How does an abscess happen?
An abscess occurs when there is a bacterial infection. It can also happen if the oil or sweat gland in the skin becomes blocked. The most common areas of the body where an abscess is found are the underarms, hands and feet, genitals, trunk and buttock area.
When an infection occurs, the body's immune system goes into action in the form of white blood cells that are sent to the affected area to fight the bacteria. As this battle is taking place, some tissues lying nearby die, which leaves a hole filled with pus-forming an abscess. The pus contains bacteria, white blood cells and dead tissues.
What causes abscess in the pubic area?
An abscess in the pubic area is caused by Staphylococcus aureus (commonly known as staph). This bacteria infects the sac containing the roots of the hair and the oil glands.
How to prevent a skin abscess?
As a result of a cut or graze, a minor skin wound is enough to cause the formation of an abscess, as does blocked oil and sweat glands. Be mindful when shaving, especially on the face, legs, underarm areas, and bikini areas. Avoid sharing items such as shavers and toothbrushes.
The risk of bacteria spread can be further reduced by upkeeping healthy personal grooming and hygiene habits like:
- washing hands regularly and encouraging family members to do the same
- using separate towels and toothbrushes as well as avoid sharing baths
- disposing of tissues that have been used to wipe pus away properly
If one is affected by a skin abscess, ensure that it is fully healed before using communal equipment such as saunas, swimming pools and gym equipment. It is essential to ensure that one DOES NOT attempt to squeeze the pus out of an abscess on one's own, as this can cause the bacteria to spread to other parts of the skin.
Additionally, a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced and healthy diet and not smoking, among others, can help reduce the likelihood of skin abscesses.
What is the main cause of abscess?
The bacteria Staphylococcus aureus is the common cause. As a defence, the body's immune system sends white blood cells to fight infection when bacteria enter the body. Swelling or inflammation occurs when this happens.
If left untreated, an abscess can set off a series of infections in other body parts and can even be life-threatening. It is best to seek professional help immediately.
What happens if an infected skin cyst is untreated?
An untreated infected sebaceous cyst can potentially lead to complications like an abscess.
Will an infected cyst go away with antibiotics?
An infected cyst can be treated with antibiotics in the form of oral medication, topical cream, or both. If this fails, the issue can be addressed by drainage or surgery.
How long does an infected cyst take to heal?
An infected sebaceous cyst will not heal until it is removed by drainage or surgery. Without treatment, it can be present for a long time and may even cause discomfort or pain.
What are the sebaceous glands?
The sebaceous gland is located all over the body and produces sebum, an oil-like substance that coats hair and skin.
It is made up of a lobe connected by ducts. The lifespan of each gland is about ONE week, and the sebum it produces as it breaks down at the end of its lifespan has several functions, and these include:
- Reducing water loss from the surface of the skin
- Protecting skin from infection by bacteria and fungi
- Regulating the immune system
A cyst usually develops if the gland or its duct is blocked or damaged. The damage or blockage to the gland or its duct is typically the result of trauma to the area.
Are sebaceous cysts common?
A sebaceous cyst usually develops if the gland or its duct is blocked or damaged. The damage or blockage to the gland or its duct is typically the result of trauma to the area. It is less common compared to an epidermoid cyst and pilar cyst.
Are sebaceous cysts painful?
A sebaceous cyst is typically not painful. This is dependent on its size. Large ones can cause discomfort and even pain, particularly those found on the face and neck. Most sebaceous cysts feel soft, and they contain keratin, which is a component that makes up skin and nails.
What's the difference between a cyst and a boil?
A sebaceous cyst can become infected and develop into a boil, a collection of pus. Bacterial infection is a common cause of a boil.
Do skin tags grow back once removed?
In general, skin tags do not grow back after removal. If skin tags develop in the same areas again, it could mean that the areas are prone to their growth.
Cost of skin tag removal in Singapore
Depending on the patient's clinical condition, the cost of skin tag removal will be further advised during the consultation and assessment.
Do skin tags grow bigger?
A person may have anywhere from one to hundreds of skin tags. Removing a skin tag does not cause more to grow.
Why am I getting skin tags in my 40s?
Ageing is one of the most common causes of skin tags, especially when one hits 40. In women, the reason can also be due to pregnancy due to hormones and weight gain. Being overweight for both men and women is also a potential cause.
Common warts are caused by viruses in the human papillomavirus (HPV) family. When the virus enters the skin (usually through a tiny scratch), it causes rapid cell growth on the outer layer of the skin, creating the wart.
Cost of wart removal in Singapore
Depending on the patient's clinical condition, the cost of wart removal will be further advised during the consultation and assessment.