The most important treatment of the abscess is always the opening of the abscess with emptying of the pus. Antibiotic therapy is often not necessary as long as the pathogens have not spread to the surrounding tissue. However, if the pathogens have spread, there is a risk of blood poisoning (sepsis), which must be treated with antibiotics immediately.
If the abscess is superficial, it can be opened through the skin under local anaesthetic. Deeper abscesses or organ abscesses must be punctured using imaging techniques. Thus the pus of the abscess can be drained during treatment.
In order to avoid new pus formation, the abscess cavity is rinsed after opening and then provided with a drainage. This ensures that no new pus can form after the treatment, which would have to be drained again. Abscesses of this type should be treated under general anaesthesia if possible, as regional anaesthesia procedures can lead to germ transfer to surrounding tissue.
If an abscess is not treated properly and sufficiently, the abscess membrane may collapse. The consequence is that the bacteria in it can spread into the body and thus into organs, free body cavities or, in the worst case, into the bloodstream. The spread of the pathogens can lead to serious organ diseases up to blood poisoning and thus be life-threatening.
For this reason, an abscess should not be opened without medical care. Often affected persons feel the need to open the abscess themselves, as this leads to significant relief and pain relief. If the abscess is not opened properly and insufficient medication is given, self-treatment can have serious consequences. To avoid these complications, it is recommended to prevent abscesses in advance. You can find out how you could do this next time here: What is the best way to prevent an abscess?
The treatment with antibiotics
Since an abscess is a clinical picture caused by bacterial pathogens, the administration of antibiotics is considered to be the drug treatment of first choice. The most common cause of the development of an abscess is a strong increase of the bacterium “Staphylococcus aureus“. These are pathogens that are part of the natural skin environment and can also be detected in the respiratory tract.
Normally these bacterial pathogens fulfil a specific task. Overpopulation, which can lead to the development of pathological processes, is suppressed by the healthy organism at the level of the immune system. On the basis of this information, the most effective medication from the group of antibiotics can be selected and administered for the treatment of an abscess.
Both the exact form of administration and the dosage of antibiotics must be chosen depending on the severity of the abscess. Light forms can in many cases be treated by applying local antibiotic ointments. Furthermore, the affected patients should use an irritant ointment for treatment, especially in the early stages.
Drugs that contain ammonium bituminosulfate are particularly suitable for the treatment of abscesses. The combination of antibiotic and ammonium botuminosulfate ointment reduces the spread of the bacterial pathogens and at the same time induces local inflammatory reactions in the area of the abscess. A strong expansion of the vessels allows more blood and in this way more defence cells to be directed to the abscess.
As a result, the abscess cavity is rapidly encapsulated. The pus is emptied in the direction of the skin surface. Pronounced clinical pictures are usually opened surgically.
Pronounced abscesses cannot usually be successfully treated by the administration of antibiotics alone. The reason for this is the fact that the antibiotics can only reach the causative pathogens in small quantities due to the capsule surrounding the abscess. In order to be able to initiate a treatment of the abscess that is as accurate as possible, the secretion that is pumped during the opening should be examined for germs.
In addition, the one-week administration of a drug from the group of antibiotics has proven to be particularly helpful in the treatment of pronounced abscesses. As long as the exact pathogen has not been identified, the attending physician usually prescribes a so-called broad-spectrum antibiotic, whose effect is directed against a large number of bacteria. In everyday clinical practice, dicloxacillin and antibiotics from the group of cephalosporins are mainly used. If the causative pathogen could be identified by a smear, the treatment of the abscess should be carried out by administration of pathogen-specific antibiotics.