What is a Carbuncle?

What is a Carbuncle?

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A carbuncle is a red, swollen, and painful cluster of boils that are connected to each other 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. An active boil or carbuncle is contagious.

The infection can spread to other parts of the person’s body or to other people through skin-to-skin contact or the sharing of personal items. So it’s important to practice appropriate self-care measures, such as keeping the area clean and covered until the carbuncle drains and heals.

How are Carbuncle Treated?

In order to treat a carbuncle, your doctor may make an incision to drain it. If the carbuncle is deep and cannot be totally drained, gauze may be packed against incision to help absorb the pus. Alternatively, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to fight the infection.