Skip to main content

Abscess in Children


An abscess is an area under your child's skin where pus (infected fluid) collects. An abscess is often caused by bacteria, fungi, or other germs that get into an open wound. Your child can get an abscess anywhere on his or her body.

Skin Abscess


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.

Emotional support:

Stay with your child for comfort and support as often as possible while he is in the hospital. Ask another family member or someone close to the family to stay with your child when you cannot be there. Bring items from home that will comfort your child, such as a favorite blanket or toy.


  • Antibiotics help treat infection caused by bacteria.
  • Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for your child's medicine.


Your child may need an ultrasound to make sure the infection has not spread into deeper tissues.


  • Incision and drainage is a procedure used to remove pus and fluid from the abscess. Your child's healthcare provider will make a cut in the abscess so it can drain. Then gauze may be put into the wound and covered with a bandage.
  • Surgery may be needed to remove the abscess. Your child's healthcare provider may do this if the abscess is on your child's hands or buttocks. Surgery can decrease the risk that the abscess will come back.


An abscess that is drained or removed may leave a scar on your child's skin. The infection may spread to other places in your child's body.


You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2021 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.