Abscess Drainage: Procedures, Recovery, Recurrence

Abscess Removal Surgery

A common problem that occurs during abscess removal surgery is called “Recurrent Abscess”. A recurrent abscess means that there are several times when the same infection comes back again. If the patient has had multiple infections in their body, then they will have many recurrences of these infections. These recurring infections can cause severe complications such as death or even amputation due to secondary infection. There are two types of recurrent abscesses:

Fever Blisters – These are caused by bacteria which grow rapidly inside the skin. They develop into large blisters that become infected very quickly. Fungal Infections – These are caused by fungi that grow slowly inside the skin. They develop into small lesions and may not show any symptoms at all until years later when they begin to affect other parts of the body.

The first step to treating recurrent abscess is to remove them from the body. To do so, doctors use antibiotics to kill off the bacteria causing the infection. Then they put a piece of sterile gauze over the wound and cover it with a dressing made out of cotton wool or polyester fiber. After this procedure, patients usually need to go through another one where pus (blood) is removed from around their wounds. This step is often called debridement.

If you want to find out more about abscess removal surgery and how to get rid of abscess, make sure to check out this website.

Showering After Picking an Abscess

After you have lanced (poked a hole in) your abscess and drained it, you need to take a shower. In the shower, you should gently wash the area around the wound where you poked a hole in with a washcloth. The water in the shower should be warm (but not too hot) and you should stay in the shower for at least 10 minutes. After your shower you should gently pat (don’t rub) the wound dry with a clean towel. You should also put on a thin layer of an antibiotic ointment (for example, Bactroban).

Your doctor might give you a different ointment to use. The ointment prevents infection from spreading into the wound and causing an infection. You should leave the ointment on for at least 1 hour and then you can put a bandage over it.

Does It Hurt When You Poke an Abscess?

It is pretty common for people to think that picking at their zit will make it hurt less when they do it. This isn’t always true though, even if you just drain a whithead (whitehead), it can still hurt and even swell up more. It is not really going to make it hurt any less if you pick at an abscess either. In fact, it can cause other complications, for example, it can cause cellulitis, which we talk about in this article. Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and the lymph system.

When we lance (poke a hole in) an abscess, it can be uncomfortable for a few seconds but after that you should feel instant relief from the pain. After the pus and other stuff has drained out, your wound should start healing much quicker.

Can You Be Allergic to Antibiotics?

Some people experience allergic reactions to the antibiotics that their doctor prescribes for them. Most people can take antibiotics without any problems though. If you think that you are having an allergic reaction when taking an antibiotic you should call your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room. A lot of the time allergic reactions cause rashes, hives (itchy bumps or welts that are red or white), swelling (of the face, lips, tongue, or throat), trouble breathing, and/or severe tightness of the chest.

Should You Take Painkillers for an Abscess?

Most people feel at least a little bit of pain when draining an abscess. This is normal and part of the healing process. You can take over-the-counter painkillers (like acetaminophen or ibuprofen) to help relieve the pain. You shouldn’t take painkillers just for fun though. Also, you should be sure to follow the dosage instructions on the label.

If you think that the pain is getting worse, it might be a good idea to go see your doctor. Sometimes doctors will give patients prescription strength painkillers in this situation. These prescription painkillers are not addictive and don’t have the same side effects that other painkillers might have. Also, your doctor will probably give you a “real” painkiller if your abscess is caused by cancer.

How Do You Know When to See Your Doctor?

You should go see your doctor when you think you have an abscess or if your doctor tells you to come in (even if you don’t think it’s necessary). Here are some reasons why you might need to go to the doctor:

The pain gets noticeably worse even if you are taking pain medication.

You develop more symptoms such as a fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

You have wounds or sores in other areas of your body. For example, if you have a wound on your hand and you develop an abscess in your armpit, this might be a sign of necrotizing fasciitis. (This is a rare but very serious illness)

You have diabetes, cancer, or some other condition that weakens your immune system.

What Else Should You Do to Get Better?

Most importantly, it is very important that you keep the area as clean as possible. You should wash the wound at least once per day with warm water and a mild soap (such as a baby mild shampoo) and gently dry it with a clean cloth or paper towel. After cleaning the wound, apply an antibiotic ointment (such as Neosporin). It is probably best to avoid doing this yourself and have someone else do it for you. This will prevent you from “missing” any spots or accidentally “over-cleaning” the wound.

It is very important that you do not pick at the scab or try to clean the area yourself. This could cause the wound to get worse and may even lead to an infection.

Also, you should keep it elevated to help reduce pain and swelling. You can do this by using a bag of ice or a bag of frozen vegetables (changed every 30 minutes). You should take over-the-counter pain medicine to help with the pain. Ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin) is a good choice. Aspirin should be avoided unless your doctor says it’s OK since it can cause problems for people with certain health conditions.

You should also rest as much as possible and take it easy for a few days or weeks. You can go back to work or school when you feel like it, but be sure to clean and dress the wound daily until it has healed.

What Are the Chances of My Abscess Returning?

Most abscesses don’t come back since the infection is lanced and all of the pus is drained. It’s possible for another abscess to form at the site since there may be pus still lingering in your body. However, this is fairly rare.

The main reason abscesses come back is because they’re not treated properly in the first place. For example, an untreated cavity can lead to a tooth abscess. It’s very important to practice excellent dental hygiene (brushing and flossing daily). See a dentist at least once per year and get regular checkups.

Am I at Risk for This Happening Again?

Most people who get an abscess due to a cavity are at risk for more in the future. This is because the underlying cause (poor dental hygiene or a cavity) has not been treated and may happen again. You can take steps to minimize this risk. For example:

See a dentist and get regular checkups.

Receive dental sealants for your molars since you grind your teeth.

Receive fluoride treatments.

Receive calcium and vitamin D supplements.

Receive dental treatment for any problems detected.

Follow proper dental care (brushing and flossing).

What If I Need Treatment?

If you’ve tried all of the above measures and your abscess is still painful or getting worse, you’ll need to see a doctor. He or she will lance the abscess to drain out all of the pus. This might require a short hospital stay and an anesthetic. The area might be numb for a few days. Afterward, you’ll be sent home with pain medicine and antibiotics.

In some cases, the doctor will want to take out the tooth if it has a deep infection that can’t be treated any other way or if it’s unlikely to heal.

Reviewed by: Steven D. Ehrlich, DO

Date reviewed: July 2014

Also read: Headache or Migraine?

Also read: Sinusitis and Pregnancy


Web Resource: National Library of Medicine

Frequently Asked Questions


What is an abscess?

An abscess is a pocket of pus that forms when bacteria invade a tissue or an organ. This collection of pus is walled off from the rest of the body by tissues that form a barrier around it. An abscess causes pain at the site of infection, often around or under the skin or in a tooth.


How do you know if you have an abscess?

The most common sign of an abscess is pain. This pain may be throbbing and constant, or it may come and go in waves. You may also feel general ‘unwellness. Sometimes, it may be difficult to pinpoint the location of the pain as an abscess often involves more than one site. Other signs may include redness and swelling of the skin, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite. An infection in your tooth or a wound could cause pain in your cheek or jaw.


How do you treat an abscess?

When you have an abscess medical treatment is essential to eliminate the infection. The treatment will depend on the location and nature of the abscess. The treatment may involve antibiotics, local wound care or even surgery. If you think you have an abscess or any other type of infection, see a doctor as soon as possible so that you can begin treatment. Ignoring the problem will only lead to a more serious medical condition.


How can I avoid getting an abscess?

While there is no sure way to avoid an abscess, you can take steps to minimize the risk of developing this condition. A good way to start is by practicing good dental hygiene to avoid getting infected or having a toothache. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice daily and floss regularly as this will prevent plaque buildup. Get routine checkups and cleanings. If you have a dental abscess or an infected tooth, seek treatment immediately from a dentist. To prevent skin abscesses, keep cuts and grazes clean by washing them with mild soap and water.


What is a pilonidal cyst?

A pilonidal cyst is a small sac or blister that forms just below the skin surface in the area between your buttocks. It is also known as a pilonidal abscess. The cyst contains hair and skin debris, along with bacteria. The cause of a pilonidal cyst is hair that grows from a follicle in the skin and pierces the fascia that usually covers these hairs. The origin of this name comes from the Latin word “pilus” which means “a hair.”


What are the treatment options for a pilonidal cyst?

A pilonidal cyst may require medical treatment or surgery. Treatment options may include:

– Antibiotics to clear the infection

– Surgical drainage, removal of the cyst or both. A pilonidal cyst may recur even after surgical removal. Your surgeon may suggest that you have a procedure known as marsupialization to prevent the cyst from recurring. During this procedure, your surgeon will leave behind a small portion of the cyst to act as a valve which is then secured in place.

– After surgical treatment, patients are usually required to keep the wound free of tension by wearing special garments for 12 weeks.

It is important to seek treatment from a qualified medical professional as early as possible.


What is a tailbone?

Your tailbone, also known as the coccyx, is the small triangular bone that forms the base of your spine. It is one of the most sensitive parts of your body because it is made up of solid bone with no marrow inside. This means that any trauma to your tailbone can be extremely painful and may result in broken pieces of bone ending up in your bloodstream.


How can I protect my tailbone?

There are a few ways you can protect your tailbone from injury. Always wear a seat belt while traveling in a vehicle and be sure to use proper form when doing abdominal exercises. You can place two fingers between your tailbone and the floor when performing sit-ups or other ab workouts on the floor. If no space is available, stop the exercise until there is.


What happens if my tailbone is injured?

If you injure your tailbone, you may experience sharp pain at the site of the injury. In some cases, there may be a bruise or swelling around the injured area. If your tailbone is broken or fractured, you may notice a lump or bump on or near the bone. In most cases, a broken tailbone will need to be treated with rest, ice, over-the-counter pain medication and physical therapy to heal properly. In rare cases, surgery may be required to repair a broken tailbone.


What is hemorrhoid?

Hemorrhoid are swollen blood vessels in the rectum that may result in painful swelling and bleeding. This condition is very common and usually develops gradually. When hemorrhoid become swollen, they can become irritated or even bleed. While many people experience symptoms at different levels of severity, for some the condition can prove to be very uncomfortable and even painful. The good news is that for most, hemorrhoid symptoms are temporary and can be resolved quickly.


What causes hemorrhoid?

There are many causes of hemorrhoid. Some of the most common include:

– Constipation or diarrhea

– Pregnancy

– Low fiber diet

– Sedentary Lifestyle

– Family history


How are hemorrhoid treated?

There are many treatment options for hemorrhoid. Many of these treatments are simple at-home remedies that can provide quick relief from the pain and bleeding of hemorrhoid symptoms. For example, one of the most common treatments for hemorrhoid is heat. Placing a warm, wet cloth against the area can relieve pain and reduce swelling. Over-the-counter pain medications such as Tylenol can also help to relieve pain caused by hemorrhoid. For some, hemorrhoid may require a more intensive treatment plan such as lifestyle changes and in more serious cases, surgery.


What is hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are a common condition in which veins around the rectum or poop chute swell up and get irritated. This can result in itchiness, pain, and bleeding. There are two kinds of hemorrhoids:

Internal hemorrhoids – These occur when veins around the rectal area swell up. They are located inside the rectum. You cannot see or feel these hemorrhoids because they are inside your body.

External hemorrhoids – These occur when veins around the rectal area swell up. They are located just outside the rectum, under the skin that curves around to the back. You can see and reach these hemorrhoids because they are located just outside the rectum, under the skin.

There are other kinds of hemorrhoids, but these two types are the most common.


What is the treatment for hemorrhoids?

The treatment for hemorrhoids will vary depending on their severity and how long you’ve had them. While there is no cure for hemorrhoids, most of the time they can be treated in order to relieve pain and discomfort. There are many over-the-counter treatments and home remedies that can help shrink hemorrhoids and reduce pain and bleeding caused by the condition. If these treatments fail, however, you may need surgery in order to remove hemorrhoids or have them permanently shrunk.


What is rectal bleeding?

Rectal bleeding is when blood is seen or leaked from the rectum. This can be a serious medical condition and should be evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible. There are many different causes of rectal bleeding including hemorrhoids, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and parasitic infections.


What are the risk factors of hemorrhoids?

Some of the risk factors of hemorrhoids include:

– Constipation or diarrhea

– Pregnancy

– Low fiber diet

– Sedentary Lifestyle

– Family history


What is proctology?

Proctology refers to medical science that deals with the human rectum and the lower digestive tract.


What is the proctologist?

A proctologist is a physician that specializes in the lower digestive tract, including the colon, rectum and anorectum (the part of the anatomy that includes the rectum and the area around it).


What is proctology related to?

Proctology is related to rectal bleeding, hemorrhoids, fissures, fistulas and other conditions of the bottom.


What is a hemorrhoid?

A hemorrhoid is a swollen vein in the region of the rectum or colon. While they are commonly called “piles”, you can’t get them from sitting on your piles – the name is simply a longtime colloquial misnomer. They may be caused by straining to pass hard stools, however pregnancy, obesity, and certain medications such as NSAIDS (like Ibuprofen) increase the risk.


What is hemorrhoid pain?

Hemorrhoid pain is when you experience discomfort, itchiness, burning and soreness in and around the rectal area. This can occur as a result of hemorrhoids, fissures, fistulas and other conditions of the bottom.


What are hemorrhoid symptoms?

Hemorrhoid symptoms include rectal bleeding, itchiness, burning and soreness in and around the rectal area.


What are hemorrhoid cures?

Hemorrhoid cures are treatments designed to cure the symptoms of hemorrhoids. They may be in the form of topical treatments, pads or ointments that soothe irritation and swelling, or in the form of pills or suppositories that heal the hemorrhoids from the inside.


What are hemorrhoid treatments?

Hemorrhoid treatments are any methods or medications used to temporarily relieve the symptoms of hemorrhoids, as well as lower the risk of developing long-term complications. While many hemorrhoid treatments exist, most are designed to reduce swelling, pain and bleeding caused by the condition.


What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?

The symptoms of hemorrhoids include pain, itchiness, burning and soreness in and around the rectal area. In more serious cases, patients may also experience bleeding from the rectum. While many of those who have hemorrhoids don’t experience any symptoms, it is important to monitor your condition and see a proctologist if necessary to determine the best treatment plan.


What are the causes of hemorrhoids?

The main cause of hemorrhoids is due to increased pressure in the veins of the rectum. Pregnancy, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and straining while having a bowel movement all contribute to this condition. Hemorrhoids are also more common as people age.


What are hemorrhoid symptoms in women?

While many hemorrhoid symptoms are the same in both men and women, there are some that are more prominent in women. For example, women who are pregnant frequently develop hemorrhoids, especially during the last three months of their pregnancies. This is due to the increased amount of weight that is being carried, as well as the stretching of the body to accommodate the growing baby.


What should I do if I think I have hemorrhoids?

If you think you have hemorrhoids, the first thing you should do is consult your primary physician or a proctologist. They will be able to diagnose your condition and prescribe the proper treatment. In addition to seeing a physician, there are also at-home treatments that can help alleviate your symptoms until you are able to see somebody. Dietary and lifestyle changes can also help prevent the condition from becoming worse.


How can I ease the pain and itching of hemorrhoids?

If you are currently experiencing pain and itching as a result of hemorrhoids, there are a few at-home treatments that can help reduce your symptoms until you can see a doctor. If bleeding is occuring, avoid irritating the area and apply a cold compress or an over-the-counter medicine designed to reduce swelling and irritation.

Sources & references used in this article:

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Bascom’s operation in the day-surgical management of symptomatic pilonidal sinus by A Senapati, NPJ Cripps… – … journal of surgery, 2000 – ingentaconnect.com

Twenty-year review of the surgical management of perianal Crohn’s disease by PR Williamson, MD Hellinger, SW Larach… – Diseases of the colon & …, 1995 – Springer

Sacrococcygeal pilonidal sinus: historical review, pathological insight and surgical options by S Chintapatla, N Safarani, S Kumar… – Techniques in …, 2003 – Springer

Meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials comparing drainage alone vs primary sphincter-cutting procedures for anorectal abscess–fistula by HM Quah, CL Tang, KW Eu, SYE Chan… – International journal of …, 2006 – Springer

CT-guided percutaneous pelvic abscess drainage in Crohn’s disease by R Golfieri, A Cappelli, E Giampalma, F Rizzello… – Techniques in …, 2006 – Springer