically found on the back of the neck, shoulders, or thigh. They can also appear over any area where you sweat or experience friction.Moist areas of your body are particularly susceptible to this type of infection because bacteria thrive in these areas. 

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A carbuncle tends to develop when Staphylococcus aureus bacteria or ‘staph’ enter the hair follicles. Scrapes or broken skin make it easy for bacteria to enter your body and cause an infection. This can result in boils or carbuncles filled with fluid and pus.

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How is a carbuncle diagnosed?

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Our doctor can usually diagnose a carbuncle by looking at the area of skin. A pus sample may be collected for lab analysis to better determine the type of infection. 

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A tendency to develop carbuncles may indicate other health issues, such as diabetes. Our doctor may order urine or blood tests to check your overall health.

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How is a carbuncle treated?

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A carbuncle is treated based on its size and area of infection. Depending on these factors, our doctor may use one or more of the following medical treatments:

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  • Antibiotics. These are taken either orally or applied to the skin.
  • Antibacterial soaps. To be added to your daily cleaning regimen.
  • Pain relievers. Over-the-counter medications are typically sufficient.
  • Surgery. Our doctor may need to drain deep or large carbuncles with a scalpel or needle.

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A carbuncle is infectious. You should never attempt to drain a carbuncle yourself as you risk spreading the infection and in the worst scenario, infecting your bloodstream.

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SCHEDULE A CONSULT WITH OUR DOCTOR DR GANESH RAMALINGAM

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You may contact us directly via WHATSAPP or call our CLINIC.

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Disclaimer Notice

The information provided on this website is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. G & L Surgical makes no representation and assumes no responsibility if the information, contained on or available through this website, is taken without our specialists’ consult.