Causes and Symptoms of Abscesses


Dec 17, 2015


abscessesAbscesses are typically associated with the mouth, but they can develop on any area of the body. In most cases they can be treated with antibiotics, but, in some instances, they can require an emergency trip to your nearest Complete Care location to reduce the chance of serious complications. Here is some information on why this issue occurs.

What are Abscesses?

Abscesses are areas where pus (a thick fluid that contains bacteria, dead tissue and white blood cells) collects. They can develop due to infections or other causes. There are certain types of bacteria that are more likely to form pus as they damage tissue. When the body senses this type of infection, it will activate the immune system to produce the chemicals and white blood cells needed to fight it. As a result, some tissues may die, forming a cavity that can become pus-filled. If the infection continues, the cavity will become larger.

Where Abscesses Form

Again, abscesses can develop in any portion of the body. Most of them, however, form just underneath the surface of the skin. One of the most common examples is a boil, which occurs when a hair root becomes infected. Symptoms typically include pain, redness, warmth and swelling.

There are times, however, where an abscess can form inside the body, such as within an organ or in the space between organs. A liver infection, for instance, can result in a liver abscess. Dental abscesses typically develop in the teeth or gums.

Getting Treatment

If this issue is not properly treated, it can eventually become much larger and much more painful. If it is inside the body, it can make a person very ill. If you have any reason to believe you have this problem, get to your nearest Complete Care location as soon as possible.