The doctor may open and drain the abscess.
- The area around the abscess will be numbed with medication.
- It is often difficult to completely numb the area, but in general local anesthesia can make the procedure almost painless.
- You may be given some type of sedative if the abscess is large.
- The area will be covered with an antiseptic solution and sterile towels placed around it.
- The doctor will cut open the abscess and totally drain it of pus and debris.
- Once the sore has drained, the doctor will insert some packing into the remaining cavity to minimize any bleeding and keep it open for a day or two.
- A bandage will then be placed over the packing, and you will be given instructions about home care.
- Most people feel better immediately after the abscess is drained.
- If you are still experiencing pain, the doctor may prescribe pain pills for home use over the next 1-2 days.
Next Steps: Follow-up
Follow carefully any instructions your doctor gives you.
- The doctor may have you remove the packing yourself with instructions on the best way to do this. This may include soaking or flushing.
- Be sure to keep all follow-up appointments.
- Report any fever, redness, swelling, or increased pain to your doctor immediately.
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
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.