Carbuncle is a type of infection of the skin affecting multiple hair follicles. The condition occurs when the hair follicle gets inflamed which is manifested by abscess forming under the skin. People with this kind of skin infection often confuse it with boils, but carbuncle is more severe and contagious. Those who have more than one pustule are suffering from a medical condition called carbunculosis.
Carbuncle can be treated at home but utmost care must be taken in order to prevent it from spreading and getting worse. It is important for people suffering from this infection to seek medical treatment when they experience severe pain and other upsetting symptoms for more than a couple of weeks.
Risk factors for carbuncle
Anyone can be infected with carbuncle but some people are more susceptible than others. These include those who are:
Diabetes makes it difficult for the body to fight off skin infection.
- Weak immune system
Low immunity makes it easy for the said bacterial infection to develop.
Middle-aged or elderly men will most likely get this kind of skin infection.
- Suffering from other skin problems
Skin disorders, such as eczema, acne and dermatitis, damage the protective layer of the skin.
- Living with someone with carbuncle
Carbuncle is highly contagious, making it easy for anyone to get it from an infected family member.
What are the signs and symptoms of carbuncle?
Carbuncle is manifested by a group of boils occurring on the thighs, shoulders and back portion of the neck. The pustules are slow-growing and the infection is often accompanied by chills, fever and fatigue. The infection could be very small, like a bean; or as big as the size of a golf ball. Carbuncle is a bacterial infection caused by the staph bacteria (staphylococcus aureus) which enter the body through a cut and inflicts the hair follicles.
What are the diagnostic and treatment procedures for carbuncle?
The diagnosis of carbuncle involves examining the pus inside the abscess to determine whether the infection is due to the typical staph bacteria or from one that has become resistant to penicillin-type of antibiotics. The treatment often involves draining the carbuncle pus and a regimen of antibiotics.