Diagnosis of a back abscess
Superficial abscesses on the back can usually be diagnosed by the doctor through a simple gaze diagnosis on the appearance and typical symptoms of inflammation. Deep-seated abscesses are not immediately visible from the outside. In such cases it may be necessary for the doctor to diagnose the abscess by means of an ultrasound examination. To determine which bacterium caused the abscess, the doctor may take a smear of the pus and have it analysed. In addition, it is possible to take a blood sample to examine the blood for certain inflammatory parameters.
Treatment of a back abscess
The most important thing to remember when treating an abscess is that under no circumstances should the boil itself be punctured or expressed. The treatment should only be carried out by a doctor, otherwise serious complications can occur. Smaller abscesses on the back often do not need to be treated at all and usually disappear on their own.
Larger abscesses are often extremely painful and patients must always consult a doctor to treat the abscess. Usually, the patient is given a small point of anaesthetic in the back and the doctor cuts open the abscess so that the pus can drain away and the abscess empties. Superficial abscesses can be opened through a small incision in the skin, whereas abscesses located deep under the skin must be cut out completely.
In order to prevent a purulent abscess from forming again, the pus and the inflamed tissue must be completely removed. The wound caused by the operation is not sutured, but heals openly. Abscesses are caused by a bacterial infection.
Treatment with antibiotics can help with very small abscesses or early stage inflammation. However, in the further course of the disease, the abscesses encapsulate themselves against the surrounding tissue and antibiotic treatment alone is not sufficient to successfully fight the inflammation. The capsule around the abscess not only protects the surrounding tissue from infection, but also prevents drugs from penetrating the inside of the abscess and effectively fighting the pathogens.
After surgical splitting of an abscess, the antibiotic can reach and kill the bacteria remaining in the wound. Especially in patients who have suffered from large abscesses and fever, the doctor will additionally prescribe an antibiotic after the operation. In order to prevent an abscess on the back, adequate hygiene should be ensured and clothing that does not sit too tight and rub should be worn.
In rare cases, recurring abscesses are an indication of a disorder of the immune system. The cause can be clarified by a doctor. Abscesses can also occur repeatedly, so it is recommended to prevent abscesses in everyday life.
You can find out how to prevent abscesses here: What is the best way to prevent an abscess? To prevent an abscess on the back, you should ensure that you have sufficient hygiene and that you wear clothes that are not too tight and do not rub. In rare cases, recurring abscesses are an indication of a disorder of the immune system.
The cause can be clarified by a doctor. Abscesses can also occur repeatedly, so it is recommended to prevent abscesses in everyday life. You can find out how to prevent abscesses here: What is the best way to prevent an abscess?
An abscess on the back or any other part of the body must not be expressed by yourself under any circumstances. Improperly squeezing the abscess can cause the bacteria to spread and the inflammation to get worse. If the bacteria get into the bloodstream, they cause life-threatening blood poisoning and can spread throughout the body.
Therefore, a doctor must always be consulted for the treatment of an abscess. Surgery for an abscess is the only way to permanently remove the abscess from the back. An abscess can only be treated surgically when it is mature, i.e. when sufficient pus has accumulated in the tissue cavity.
Immature abscesses can be treated with traction ointment. This is a special ointment which “pulls” the inflammation under the skin to the surface and accelerates the maturation of the abscess. During the actual operation the patient receives a local anaesthetic on the back and the doctor cuts open the abscess.
Through the opening, the purulent secretion can drain through the skin and the abscess heals. In the case of large abscesses, the doctor can place a drainage through which the pus can drain away. After surgical splitting of the abscess, the wound is not sutured but remains open.
This prevents the accumulation of pus and bacteria from re-encapsulating and leading to the formation of an abscess. For the wound dressing, a compress is soaked with an antiseptic (germicidal) liquid and placed in the wound. The patient must clean and care for the wound himself/herself until the wound has completely healed. In severe cases, a smear is taken in addition to surgery to identify the pathogen. Oral or intravenous antibiotic therapy is then prescribed.