Doctor speaking to a patient about abscess

What is an abscess? Signs, symptoms, and treatment

An abscess is a buildup of pus that forms in a specific area of the body. Infections, injuries, and underlying medical conditions can cause abscesses. They can occur anywhere and may cause pain, swelling, redness, and fever.

While abscesses can be uncomfortable, the good news is that they’re generally treatable. And the team at your local CityMD can help if you’re suffering from one.

What is an abscess?

An abscess is a localized infection characterized by a buildup of pus. Pus is a thick fluid that consists of dead cells, tissue, and bacteria. Abscesses can range in size and occur just about anywhere in your body. They can lead to severe complications if left untreated, so seek medical attention quickly if you think you have one.


Abscess symptoms

Common abscess signs and symptoms can include:

  • Pain. Abscesses often cause a sharp, throbbing, or constant pain in the affected area. The pain may worsen as the abscess grows.
  • Swelling. Abscesses typically cause swelling and inflammation in the area surrounding the infection. As a result, the skin may become red, warm, and tender to the touch.
  • Fever. An abscess may cause fever if it’s severe or spreads to other parts of the body.
  • Pus. As the abscess grows, it may produce pus. This thick fluid may drain on its own or require drainage by a health care professional.
  • Fatigue. You may feel tired or generally unwell.

Are you experiencing any of these symptoms? It's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to prevent the infection from spreading or causing additional complications.


How to treat an abscess

Typically, treatment for abscesses involves draining the pus from the abscess. Health care professionals will numb the affected area with a local anesthetic before making a small incision to drain the pus.

In addition to drainage, urgent care providers may prescribe medications to help fight any infection that may be present.

With proper treatment and care, most people with abscesses can expect to recover fully and return to their daily routine in no time.


Abscess treatment at CityMD

An abscess can be uncomfortable or painful, but with prompt expert care, you can achieve relief. CityMD offers abscess treatments, including drainage and antibiotics, to help ease your symptoms and promote healing.

If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of an abscess, don't hesitate to visit a CityMD urgent care location or schedule a virtual visit for professional, safe, and effective treatment.

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Visit any CityMD urgent care location in your community today for an evaluation with one of our expert providers.