Treatments for Abscess

Often, the pus of an abscess must be drained by a physician. Ordinarily, the body will handle the remaining infection. Sometimes antibiotics are prescribed. The doctor may often put a piece of cloth or rubber, called a drain, in the cavity of the abscess to prevent it from closing until all the pus has drained.

Bentonite clay packs with a small amount of goldenseal powder (Hydrastis canandensis) can be placed on the site of a superficial abscess and used to draw out the infection. Tea tree oil (Melaleuca spp.) and garlic (Allium sativa) directly applied to abscesses may also help to clear them.

Applications of a hot compress to the skin over the abscess will hasten the draining or the reabsorption of the abscess. Contrast hydrotherapy, using alternating hot and cold compresses, can also be used. Additionally, localized warm/hot soaks three to five times daily frequently brings an abscess to heal.

Homeopathic remedies that can be taken to help diminish abscess formation include belladonna, silica, Hepar sulphuris, and calendula. Also, acupuncture may be recommended to help treat pain caused by an abscess. In addition, vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, zinc, liquid chlorophyll, and garlic are useful as supportive daily nutrients to help clear up abscesses.

Once the abscess is properly drained, it should clear up in a few days. Any underlying diseases will determine the overall outcome of the condition. Recurrent abscesses, especially those on the skin, return due to either defective/altered immunity, or staph overgrowth, where there is high bacterial colonization on the skin.

The patient should consult a physician for treatment with which to wash the skin areas, and treatment to eradicate colonization. If the abscess ruptures into neighboring areas or if the infectious agent spills into the bloodstream, serious consequences are likely.

Abscesses in and around the nasal sinuses, face, ears, and scalp may spread the infection into the brain. Abscesses in the abdominal cavity, such as in the liver, may rupture into that cavity. Blood poisoning, or septicemia, is an infection that has spilled into the bloodstream and then spreads throughout the body.

These are emergency situations where the patient needs to be seen by a physician as soon as possible. It is important to take note that abscesses in the hand may be more serious than they might appear. Due to the intricate structure and the overriding importance of the hand, any hand infection must be treated promptly and competently.