Carbuncles are pus-filled boils that infect the under layer of the skin. They are basically an infection of the hair follicles and hence they appear around the areas where there is hair such as the back, the nape of the neck, etc. However, they are also common on other body parts such as thighs, buttocks, groin and the armpits. Caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, the infection is contagious when the boil or the carbuncle is active.
HOW IS CARBUNCLES DIAGNOSED?
Diagnosis of carbuncles can be done through physical examination. The General Physician may extract a pus sample for testing. Consistent development of carbuncles may be a sign of other symptoms. A general blood and urine test may be required to eliminate other health conditions.
HOW IS CARBUNCLES TREATED?
It is important to avoid squeezing the carbuncle as this will spread the infection. A general physician will recommend using a warm compress to drain the pus and promote healing. Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help in dealing with the pain.
DID YOU KNOW?
Pus usually occurs within a day of carbuncle formation.