©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Skin Abscess


What was the cause of your abscess? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Charlotte, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 30

I had a small egg sized abscess appear out of nowhere. Being stupid, I tried to bring it to a head. I tried popping it with a pin. I've gone to the emergency room and got antibiotics. Then sent for biopsies. No one knows what it is. I see a wound care specialist 2 times a month. It isn't making any progress that I can see. The specialist says to keep it moist, clean, and covered. Six months later, I can't stand the sight of my own breast. It's depressing. They know what it isn't, but, not what it is.

Comment from: Bullmoose82, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 15

I have Sjogren's disease. This has to do with the immune system. I was diagnosed when I was 30. I am now 37. I get perianal abscesses many times a year. Antibiotics don't work. I always have to have them lanced. I have had 3 since April and it's now August. I can never pack it on my own which causes me to miss a lot of work. I fear it is going to be like this the rest of my life. I also cannot go into sunlight for long because it causes rashes for weeks. Look into Sjogren's if you don't know.

Comment from: Grace ear, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: July 03

Well, I had a piercing gone wrong which caused my abscess. It was in the cartilage of my ear. I googled ways to treat it, yet still did my own thing. So I decided to stop doing what I was doing and just use saline and clear water whenever I showered. It healed up pretty nice, however there is a part that is still swollen but it gets smaller as the days go by.

Comment from: CrockerZ, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 27

The cause of my current abscess is IV drug use. If I miss, the injected drugs turn into an abscess. Sometimes they just sit there and become hard and go away, other times they turn into raging, red bumps.

Comment from: Kcir, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 26

After consulting with different doctors and medical specialists, it seems the most likely cause of my abscess in my pectoral area was from a hematoma caused by CPR after my heart attack. My heart stopped and started several times on the way to the hospital so CPR was administered several times. I was put on blood thinners which likely allowed the hematoma to grow. After a couple months I developed a hard lump in pectoral area. An MRI revealed a hematoma. A couple months later the lump began to drain pus on its own. I was referred to a thoracic surgeon who lanced, drained and packed the abscess. I was referred to wound center for follow up and repacking. The wound center specialist suspected the abscess was my body's response to the hematoma as a foreign object. CPR saved my life so from my perspective it is better to be alive and deal with complications than to be dead.

Comment from: Miss Rea, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 18

I had an abscess under my arm drained on Friday night. No after care was given to me, something was put in my arm like a band, and I am supposed to twist the ends every day. I have been too sore and tender to even go near it, there was a plaster put over it. I wonder when I can take it off and shower.

Comment from: Terry m, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 07

I have an abscess on my left buttock cheek and had it cut out, but it got worse. I went back to the hospital, the doctor, nurse, surgeon looked at it, told me to take 3 doses of antibiotics and it should go away, but it hasn't! It's getting worse and there is lots of seeping. I am at my wit's end and thinking of suing them, it has been going on for over three months now, and I don't know what to do.

Comment from: kaylasmom, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 09

I had an abscess my breast and I couldn't wear a bra. And it swelled so big that I couldn't touch it. I would scream out loud when something touched it and it has been two years since I had it taken out. The other day I had to go back to see my surgeon and believe it or not they had to open it back up because I had a cyst in it keeping it infected after two years of not knowing why it stayed infected all the time.

Comment from: K, 7-12 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 04

Public toilets and staying in a wet bathing suit too long caused my abscess.

Comment from: GE, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: September 23

I sympathize with all of you guys and gals. I had a penile implant installed 3 years ago and 6 months later I had a groin infection. It was so bad that my doctor immediately scheduled me for surgery the same day I went in to his office. Altogether, I've had 5 surgeries, the first to install the implant, the second to disinfect the area, the third to change the implant, the fourth to remove the implant and the last was to disinfect again the area. I have been in so much pain and missed so much work that it is ridiculous. My last surgery was a few months ago, I've had a cyst/boil (whatever) twice since. I was lucky enough that the wound the doctor made was still deep enough for my infection to bust. The doctors tell me they don't know what is causing this. My nurse (who is wonderful) took a culture last week and it shows I have 3 different strains of bacterial infection. I hope all of you guys get some kind of relief from this. I wish I could give you all a better story.


Rosacea, Acne, Shingles: Common Adult Skin Diseases See Slideshow
Comment from: aprila, 3-6 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 25

My daughter, now 6, had many MRSA abscesses when she was a baby and a few of my other kids had some as well. She only ended up in the hospital for surgical drainage once and a couple of times in the ER for IV antibiotics. I learned how to drain them at home before they became too bad but she was on Clindamycin many times. We found that there are carriers of MRSA and you carry it in your nose so if you continually get them make sure you wash your hands frequently especially during a cold or runny nose. Also you can put an antibiotic cream in your nose to prevent spread of infection. Even though she has Autism we finally got my daughter out of diapers which stopped the big infections and we take good care of her skin.

Comment from: Bee, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 22

I have an abscess on my left buttock cheek and it has been cut open by a doctor. He has given me antibiotics but it hasn't worked at all, it keeps filling with pus and it leaks sometimes. I have given up with the medical field. They tested me for HIV and I was negative, I do suffer with high blood pressure and I am on medication for that. It is ruining my life, I can't wear underwear anymore, and I haven't been for the past 8 months.

Comment from: Toy Setzer, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 02

I had an abscess in December 2016, on my head. My face got swollen up like an elephant man. I'm still having issues with other spots on my head, I don't know why.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 26

Don't wait, please seek medical advice. Perianal abscesses will not heal by themselves, they get deeper, bigger and ultimately will cause a lot of suffering. My doctor ignored me for 2.5 weeks, kept giving me flucloxacillin which did not good whatsoever. Yes, they are embarrassing but that won't kill you, if left it is a whole lot more embarrassing getting the wound repacked and dressed each day for weeks. Please do seek medical advice. Emergency surgery is no fun, I am fastidious in my cleanliness, you're not to blame they happen.

Comment from: Pam, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 05

I've had recurrent abscesses since I was 15. I'm now 35. I've had more than 30 operations to have them drained. I've had them under my arm; on both legs; under my breast; on my groin, and on my bottom. Doctors don't know why, but when I'm stressed I get them. It's very draining and keeps me from holding down a job.

Comment from: SatyaRaj, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: July 15

A small wound due an accident is source for my abscess. After a week, I started developing pus and painful red skin around the wound and my doctor mentioned it is due the germs getting in from wound due improper care.

Comment from: Booga Lew, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: June 12

My abscess was attributed to a staph infection (MRSA) subsequent to partial knee replacement surgery. I had painful abscess bumps on my behind and underarms. Doxycycline would cure it for 3-5 weeks then it would recur.

Comment from: tina, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 26

Last year I noticed a red spot on my abdomen. A few days later, it was looking red, hot and painful. Later I noticed it was getting harder and harder. Having some medical knowledge, I knew it was an abscess. I was feeling sick, nauseated and I had chills. I went to urgent care and got a dose of IV antibiotics. I went to see my primary doctor and he sent me directly to urgent care to have it drained. I ended up getting wound care for a month.

Comment from: Miller's pain, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 28

Wow I didn't know so many others suffered as I do. I have been getting abscesses since I was 15, now I'm 33 and they are very very painful. I just had one lanced yesterday on my leg which turned out to be more serious this time because I have a staph infection called MRSA which can kill. I also had one a month ago in my armpit which had to be lanced. I do think that stress plays a big part in me getting them which is difficult because the pain from abscess adds more stress, which adds more abscesses. Last year I had six abscesses at one time which is called a carbuncle, now that was severe pain. I couldn't walk or sit for two weeks. I'm glad but sad to see others going through so much pain.

Comment from: mab, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 02

I had recurring breast abscess for nine months and on constant antibiotics. It reduces to a hard lump after treatment but returns again in two or three weeks. Eventually last week, after the antibiotics were not working referred yet again to surgeon who admitted me straight away to hospital and had it drained under general rather than local as it was so large and painful. I spent three days in the hospital on numerous IV antibiotics and now I suffer the daily changes of packed open wound. Now I am told this was just the remedial work, I will need a second operation to remove the hardened lump and any infected breast tissue to stop it from recurring. They waited until it was an emergency before doing anything.


Ringworm is caused by a fungus. See Answer
Published: July 02

I am 48 years old and for the first time had three abscesses in a two-week period. It was very painful and in a most intricate areas. I had to go to the emergency room. They were drained and are healing. I hope I never have to go through this again.

Comment from: Fran, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 06

I had breast augmentation 9 weeks ago. 5 weeks after surgery abscess stated forming around my areola which my health care provider has informed me is due to the dissolvable stitches not dissolving properly. It is very distressing because as one abscess goes another one appears. I am very worried! However the health care practitioner isn't. I had this surgery done because I have three children and breast fed them all. I have lost eight stones and have been a size 8-10 for the past nine years. Due to the significant weight lost my breast were out of proportion and misshapen. My GP got me the funding to have this procedure done on the NHS. She knew that this was very distressing for me. I only wanted to have an uplift because I didn't really want to have silicones put in. Every plastics consultant that I spoke to said that due to my extensive weight loss I needed them to fill out the skin that was there.The plastic surgeon did the most amazing job but I'm wishing I hadn't gone through with this procedure now that I have these abscesses.

Comment from: rhmccoy1963, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 24

I have had several abscesses on my inner thigh and back of my thighs. I had to have three of them lanced because they were so painful. I tried lancing them myself, but only got them infected. I have diabetes and am told high blood sugars can attribute to abscesses. I have a sit-down job and moving around in my office chair irritates the abscesses.

Comment from: thompsonstoy, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 28

My abscess was vaginal. It was caused from my daughter laying in the birth canal too long. This is very painful.

Comment from: Mel, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: December 27

I have had Crohn's disease for about 35 years. Four years ago I had my first perirectal abscess and I had 6 surgeries.

Comment from: 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: December 05

My abscess started on my buttocks. I'm 30 and never had one. I felt what I thought it was a pimple so I scratched it then squeezed it. It immediately swelled up and puss/blood came out. Then I somehow touched my eyelid and created another. Then I developed another one on my chin. I went to the hospital, where they prescribed me antibiotics.

Comment from: Dr.H, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: September 13

I had a lump on my back that never bothered me for about a year, then got red and started to hurt all of a sudden. I went to the doctor and without even telling me if it was an abscess or a boil, he had scheduled for it to be lanced and gave me an antibiotic. I never heard back from them on when it was scheduled for. While I was at working one night, it decided to pop.

Comment from: 19-24 Female Published: August 11

I am 21 years old and I do not have any illnesses or skin problems at all, but I am prone to skin abscesses and have had at least one abscess a year since I was nine years old. They range anywhere from the size of a golf ball to the size of a baseball, and have been on my face, legs, back and most commonly in the armpits. As everyone else has said, they are excruciatingly painful. In my experiences, the second i felt one coming on, I called the doctor and immediately asked for antibiotics. They work in a matter of a few days for me, which is helpful so I don't have to go though getting them drained. Almost every time I visit the doctor, they tell me to monitor the abscess and apply hot compresses; after 3 or 4 times doing this on separate occasions, it DOES NOT WORK. I have to convince the doctor that it does not work in my case. Not everyone's case may be as serious as mine, and hot compresses may work for others, but definitely not for me.

Comment from: Momma1, 0-2 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 11

I started getting abscesses when I was around 9 in my underarms and I am now 21 years old I still get them regularly. I have only had one that had to be lanced and drained because it was so painful, it was in my groin area, they gave me 6 shots of local anesthetics and I still felt every bit of it. I'm not sure if they are hereditary but last night I had to take my son (19 months) to the ER because he had one on his buttock. It was the worst thing I have had to go through in my entire life.

Comment from: IAMPAINFREENOW, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 22

I developed an abscess too. At first we thought it was a pimple (inner thigh). I went to the doctor and he put me on antibiotics right away for 14 days. By the third week it flared up and I ended up in the E.R. The doctor explained that they would have to do an "incision and drainage" on it. She injected my abscess with something so that I couldn't feel the cut. She cleaned it and packed it. I'm to return in two days so they can take that off, but I instantly felt relief. Got my antibiotics, pain meds, and my sanity back!

Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 04

I got my first and only abscess so far from a suture about 1 month after a surgery on my finger. The stitch is holding my ligaments together. It is painful and we hope that it will go away with clindamycin. On the other hand, taking clindamycin has its own risks such as developing C-Diff

Comment from: kscrppr, 7-12 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 31

My daughter, who was 11 at the time she had her first abscess, now is 12 and has her second in the exact same spot, upper thigh. Dr. said it was due to an infected hair follicle. I am fearful that it will continue to happen. She had the first one drained/removed surgically and the second we are in the process of changing antibiotics and drainage in two days. We caught it early this time, so it's not as painful as the first time, but still pesky.

Comment from: bbb, 35-44 Male (Caregiver) Published: July 06

My son has several abscesses all over his back. Some time they drain by themself, green or white or even bloody puse. We clean his back and put prescription cream on him but it does't help a lot. On his chest the has at lease four or five at this time. His back is doing a little better.


Health Solutions From Our Sponsors