How To Get Rid of Carbuncles

By Subodh / July 16, 2011

A carbuncle is a skin infection that is larger than a boil. It usually consists of one or more puss-filled openings and is a condition that is usually very unsightly. Therefore, getting rid of this problem is usually a high priority.

Further Explanation and Condition Facts

The main cause of a carbuncle is an infectious bacterial called staphylococcus (or staph for short). This is the same bacteria that is responsible for the formation of boils and thus a carbuncle is though of as a larger, more severe boil.

A more practical explanation of this problem’s origin is this: A carbuncle forms when one or more of your hair follicles is infected by bacteria, and sometimes this condition travels to the nose and throat passages.

Also, when the skin is cut or scratched bacteria can enter through it this way and that is what causes infection. The inflammatory appearance of a carbuncle results from white blood cells working hard to fight against this infection.

Carbuncles Vs. Boils

The main distinction between a carbuncle and a boil is that the carbuncle is one resulting in a deeper and more severe infection than the boil. Carbuncles also develop more slowly than a boil and they also heal more slowly, and they are more likely to leave a scar especially when scratched at time when infection occurs.

Here are some ways to get rid of carbuncles:

1. If you need treatment, a hot or cold compress would work. A hot compress helps lessen the pain and it also can help extract the pus faster. Simply put, this is a hot towel or other warm object and water placed on the infected area.

The cold compress is similar, but involves a wet towel immersed in cold water and/or a cold towel wrapped in ice. Some washing advice is provided in the next step.

1. Wash the infections regularly. After a cold or hot compress causes the carbuncle to burst an antibacterial soap and running water can wash away the pus. Then, a medical bandage and medicated ointment can be applied until area is completely healed.

2. This washing procedure should be repeated two to three times a day. You should also keep the wound dressed to prevent spread to other parts of your body.

3. Do not scratch or pop your carbuncles. Never pop your carbuncles, and by all means never scratch them. These two actions are the fastest way to speed up possibility of spread of infection to other parts of your body way beyond the initial source.

Along the lines of not popping or scratching, dirty hands or infected pointed objects (i.e. sewing needle or pin) can damage the lower layers of the skin. The pus should be drawn out by the use of a compress as explained in the previous step.

4. When in doubt about your skin health, see a doctor. The most important reason to do so is if you want to make sure the condition you are experiencing is correctly diagnosed. This will ensure increased chances of proper treatment.

In some of the more severe cases an antibiotic treatment is given. In the worst of cases, however, the doctor will need to drain the pus of this particular abscess and then cut it out/off with a lancet or scalpel. Usually this procedure is done while the patient is under anesthesia.