Description, Causes and Risk Factors:
Alternative Name: Carbuncle.
A condition marked by the occurrence of several carbuncles simultaneously or within a short period of time.
A carbuncle is a type of skin infection that forms in the skin and underlying tissues from a cluster of adjacent boils. Carbuncles usually form when one or more hair follicles become infected with staph bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus). Staph bacteria that cause carbuncles generally enter through a cut, scratch or other break in your skin. As soon as this occurs, specialized white blood cells called neutrophils rush to the site to fight the infection in this process we get inflammation and formation of pus in the infected area (due to debris).
If the bacteria in the carbuncle manage to enter your bloodstream, it can spread to various other parts of your body and can turn deadly. Once the bacteria enter the bloodstream it can result in sepsis (or) blood poisoning. You may also at higher risk of getting things like endocarditis, pneumonia.
When you have carbuncles, you will notice that the bumps are all very tender and red. The worst thing is that if you try to squeeze these bumps, they make the situation worse.
You are also at risk for carbuncles if you have had a previous history of skin conditions and infections. Diabetic people are at a higher risk anyway for many types of skin infections, especially if the blood sugar is not under proper control. Allergies or immune system disorders can also increases the chances of getting carbuncles.
Some sign and symptoms related to Carbuncle are as follows:
Severe pain and tenderness over the site.
Pus may come from the site, especially as time passes.
Carbuncles sometimes occur with a fever.
A carbuncle looks like a cluster of interconnected boils.
Carbuncles are easily diagnosed by a doctor just by looking at the sores on the area. Cultures may be taken of the sores to confirm which bacteria that is responsible.If you get carbuncles within a short period of time, your doctor may do blood tests to check for diabetes or other medical conditions that can increase your risk of repeated infections.
Initial treatment: Placing a warm moist cloth on the carbuncle helps it to drain, which speeds healing. Gently soak the area with a warm, moist cloth several times each day.
Medical Treatment: Carbuncles are best treated by letting the pus out. Sometimes this is done by a doctor who drains the pus using a needle and syringe. Sometimes a small cut in the skin is needed to let out the pus (incision and drainage). The wound is covered with a dressing until the skin heals. The skin usually heals quickly once the pus has been drained. A course of antibiotics is sometimes prescribed in addition to draining the pus to help clear the infection from the skin.
Practicing good hygiene habits minimizes the frequency of carbuncles and prevents the spread of infection. This includes not picking at boils, using clean towels after each bath or shower, and cleaning the skin with an antiseptic / antibacterial soap such as Betadine. Antibacterial soaps may help prevent bacteria build up on the skin and therefore reduce the chance for an abscess to form.
Diet: Avoid over-consumption of white sugar and white flour products. Eat plenty of green, orange, and yellow vegetables, which are works as cleansing agents. Increase fluids intake.
Other treatment options:
Aromatherapy: Smaller cases of carbuncles are treated with bergamot, lavender, chamomile, and clary sage.
Herbs: A blend of the tinctures of echinacea, cleavers, and yellow dock in equal parts, taken one teaspoonful three times a day can help speed the healing time for carbuncles.
Disclaimer: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.
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