Furunculosis: Description, Causes and Risk Factors:A condition marked by the presence of furuncles, often chronic and recurrent.Alternative Name: Boils.FurunculosisFurunculosis is an infection of a hair follicle. It is usually caused by a bacterium called Staphylococcus aureus (A type species of the genus Staphylococcus). A furuncles looks like a small red lump on the skin that is tender. The surrounding skin may be swollen and inflamed. Pus (thick, infected fluid) fills the centre of the furuncles.Chronic furunculosis is a condition where you have crops of furuncles that occur over a period of time. The furuncles can develop continuously, or occur from time to time.Furunculosis usually form when one or more hair follicles become infected with staph bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus). Staph bacteria that cause furuncles 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. This leads to inflammation and eventually to the formation of pus (A fluid product of inflammation, consisting of a liquid containing leukocytes and the debris of dead cells and tissue elements liquefied by the proteolytic and histolytic enzymes that are elaborated by polymorphonuclear leukocytes).If the bacteria in the furuncle 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.Risk factors may include:Diabetes.
  • Poor personal hygiene.
  • Crowded living arrangements.
  • Jobs or hobbies that expose them to greasy or oily substances, especially petroleum products.
  • Allergies or immune system disorders.
  • Family members with recurrent skin infections.
If you have an area of skin that is prone to furuncle, keep the area clean and dry, and avoid wearing tight clothing as it does not allow the skin to breathe. Washing the area with antibacterial soap may help. At the earliest sign of irritation or a bump at a hair follicle, use warm compresses to open up the blocked pore and drain any early infection. If you develop signs of inflammation or infection at a hair follicle (folliculitis) as a result of shaving, you should avoid shaving in that area to prevent further infection or complication.Symptoms:A furuncle generally starts as an itchy, red, painful lump.Over time, the area becomes large, firm and hard.
  • There is redness and swelling around the furuncle.
  • The area is usually painful and warm to touch.
  • May weep, ooze, curst.
Other symptoms may include:Fever. Diagnosis:Your doctor can diagnose furunclesby examining your skin. Skin or mucosal biopsy culture may need to rule out bacteria.If you get several furuncles 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.Treatment:Small furuncles may subside and go without any treatment. You can ease pain by covering the boil with a flannel soaked in hot water. Do this for 30 minutes, 3-4 times a day.
  • Larger furuncles and 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.
Preventive measures may include:Wound Care: Thoroughly clean even small cuts and scrapes wash well the cut with clean water and apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment.
  • Eat a healthy diet: Instead of reaching for sugary or fat-laden foods, choose whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and small amounts of lean protein.
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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