An abscess is a painful condition with a collection of pus in an area of the body. The bacterial infection is the common cause, especially of staphylococcus aureus. An abscess can occur anywhere in the body internally or externally. Externally it develops beneath the skin which is called a skin abscess and internally it can develop in an organ or in the peritoneal spaces between the organs.
Symptoms of abscess
Skin abscess: skin abscesses usually occur as a result of infected boils. A skin abscess usually occur when there is a minor wound or a blocked oil or sweat gland and the bacteria gets into it through the break in the skin barrier. The most common sites of skin abscesses are armpits, and chest, neck, groins and buttocks. The symptoms of a skin abscess are:
- A swollen pus-filled lump beneath the skin
- Tenderness and redness
- Fever and chills
Internal abscess: Internal abscesses are the collection of fluids which develop inside the abdominal cavity. The most common causes of internal abscesses are any infection or inflammation of an organ, abdominal surgery, etc. The usual symptoms are:
- General discomfort
- Pain in the affected area
- Signs of infection such as fever and chills
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
Other types of Abscess
- Perianal abscess: a collection of pus in the rectum and anus
- Bartholin’s cyst or abscess: infection of Bartholin’s glands near the vagina
- Periodontal abscess: abscess around a tooth or in the gums
- Peritonsillar abscess: infection and collection of pus between the tonsils and the pharyngeal wall
- Pilonidal abscess: abscess in the cleft of the buttocks
- Spinal and brain abscess: a collection of fluid inside the cranial cavity and around the spinal cord
Causes of Abscesses
An abscess can occur:
- As a result of bacterial infection
- As a complication of an existing infection such as a boil or appendicitis
Treatment of an Abscess
A skin abscess of small size shrinks and drains naturally on its own. It dries up and heals without any surgical procedure or treatment. But larger abscesses might need incision and drainage. Internal abscesses are difficult to detect and need medical care and attention as it can cause serious complications.
Prevention of Abscess
- Wash the hands regularly with a hand wash or soap.
- Apply warm compress to the affected area
- Do not try to drain the abscess by squeezing or pressing on the affected area.
- Avoid cuts and nicks while shaving the hairy parts such as underarms or pubic area.
- Avoid sharing baths and personal items such as razors, towels, etc.
- Clean the hands and towels properly after touching the affected parts to avoid infection.
- A weak immune system
- Chronic inflammatory condition
- Infection with staphylococcal bacteria
Homeopathic remedies for Abscess
Hepar sulphur: It is a frequently used remedy for painful abscesses with pus. It is indicated for anal abscess with throbbing or splinter-like pains. The parts are very sensitive to slightest touch.
Silicea: It is indicated for suppurative conditions such as abscesses which are slow to heal. Thin, watery and offensive pus discharge. It is useful in cases of anal abscess and fistula with offensive discharges.
Mercurius: It is very useful when the pus has formed in the abscess. Greenish discharges which are thin and watery in nature. Intense pain with redness. It is very effective in cases of dental abscess and quinsy.
Myristica: It is used to treat anal abscess and anal fistula and it hasten the suppurative process. It helps to promote healing and speeds up the recovery.
Calcarea Sulph: It is indicated in recurrent abscesses where there is thick, lumpy and yellow pus discharge. The discharge may be tinged with blood.
Belladonna: It is one of the best homeopathic remedies for abscesses in the initial stages where there is much redness and swelling. The parts are red, hot with intense pain and swelling. Pain throbbing, pulsating and is tender to touch.
Merc Sol: It is the best homeopathic remedy for anal abscess when the pus discharge is thin and green in color. The pus discharge is streaked with blood and the discharges are putrid and acrid in nature.
Paeonia: It is one of the best homeopathic medicines for anal abscess with itching and discharge of offensive fluid. Burning pains with itching which is worse from sitting, during and after passing stool. It is also a good medicine to treat anal fissures.
Lachesis: Indicated in case of abscess with thin, dark, ichorous discharges which is offensive in nature. The affected parts have a purplish hue.
Arsenicum album: Abscesses with great burning sensation, marked debility and discharge of watery, ichorous pus. Tendency to formation of gangrene with intolerable burning pains.
Sulphur: It is indicated for unhealthy skin with tendency to skin infections such as boils and abscesses. Profuse discharges with hectic fever.
Arnica: It is indicated for recurring abscesses and boils and those that do not mature. Boils and abscesses that appear in groups. Bloody discharge and the parts are very sore, purplish in color.
Echinacea: It is the best antiseptic homeopathic medicine for abscess with suppuration and symptoms of blood poisoning.
Nitric acid: It is indicated in suppurations and abscesses of the glands, especially in the groins and armpits. The discharge is offensive, excoriating and dirty, greenish-yellow in color.
Pulsatilla: It is very useful in treating abscesses with a discharge of copious, bloody, yellowish or greenish pus.
Calendula: It is the best homeopathic medicine for abscess where the pus is thick and yellow without inflammation. It helps to promote healthy granulations and healing of the wounds.
Pyrogenium: It is effective for recurring abscess with fever and septic conditions.