Abscesses are formed when the skin is invaded by micro-organisms. Treatment is primarily through incision and drainage (I&D).

Most abscesses are found on the extremities, buttocks, breast, axilla, groin, and areas prone to friction or minor trauma, but they may be found in any area of the body. Abscesses that grow larger than 5 mm will require I&D as a result of an increase in collection of pus, inflammation, and formation of the abscess cavity.  Under local anesthesia, a small linear incision is made to drain all the pus inside. The procedure ends with the doctor applying sterile dressing on the wound.

Is this for me?
A large, swollen abscess needs immediate attention by a doctor. It can no longer be addressed by traditional remedies like a hot compress. If you have one, it is best to go have an I&D right away.

How long does it take?
The whole procedure takes 20 – 30 minutes.

How long is the downtime?
Minimal downtime.