An abscess may be defined as a localized collection of pus, congesting body tissues or internal cavities of the body. The pus collects in a pit surrounded by consolidated neighboring tissues. The pus is composed of white blood cells that accumulate as an outcome of the infection fighting process triggered by immune system. Abscess, in other words, is an inflammatory response of the body to the factors causing it. The immune system prevents the spreading of the infection to the rest of the body by captivating it in a cavity or capsule like structure. The wall of an abscess is made up of lymph and it varies in thickness and consistency.

When an abscess is about to form, the area starts to swell, turn shiny, glazed and acquires a purplish-red hue. Gradually the swelling aggravates and a soft, compressible mass develops; it is quite painful, warm and tender to touch. As the abscess reaches an advanced stage, it may point or a head may develop. Pus collects at the summit or head of the abscess. Finally the abscess may burst open all by itself and spontaneous drainage may occur. However complicated abscesses may require surgical removal. Fever, nausea and vomiting may accompany the mature stages of abscess formation.

Abscess could be of the following types: skin abscess or boils (armpits, groins etc are the vulnerable regions), peri-rectal (abscess in rectal area), Bartholin's (abscess in the external vaginal area), pilonidal (abscess along the tail bone), and hepatic (abscess in liver), and dental (abscess in teeth), peritonsillar (abscess in tonsils) etc. In fact, it can occur any where and every where. Brain, kidney, lungs, breasts, neck etc are all at the risk of getting abscess.

Causes of Abscess

1. Obstruction in the oil or sweat glands
2. Inflammation of hair follicles
3. Minor cuts or punctures in skin
4. Surgical procedure
5. Foreign bodies like needle or splinter getting lodged in the skin.
6. Bacterial infection (Staphyloccocus aureus)
7. Fungal infection
8. Treatment procedures like chronic steroid therapy, chemotherapy, dialysis for kidney failure.
9. Weakened immune system
10. Medical conditions like diabetes, AIDS, cancer, Sickle's cell disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, peripheral vascular disease, severe trauma, severe burns etc.

Home Remedies

1. Turmeric rich in anti-bacterial properties can be quite helpful in treating abscess. Mix turmeric with Aloe Vera to make a paste. Apply the paste on abscess, cover with a soft cloth and keep overnight. Repeat this remedy for 3-4 days to get rewarding results.

2. Crush fenugreek leaves and make a thick paste with water. Apply on abscess and allow drying. After it has dried, clean the area with a cloth soaked in warm water. This heals the abscess remarkably.

3. Combine crushed Margosa leaves with turmeric to make a paste. Apply on abscess. It functions as a wonder balm in healing abscess.

4. Smear the abscess with lavender oil to get cured fast.

5. Make a paste of dried orange peels and Aloe Vera gel. Apply on abscess twice daily. This remedy will show marked improvement within 2-3 days.

6. Combine potato and tomato extracts and apply on abscess. This reduces inflammation and heals the abscess.

7. Application of drumstick root paste on abscess is a useful remedy.

8. Combine fresh lemon juice with garlic extracts and apply on abscess. It will burn a little but it successfully drags out the infection to the skin surface and expedites the healing process.

9. Combine castor oil and turmeric to make a paste. Apply on abscess. This is an effective home remedy for abscess.

10. Application of turpentine on abscess also helps to get rid of it.

11. Prepare a decoction from Violet leaves and apply on abscess. This is highly beneficial in treating abscess.

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