Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Information and Resources

Abscess

Prevention

Maintain good personal hygiene by washing your skin with soap and water regularly.

  • Take care to avoid nicking yourself when shaving your underarms or pubic area.
  • Seek immediate medical attention for any puncture wounds, especially if:
    • You think there may be some debris in the wound
    • You have one of the listed medical conditions
    • You are on steroids or chemotherapy

Outlook

Once treated, the abscess should heal.

  • Many people do not require antibiotics.
  • The pain often improves immediately and subsides more each day.
  • Wound care instructions from your doctor may include wound repacking, soaking, washing, or bandaging for about 7 to 10 days. This usually depends on the size and severity of the abscess.
  • After the first 2 days, drainage from the abscess should be minimal to none. All sores should heal in 10-14 days.

Synonyms and Keywords

abscess, abscesses, boils, carbuncles, furuncles, hidradenitis suppurativa, pilonidal abscess, pustules, whiteheads

1|2|3

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on October 25, 2013

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Can you catch one?
Woman sitting in front of UV lights
Is yours working?
woman using breath spray
What's causing yours?
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
bowl of yogurt with heart shape
Eat for a healthy heart.
woman doing pushups
To help you get fit.
Colored x-ray of tooth decay
Know what to look for.
Woman sitting with child
Do you know the symptoms?
mosquito
Stings, bites, burns, and more.
Allentown, PA
Are you living in one?
Thyroid exam
See how much you know.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.