Abscesses can be treated in a number of different ways, depending on the type of abscess and how large it is.
The main treatment options include:
- a drainage procedure
Some small skin abscesses may drain naturally and get better without the need for treatment. Applying heat in the form of a warm compress, such as a warm flannel, may help reduce any swelling and speed up healing.
However, the flannel should be thoroughly washed afterwards and not used by other people, to avoid spreading the infection.
For larger or persistent skin abscesses, your GP may prescribe a course of antibiotics to help clear the infection and prevent it from spreading.
Sometimes, especially with recurrent infections, you may need to wash off all the bacteria from your body to prevent re-infection (decolonisation). This can be done using antiseptic soap for most of your body and an antibiotic cream for the inside of your nose.
However, antibiotics alone may not be enough to clear a skin abscess, and the pus may need to be drained to clear the infection. If a skin abscess isn’t drained, it may continue to grow and fill with pus until it bursts, which can be very painful and can cause the infection to spread or recur.
Incision and drainage
If your skin abscess needs draining, you’ll probably have a small operation carried out under anaesthetic – usually a local anaesthetic, where you remain awake and the area around the abscess is numbed.
During the procedure, the surgeon makes a cut (incision) in the abscess, to allow the pus to drain out. They may also take a sample of pus for testing.
Once all of the pus has been removed, the surgeon will clean the hole that is left by the abscess using sterile saline (a salt solution).
The abscess will be left open but covered with a wound dressing, so if any more pus is produced it can drain away easily. If the abscess is deep, an antiseptic dressing (gauze wick) may be placed inside the wound to keep it open.
The procedure may leave a small scar.
The pus usually needs to be drained from an internal abscess, either by using a needle inserted through the skin (percutaneous abscess drainage) or with surgery.
The method used will depend on the size of your abscess and where it is in your body.
Antibiotics will usually be given at the same time, to help kill the infection and prevent it spreading. These may be given as tablets or directly into a vein (intravenously).
If the internal abscess is small, your surgeon may be able to drain it using a fine needle. Depending on the location of the abscess, this may be carried out using either a local or general anaesthetic.
Once the abscess has been located, the surgeon drains the pus using the needle. They may make a small incision in your skin over the abscess, then insert a thin plastic tube called a drainage catheter into it.
The catheter allows the pus to drain out into a bag and may have to be left in place for up to a week.
This procedure may be carried out as a day case procedure, which means you’ll be able to go home the same day, although some people will need to stay in hospital for a few days.
As with the incision and drainage procedure for skin abscesses, percutaneous drainage may leave a small scar.
You may need to undergo surgery if:
- your internal abscess is too large to be drained with a needlea
- a needle can’t get to the abscess safely
- needle drainage hasn’t been effective in removing all of the pus
The type of surgery you have will depend on the type of internal abscess you have and where it is in your body. Generally, it involves making a larger incision in your skin to allow the pus to be washed out.
Antibiotics are medications that are used to treat various diseases and pathologies (including abscess), caused by bacterial infections. Pharmaceutical effect of antibiotics is directed to kill pathogenic microorganisms or at least stop their multiplication.
According to world analysts, market of antibiotic drugs is the most dynamic and rapidly growing one in the pharmaceutical business. High demand arises because pathogenic organisms become resistant to antibiotics, which forces pharmaceutical companies develop new antibiotics. This review on antibiotics for abscesses will help you gain insight into the world tendencies.
Before you buy and start using antibiotics for abscesses of tissues, you must make sure the disease was caused by bacterial infection. If abscess was caused by fungi or viruses, then antibacterial therapy is ineffective. The most common bacteria, causing abscess are:
- Haemophilus influenza
Until person is healthy, pathogenic microbes multiply slowly and his immune system can neutralize them effectively. However, the immune system function is affected by many external factors. Weak immune system is powerless against the growth and multiplication of bacteria.
When bacteria reach critical numbers, the body is poisoned by bacterial toxins. To kill bacteria, our immune system starts working in extreme mode. If the immune system cannot inhibit the activity of bacteria, people should use one of the types of antibiotics.
Usually, abscess is accompanied by such symptom as local or general increase in body temperature. Other symptoms of abscess are:
The first sign of abscess is redness and subsequent purulent inflammation of the tissues. The earlier you start using antibiotics for abscess of the tissues, the more effective and faster the treatment goes.
Abscess is easy to diagnose if it is visible with the naked eye (on arm for example). It is much more difficult to diagnose abscess in the brain, muscles or internal organs. In this case, after diagnosis of an abscess, patient should initiate the antibacterial therapy as soon as possible.
The final phase is abscess rupture and release of pus. Spontaneous tissue rupture releases the pus fluid. If inflammation does not occur again and there are no other side effects of abscess, a scar is formed.
Surface skin abscesses release the pus and thus are not dangerous for health. Abscess of internal organs can provoke the formation of new purulent processes due to the release of pus in the body cavity.
Treatment of abscesses of internal organs often involves surgery, which should be conducted at hospital. A doctor should open the abscess cavities and remove pus (puncture). Using Ultrasound, a doctor can insert antibiotics inside the abscess cavity.
Antibiotics for skin abscess
Pathogenic microorganisms are the main reason of skin abscess (for example, Streptococcus). There are several routes of getting bacteria in the body – infection of local site, microscopic skin lesions, hematomas, purulent infections, etc.
It is no secret that prevention of disease is the best way to avoid dangerous consequences. In case of skin lesions (cuts, splinters, bruises) man should clean up his wound from dirt and foreign substances. Antiseptic means allow to neutralize hazardous microorganisms.
If prophylaxis did not help to avoid suppuration, you should choose one of the treatment types. Progression of abscess usually requires using of one or several antibiotics.
Patients with skin abscesses do not need a surgery as a rule. Medicamental method is also effective for purulent lesions of the mouth cavity. Antibiotics for abscess in the mouth and teeth help to stop the inflammation and eliminate the center of infection.
The choice of antibiotics for abscess of the skin depends on the severity of the disease and overall health. When doctor prescribes antibiotics, he should take into account:
- The type of bacterial infection
- State of immune system
- Allergy to antibiotic drugs
- Comorbidities (heart, liver, kidneys)
You can buy antibiotics for abscess on the skin in the form of pills or ointment for external use. If a patient has only one center of infection on the skin, then it is better to use antibiotics for local use. Mupirocin is one of such drugs.
Mupirocin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which suppresses the ability of bacteria to multiply. The drug is supplied in the form of cream or ointment. At the USA pharmacies, you can buy Mupirocin antibiotic under the original trade name Bactroban and Centany.
In addition, the FDA approved some more generic drugs, containing Mupirocin active substance. The marketing authorization owners are the following pharmaceutical companies: Teva, Perrigo New York, Taro, Fougera and Glenmark. Prices on Mupirocin generic drugs can differ significantly. Therefore, before you buy antibiotics, please check out the prices at several pharmacies.
At Australian and UK pharmacies, Mupirocin is sold under the name Bactroban (cream, ointment and nasal ointment). In Great Britain, you can buy the same medications under international nonproprietary name Mupirocin from such pharmaceutical companies as S&M Medical, Chemilines, Lexon and Focus.
With stronger skin lesions, a systemic antibiotic therapy is conducted. In such cases, a short-term or medium-term use of oral antibiotic drugs is recommended. The most prescribed and effective oral antibiotics are:
Oral antibiotics are supplied in tablets or capsules. In addition to antibiotics for oral intake, there are solutions for injections. If you want to buy antibiotics for abscess treatment, but you have no idea what pharmaceutical form to use, consult a pharmacist please.
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