Furunculosis And Carbunculosis
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Furunculosis and carbunculosis are skin infections that form lumps and pus, also called furuncles and carbuncles. A furuncle (abscess) forms when a hair follicle and the skin surrounding it become infected. A carbuncle is made up of multiple furuncles, and goes much deeper into the skin.
- Antibiotic medicine: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Take them as directed.
- Ibuprofen or acetaminophen: These medicines decrease pain and fever. They are available without a doctor's order. Ask your primary healthcare provider which medicine is right for you. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. These medicines can cause stomach bleeding if not taken correctly. Ibuprofen can cause kidney damage. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
- Use lotion regularly: Apply softeners, lubricants, or moisturizing creams to your skin regularly. Stop using them if they sting or irritate your skin.
- Avoid contact with other people's wounds: Keep any wounds clean and covered with clean, dry bandages until they heal. Place used bandages in a sealed plastic bag when you throw them away.
- Do not share personal items: Use your own towel, soap, clothes, and other personal items. Do not share these items with others.
- Wash laundry correctly: Place an infected person's laundry in a plastic bag. Wash with detergent and hot water. Dry the items on the hot setting.
- Keep your skin clean: Wash your skin and hair every day. Wash your hands often. Use soap and water. Use germ-killing hand lotion or gel if no water is available.
A warm compress can decrease pain and swelling. It may also help drain pus and speed up healing. Apply moist, warm compresses for 30 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day or as directed.
Carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed and when they get wet or dirty.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- You have chills or a cough, or feel weak and achy.
- You have increased pain, redness, or swelling around the infected area.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have a fast heartbeat or chest pain.
- You have sudden trouble breathing.
- Your symptoms do not improve or are getting worse.
- Your wound has pus coming out or has a foul smell.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.