Abscess Incision & Drainage in Fountain City | AFC Urgent Care
If you need treatment for a skin abscess, cyst or other wound, AFC Urgent Care can help. Visit our clinic for an incision & drainage procedure 7 days a week – no appointment necessary.
What’s the difference between an abscess and a cyst?
Cysts and abscesses are two distinct skin conditions, even though they may share some similarities in appearance.
A cyst is a sac or cavity that can develop in any part of the body, including the skin. Cysts can be filled with pus or fluid and can feel like a firm lump. They can appear anywhere on the body, and in some cases, they may not be noticeable until they become painful or start to grow in size.
On the other hand, an abscess is a pus-filled sac that occurs when the body fights an infection caused by bacteria, fungi, or parasites. Skin abscesses are the most common type of abscess and appear as a pocket of pus beneath the skin.
When dealing with painful cysts or abscesses, most medical practitioners will recommend an incision and drainage procedure. However, a cyst may not require removal if it is not causing any discomfort or pain, and it is not increasing in size or severity.
Skin Abscess Signs & Symptoms
You can recognize an abscess when you have a painful and compressible area of skin that looks like a large pimple or an open wound. The surrounding skin may feel warm to the touch and appear red and tender. In some cases, pus may also leak from the affected area.
Some abscesses may cause additional symptoms such as:
- Swelling around the wound
- Hardening of the skin’s surface
- Fever and chills (in severe cases)
Causes & Risk Factors for Skin Abscesses
Bacteria trapped beneath the skin due to blockage of sweat or oil glands can cause an abscess. When the infection and inflammation become unbearable, people usually start looking for treatment. An abscess can also occur if you have a cut or injury to the skin, making it susceptible to bacterial infection.
Certain individuals may be more prone to developing skin abscesses, including those with diabetes, a weakened immune system, severe eczema or acne or who smoke. Close contact with someone who has a Staphylococcus (staph) infection can also increase the risk.
Do I need incision & drainage?
Incision and Drainage is crucial to alleviate the pressure and pain caused by the accumulation of fluid in cysts or abscesses. I&D aims to facilitate fluid drainage, reducing the size of cysts or abscesses, preventing their spread and eliminating bacteria.
If you experience mild to severe pain, swelling or discomfort caused by a cyst or abscess, you should seriously consider I&D as a treatment option. While antibiotics may be useful in killing bacteria around the abscess, they cannot eliminate bacteria in the abscess cavity, making I&D necessary to ensure the complete elimination of harmful bacteria.
What should I expect during I&D at AFC Urgent Care?
The I&D procedure typically involves the following steps. First, the provider will thoroughly clean the area around the abscess. Then, they will administer a local anesthetic to numb the surrounding area, ensuring minimal discomfort during the procedure. After the anesthetic has taken effect, the provider will use a scalpel or another sterile instrument to make a small incision in the abscess.
The incision allows the pus to drain out, which can provide immediate relief from the pain and pressure caused by the abscess. If necessary, the provider may make additional incisions to ensure that all the pus is drained from the wound.
After the procedure, the provider will clean the area and apply a sterile dressing or bandage to prevent further infection. In some cases, the provider may prescribe antibiotics to help fight any remaining infection or to prevent the development of a new one.
Recovering from I&D
After your I&D procedure, an AFC team member will provide you with a set of instructions to ensure a successful recovery. These instructions include keeping the affected area clean and dry and taking any prescribed antibiotics.
As your wound heals, new skin will grow over the abscess site, sealing the wound. Although complications are rare, it’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately if you experience any unexpected pain, bleeding, redness, or swelling.
Our team at AFC Urgent Care is available to answer any questions you may have about your recovery process, and we encourage you to reach out to us at any time.