An abscess can occur anywhere on the body. An abscess is a pus-filled fluid sac that grows in a cavity on your skin. They're usually the result of some form of infection, and can be visually observed as a bump or lump on the skin. The area can be extremely tender and painful, and warm to the touch. The most common locations for a skin abscess are the groin, the armpit and in other body creases where sweat glands may clog, leading to inflammation of hair follicles that eventually create a boil or abscess.
Your doctor will be able to observe the location and size of the abscess. He'll check the lymph nodes closest to the abscess and may draw blood for blood cultures to determine degree of infection or even a wound culture, but will also want to ask you additional questions, such as:
Incision and drainage of the abscess may not be possible if the pus inside the abscess or boil has hardened. Before that, he may be able to lance the abscess to relieve buildup up pressure caused by pus. However, he may also opt to incise the abscess and drain the sac using the following procedure. The doctor will:
After the wound has been bandaged, you'll be given instructions how to care for the drained abscess site. You should feel better right away, but you may be given pain medication if the abscess was large or in a sensitive area of your body. Under certain circumstances, you may also be given an antibiotic.