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What is the difference between a boil and carbuncle?
3 doctors weighed in

Dr. Keira Barr
Dermatology
2 doctors agree
In brief: Single vs multiples
Boils and carbuncles are painful, pus-filled bumps that form under your skin when hair follicles become inflammed and infected by bacteria.
Boils (furuncles) usually start as red, tender lumps. The lumps quickly fill with pus, grow larger and more painful until they rupture and drain. A carbuncle is a cluster of boils that form a connected area of infection under the skin.

In brief: Single vs multiples
Boils and carbuncles are painful, pus-filled bumps that form under your skin when hair follicles become inflammed and infected by bacteria.
Boils (furuncles) usually start as red, tender lumps. The lumps quickly fill with pus, grow larger and more painful until they rupture and drain. A carbuncle is a cluster of boils that form a connected area of infection under the skin.
Dr. Keira Barr
Dr. Keira Barr
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