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An abscess can develop in any organ

To the majority of the townsfolk the word "abscess" does not say anything. However, almost everyone in one way or another encountered this pathology. After all, under this incomprehensible medical term many people hide what we call an abscess or an abscess. Although in fact, the "abscess" concept is much broader.

abscess consultation

Abscess is an inflammatory disease, which in some cases is fatal

The appearance of an abscess is a very unpleasant thing. Purulent inflammation not only can cause discomfort and pain to a person, but in most cases, with the defeat of vital organs, can pose a serious threat to life. And at the same time, an abscess, at a certain stage of the development of the infectious process, can be considered as a protective reaction of our complex and extremely wisely arranged organism.

Causes of abscess

An abscess is a purulent inflammatory process that usually has a fairly clear localization. The area of ​​inflammation is delimited from healthy intact tissues by a thin, but rather strong connective tissue membrane. This membrane prevents the spread of infection throughout the body.

What happens inside the cavity of the abscess? In order to understand this more clearly, consider the formation of all known furuncles. The formation of the furuncle begins with penetration into the cavity of the hair follicle through the pores of the skin of the infectious agent. These can be staphylococci, streptococci, Pseudomonas aeruginosa or some other bacteria. Normally, the skin perfectly copes with its protective functions and such an introduction of microorganisms hostile to the human body is almost impossible, accordingly, an abscess can not form. But in some cases, human immunity can be reduced. Local protection forces on the skin are also weakening. Penetration of the infection is also possible in case of damage to the integrity of the skin.


The appearance of an abscess is a reaction of our body to the effect of infection

In addition, we all know that friendly bacteria of normal microflora live on the surface and in the pores of the skin, as well as in the cavities of the human body. Under normal conditions, they can not do us harm and do not cause an abscess. And some of the representatives of normal human microflora, on the contrary, only benefit. For example, the number of conditionally pathogenic bacteria of normoflora is regulated. Decreased local immunity of the skin can disrupt the established balance between "good" and "bad" bacteria and then pathogens will actively grow and multiply, which can lead to an inflammatory process, which is called an abscess.

The appearance of enemy cells reveals blood cells monocytes and neutrophilic leukocytes, or neutrophils. The latter begin to pull their forces to the infectious focus and attack the enemy cells. All this looks like a kind of military battle, in which the cells of our immune system almost always win. However, neutrophils, bravely protecting us from pathogenic bacteria, heroically die in the course of the battle, sacrificing their lives to defeat the enemy. It is from the bodies of deceased leukocytes that pus is formed. It is because of this that an abscess is formed. Monocytes perform the role of "cleaners". Turning into macrophage cells, they "eat" (phagocytize) the bacteria trapped by leukocytes.

In the course of the above process, a number of specific substances are released in the inflammatory focus. They are called mediators of inflammation. This includes prostaglandins, bradykinins, cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), histamine and other substances with complex names and extremely important functions. On the one hand, it is they that cause unpleasant pain in a person. On the other hand, they trigger very important processes in the body.

abscess on the skin

To localize inflammation, the body cells encapsulate it

Under the influence of mediators of inflammation, around the site of infection begins to form a capsule from the connective tissue, due to which the process is localized. Thus, the body facilitates its struggle with the abscess. In addition, in response to the release of these substances, the vessels expand in the inflammation focus, the blood flow to the infectious agent infiltrating site, which brings here a large leukocyte army, is increasing. It is through the expansion of the vessels that we can observe reddening in the area of ​​the inflamed area.

Of course, many inflammatory processes pass fairly quickly, and the body independently copes with their elimination. Purulent abscess is different from a small abscess or abscess, that it has large scales and develops, as a rule, in case of neglected or untreated infectious processes. In this case, only the protective forces of our organism can not be enough to cope with the abscess, and for a favorable outcome, it will require medication, and sometimes surgical intervention.

Timely medical care for an abscess is extremely important, especially if the process involves vital organs. The method of therapy is chosen depending on the type of abscess, its severity and the cause that caused it. So, it's time to talk about the types of abscesses and their classification.

Types of the disease

Abscess is a general enough concept, it is a process that develops in the case of infection of any tissues and organs. Infection can affect absolutely any organ of the human body. In this connection, abscesses can be classified on the basis of their localization.

One of the most famous types of abscess developing in the internal organs is appendicitis. In this case, the pathological process occurs in the blind process of the small intestine - appendix. Naturally, the only way to treat purulent appendicitis is to remove it. Untimely surgical intervention can lead to rupture of the walls of the appendix and the outflow of purulent contents into the abdominal cavity. Subsequently, the process extends already to the peritoneum and the peritonitis - abscess of the abdominal cavity develops quite rapidly.

Another very common type of abscess is the well-known flux. The disease occurs as a result of untreated caries, when the infection gradually begins to penetrate the deeper layers of the teeth, first hitting the dentin, then pulp, and after periodontitis (the periosteum of the tooth). It is also possible the occurrence of tooth abscess due to injury to the jaw or oral cavity.

People who often suffer from tonsillitis may develop a parathonsillar abscess, or phlegmonous tonsillitis. In this case, the tonsils are affected. Depending on the location of the infection, the process can be one- or two-way. Often this condition is observed in chronic tonsillitis, when the infection constantly lives in the tissues of the tonsils, causing occasional exacerbations. Chronic sore throat is the most common disease in children, but it can also occur in adulthood.

The presence of an infectious focus in the oral cavity and in the pharynx may lead to the development of the retropharyngeal abscess. The source of infection can also be nearby organs, for example, in otitis media (inflammation of the middle ear), mastoiditis (inflammation of the temporal bone), etc. Appearance of the abscess is facilitated by a decrease in general and local immunity. The most dangerous complication of this disease can be swelling of the larynx and the resulting suffocation.

One of the most serious conditions is the abscess of the brain. The cause of its development can serve as infectious processes in other organs and tissues of the body, purulent infections in nearby organs (purulent otitis or sinusitis), craniocerebral trauma. In the first case, the infectious agent is brought with a blood flow (metastatic abscess). In the second, there is an untreated, neglected infectious process that spreads to the brain tissue. Trauma is the most common cause of cerebral abscess.

Brain abscess

Brain abscess can affect any part of the brain

There are two types of brain abscess: interstitial, when the abscess is limited by a connective tissue capsule, and parenchymal when the capsule is absent, and the accumulation of pus has no clear boundaries. Parenchymal abscess of the brain is more difficult to treat and has a less favorable prognosis. If there is a suspicion of cerebral abscess, the treatment should be urgent. In urgent cases, the only possible method of treatment may be urgent surgical intervention. In the process of development of purulent inflammation, the walls of the connective tissue capsule are thinned, which threatens to rupture and effuse the purulent contents in the tissues and ventricles of the brain. In this case, the probability of a lethal outcome is high.

Another type of abscess that threatens human life is the abscess of the lung. This state can develop for several reasons. Lung abscess can occur as a complication of purulent pneumonia (inflammation of the lung caused by pyogenic staphylococcus and streptococcal strains), can result from aspiration pneumonia (pneumonia as a result of penetration of a foreign object into the lungs), may develop during the disintegration of a cancerous tumor, etc. Infection can also be infested with blood from other inflammatory foci. The disease in most cases is completely cured if the diagnosis and treatment are timely.

Purulent inflammation can also occur in the liver, being a consequence of inflammatory diseases of the digestive tract. There are two ways of infection of this organ: through the blood and through the ducts of the gallbladder. An abscess of the liver disrupts the normal functioning of this organ, which can have very serious consequences for the whole organism. After all, the liver is our main chemical laboratory, in which the toxins entering the body are inactivated.

kidney abscess

Kidney abscess can be a consequence of chronic pyelonephritis

Kidneys play an equally important role in removing toxic substances from the human body. However, this organ can also be affected by infection. In some cases, inflammation can also go into an abscess. Kidney abscess can be a consequence of chronic pyelonephritis, it can occur with obstruction of the urinary tract by concrements (stones), and may also be a complication of the kidney operation. With purulent inflammation of the kidney tissues, it is necessary to take timely measures to preserve the organ.

The consequence of inflammatory diseases of the genital organs in women can become an abscess of the Bartholin gland. This gland is located on the threshold of the vagina, and its ducts come out in the region of the labia minora. She identifies a special secret, which acts as a lubricant in sexual intercourse. When the infection penetrates the lumen of the opening duct, infection of the contents of the gland first occurs - a false abscess. Over time, the condition can be aggravated by the development of a true abscess, which is characterized by severe pain in the external genital area, as well as the appearance of edema and hyperemia in the base of the labia majora.

Separate large group of abscesses of soft tissues. About one of the manifestations of such an abscess, we have already started talking above. This includes furuncles, carbuncles, panarits, erysipelas, etc. Purulent inflammation develops in the layers of the skin or in muscle tissues. As a rule, the occurrence of this process is preceded by trauma or surgical intervention, which was carried out with insufficient compliance with asepsis rules. An abscess can also develop after injection, in case of poor treatment of the injection field, damage to the vessel, etc. Since intramuscular injections are made, as a rule, in the gluteus muscle, then in this case an abscess develops on the buttock.

Separately, we should talk about a cold abscess. For this condition, there is no hyperemia and a local increase in temperature in the area of ​​inflammation. A cold abscess can not be manifested at all. This pathology arises as one of the complications of bone tuberculosis.

Symptoms of an abscess

Any kind of abscess has a number of common symptoms, which is typical for the infectious process occurring in the body. First of all, it is a rise in body temperature. With an abscess, the temperature is subfebrile, that is, it exceeds the indicator of 38 ° C and can reach up to 41 ° C, which requires urgent medical intervention.

Along with hyperthermia, the abscess is accompanied by a general malaise, weakness, and poor health. This is due, first, to the fact that all the forces of the body are directed at the moment to fight infection. Secondly, the products of the vital activity of pathogenic bacteria cause intoxication of the organism, which also affects the general state of the patient.

Depending on which organ is affected by the abscess, a number of specific symptoms are characteristic for this condition. So, the abscess on the buttock after the injection, along with the defeat of other soft tissues, is accompanied by reddening of the area of ​​inflammation, swelling and local hyperthermia.

abscess temperature

One of the symptoms of an abscess may be an increase in temperature

Abscess in the throat (paratonzillar or zaglugochny) causes pain when swallowing, cough, and in case of laryngeal edema - suffocation. This complication is the most dangerous with a purulent abscess of the throat. Untimely rendered medical assistance or its absence can lead to death.

Brain abscess in the initial stages may be accompanied by severe, localized headaches that are associated with increased intracranial pressure. Most often, these pains occur in the morning. At later stages of the development of the process, a person may experience delusions and hallucinations. Purulent lesions of the cerebellum entail a violation of coordination of movements and orientation in space.

The abscess of the lung is accompanied by a cough, sometimes with the discharge of purulent sputum. The patient's breathing is difficult. In the chest area, painful sensations of an uncertain nature may arise. At the initial stages of the process, it is rather difficult to diagnose a pulmonary abscess. After the capsule breakthrough, a cavity is formed in the lung, which is revealed both during listening and during X-ray examination.

Abscess is a pretty dangerous condition. Breakthrough abscess, regardless of its location, threatens the development of sepsis, better known as blood poisoning. Sepsis is a generalized inflammation of the entire body, in which the causative agents of the infection, pyogenic bacteria, and also the products of their metabolism that cause severe intoxication circulate in the human blood. This condition develops literally in a few hours and, in the absence of treatment, leads to a lethal outcome. The lethality is about 75%.

Insufficiently effective treatment of an abscess can also lead to a state transition to a chronic form. In this case, the symptoms of the disease are less pronounced, they develop more slowly. Chronic abscess weakens the human body, reduces its protective reactions, and, in addition, it has the property to periodically exacerbate. In order to avoid the transition of an acute abscess to a chronic one, it is important to follow the antibiotic therapy prescribed by the doctor, to take the treatment process responsibly and to seek medical help in a timely manner.


There are two main ways of treating abscesses: surgical and medicamentous. Most often they are used together. In some cases, you can restrict the use of medications, but in most cases it is necessary to open the abscess.

antibiotics with abscess

An alternative to surgery for an abscess may be taking antibiotics

Oppression of soft tissue abscesses is usually performed under local anesthesia using 0.5 or 0.25% solution of novocaine. The tissues around the proposed incision are chipped and literally impregnated with an anesthetic solution, after which the abscess is opened, the purulent contents and dead tissue areas are removed, and then the antiseptic treatment and drainage of the formed cavity is performed. In the abscess of internal organs, more serious surgical intervention is required, but the principle of treatment remains the same.

After surgery, and sometimes immediately before him, the patient is prescribed a course of antibiotics. The choice of the drug will depend on the type of pathogen, the severity of the disease, and also on the localization of the process. Thus, with the abscess of the brain, the sodium salt of benzylpenicillin is used for treatment, since this drug is able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier into the brain tissue. In case of increased sensitivity to antibiotics of penicillin series and impossibility of their use, treatment is carried out with levomycetin. To treat purulent abscess of soft tissues, antibiotics of the penicillin group can be used, as well as more modern means from the macrolide group (erythromycin, clarithromycin, azithromycin).

In addition to antibiotics, antimicrobial agents, such as metronidazole, are also included in the abscess treatment regimen. Also, drugs that correct the disturbed metabolism, vitamin and restorative means are prescribed.

Treatment of an abscess is carried out, most often, in a hospital. With minor surgical interventions or with unopened inflammatory processes (furuncle, postinjection abscess, panaritium), an abscess can be treated at home. However, self-medication in this case is unacceptable, since it can lead to the development of severe complications, as mentioned above.

Folk methods of treatment

In the complex treatment of abscess, traditional medicine can also be used. For this, agents with pronounced antiseptic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties can be used. They include, for example, aloe juice, propolis, St. John's wort, etc. However, the possibility of using a particular folk remedy should be discussed with the doctor.

Abscess is a rather serious pathological process, indicating the active development of infection in the body. It is extremely important to stop the development of this pathology in time, in order to prevent serious complications. Be attentive to your body, do not neglect the help of specialists! Love yourself and be well!

Video about abscesses

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