Skin Abscess Drainage: What You Need to Know

A skin abscess is a pocket of infection (pus) that can occur under the skin. These skin infections are usually quite small, a little bigger than a pimple, but some can become larger or spread throughout the body. If you have a skin abscess that is painful, red or causing other concerning symptoms, you may require abscess drainage. Here is what you need to know about skin abscesses and when you should seek urgent care to have your abscess drained.

Causes and Symptoms of a Skin Abscess

Skin abscesses occur when bacteria are able to enter a hole in the skin. Any skin injury can lead to a bacterial infection – a small cut, burn or other laceration to the skin can allow bacteria inside that can cause inflammation. The body can usually fight off these infections but sometimes an abscess will form, and the bacteria thrive, creating a pocket of pus. Symptoms of a skin abscess may include:

  • A soft bump or lump under the skin
  • Inflamed skin on top of the squishy bump
  • Increasing tenderness or pain
  • Skin around the abscess may be warm to the touch

Many small abscesses go away on their own in a matter of days. Applying a warm compress to the skin abscess can offer relief and help it drain on its own. However, some abscesses become larger and need medical care to provide effective abscess drainage.

When to Seek Abscess Drainage Treatment

If you have a skin abscess that is very painful, present for over a week or is growing larger, you may want to seek medical treatment. Those who have a skin abscess combined with a fever, chills and swelling may need to have their abscess drained. Anyone who is immunocompromised or has other serious health conditions can be at risk for severe complications from a skin abscess.

At CLEAR Immediate Care, we offer urgent care for skin abscesses. We can provide emergency abscess drainage treatment at our medical center in Chicago, IL. The procedure usually takes less than an hour and is virtually painless to perform. Our medical professional will numb the skin, drain the abscess with a needle then ensure that the infection is allowed to completely drain over the following weeks.

If you have symptoms of a skin abscess, drainage treatment is available through CLEAR Immediate Care. We offer walk-in appointments seven days a week at our facility in Chicago.