An abscess on the back is a cavity filled with pus, which is caused by the death of cells and the melting of tissue. Colloquially, an abscess is also known as a large pus pimple, boil or boil. The abscess is separated from the surrounding tissue by a capsule to prevent the inflammation from spreading in the body. Under no circumstances should an abscess on the back be self-treated, as otherwise the inflammation can become even worse. Those affected must consult a doctor.
Symptoms of a back abscess
An abscess on the back can lie deep under the skin and is not always directly visible from the outside. Depending on how severe the inflammation is, the abscess can vary in size: the size ranges from small nodules to boils several centimetres in size. There is a large accumulation of pus under the skin on the back and the abscess is clearly palpable as a round hardening.
In some cases – similar to a pus pimple – a white-yellowish pus head is visible on the skin. An abscess is accompanied by the typical symptoms of inflammation, including severe redness, warming and swelling of the affected area. The area on the back is throbbing and extremely sensitive to pressure.
The skin above the abscess is very tight. As a rule, abscesses are extremely painful and sitting or lying down can cause massive pain. Large abscesses can also cause fever, fatigue and a general feeling of illness.
If the abscess opens up and the bacteria spread through the body, life-threatening complications can occur. The pathogens can enter the bloodstream and cause blood poisoning (sepsis). This is an inflammatory reaction that affects the whole body and causes high fever, chills and loss of consciousness.
Causes of a back abscess
An abscess generally forms as a result of infection or injury to the skin, which allows pathogens to enter the body. Typical pathogens of abscesses are Staphylococcus aureus or streptococci, which occur naturally on human skin. The body reacts to the bacteria with an inflammatory response and tries to fight the pathogens.
The inflammation causes pus to form, which collects in a newly formed cavity of melted tissue. Pus is a whitish-yellowish secretion that consists mainly of lost immune cells, killed bacteria and dead tissue. The body encapsulates the inflammation with a connective tissue sheath to protect the surrounding tissue from damage and prevent the infection from spreading.
A weakened immune system is often the cause of an abscess, for example in people with poorly controlled diabetes mellitus type 2. Through small injuries or abrasions, the bacteria get under the skin and the body is unable to get a grip on the infection. But an abscess on the back can also have other causes.
In puberty, the hormone balance changes, causing skin changes and pimples to appear. By pressing around and scratching open the pimples, pathogens can get into the wound and an abscess can form. Wearing tight clothing that rubs against the back rubs the skin.
As a result, pathogens can penetrate the body and lead to the formation of an abscess. A lack of personal hygiene can also promote the formation of an abscess. – How can the immune system be strengthened? – Which household remedies strengthen the immune system?