A 34-year-old member asked:
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i've heard different things. what exactly is carbuncle?

3 doctor answers
Dr. Morris Westfried
45 years experience Dermatology
Bacterial infection: It is a boil on the skin which affects the deep portions of the area. It needs to be drained to allow the pus out. It will be packed and drainage will continue for a few days resulting in a scar at the site. If there are more than one lesion than oral antibiotics will be prescribed.
Answered on Jul 5, 2012
Dr. Tara Passow
39 years experience Dermatology
Carbuncle: A carbuncle is similar to a furuncle (boil) except that it has multiple openings and is usually larger. There can be a great deal of swelling and pain, so opening a carbuncle to get pus out and relieve pressure can help a lot with pain. Warm compresses and pain meds, especially anti-inflammatory meds, can help. I usually put the person on an antibiotic also.
Answered on Mar 26, 2013
Dr. John Ebner
17 years experience Dermatology
A type of abscess : A carbuncle is a variant if an abscess where the infection and puss expands under the skin, causing swelling, pain, possibly fever, resulting in multiple draining areas of puss overlying the swelling mass of the infection. This is often treated by opening, draining the wound and packing it with gauze and antibiotics. If not treated properly it can cause a blood infection which is quite serious.
Answered on May 27, 2013
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Related questions:

A female asked:
Dr. Richard Arden
36 years experience ENT and Head and Neck Surgery
Definitionally, : Definitionally, a furuncle is an infection of the hair follicle and it's associated oil gland (pilosebaceous unit) and usually starts out as a small, ... Read More
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A 30-year-old member asked:
Dr. Jeffrey Juchau
32 years experience Family Medicine
Carbuncle: These are infections or abscesses in the skin. They are treated with antibiotics and drainage.
A 20-year-old male asked:
Dr. Peter Kurzweil
49 years experience Internal Medicine
Size, location...: A furuncle generally refers to a collection of pus or boil that stems from a blocked hair follicle and is often caused by a skin bacteria, staph. Car ... Read More
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A female asked:
Dr. Derrick Lonsdale
72 years experience Preventive Medicine
Possibly: A carbuncle is a "boil" with multiple heads and is a serious skin infection. "zits" are usually much less virulent and smaller than a "boil".

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