Abscess on the forehead

Definition

An abscess on the forehead is a cavity filled with pus, which has formed due to an infection with bacteria. The body encapsulates the abscess with a thin membrane to prevent the infection from spreading to surrounding tissue.

Causes

Basically, abscesses can form anywhere on the body surface or on all organs. Pimples often develop on the forehead, which are already small abscesses. The common pus pimples are a relatively harmless form of an abscess, which develops when the fine pores of the facial skin become clogged with excess sebum and skin scales.

The clogged pores are colonized by bacteria and lead to local inflammation with pus formation. Abscesses are formed by germs, such as bacteria or fungi, which multiply on the skin. In most cases, the main cause of the abscesses is the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, a component of the natural skin flora of humans.

The bacteria enter the tissue through small injuries to the skin and lead to infection. By pressing around and removing skin impurities, small wounds can develop on the forehead, into which pathogens that cause illness can penetrate and cause an abscess. The immune system tries to fight the bacteria, but does not succeed and therefore encapsulates the inflammation with a thin membrane from the remaining tissue.

Persons with a weak immune system, such as those with cancer and those taking immunosuppressive drugs, are particularly susceptible to abscesses. An unhealthy diet and hormonal fluctuations favour the development of skin impurities from which abscesses can develop. Even if the skin barrier is no longer intact, as is the case for example with people suffering from neurodermatitis or allergies, the bacteria can easily penetrate deep under the skin and cause abscesses.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of an abscess on the forehead is made relatively clearly by means of the typical skin changes. The doctor can also take a smear of the purulent secretion and thus determine the exact pathogen. In case of fever or a strong spread of the inflammation, blood can be taken from the patient and the inflammation values can be analysed.

Symptoms

An abscess on the forehead is a visible accumulation of pus, which is separated from the rest of the tissue by a capsule. When the abscess has matured under the skin, a yellowish-white pus head is visible in the middle. When touched, the abscess can open spontaneously and the pus empties.

The tissue around the abscess is strongly reddened and swollen. An abscess can cause throbbing pain. The skin around the inflammation feels warm and is very sensitive to touch.

If the inflammation spreads to the surrounding tissue, other symptoms such as fever, aching limbs and a general feeling of illness may occur. A large abscess on the forehead is particularly dangerous because the brain is in close proximity to the site of inflammation and can easily be attacked by the pathogens. The result is a life-threatening abscess in the brain.

Then headaches, dizziness and clouding of consciousness also occur. If an abscess on the forehead causes additional headaches, a doctor should be consulted immediately. There is a risk that the bacteria have spread from the pus accumulation via the surrounding tissue into the bloodstream.

They may have passed through the venous blood outflow and caused a so-called sinus vein thrombosis, which is life-threatening. The possibility of a brain abscess must also be excluded. Brain abscesses are often associated with headaches, clouding of consciousness, nausea and vomiting. At this point the editorial staff recommends the following article: Head abscess