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Boil and Abcess Treatment in Phoenix and Surprise, AZ

Our skin acts as a barrier to the outside world. At times, this barrier is breached and an inflammatory process will begin under the skin. Our body tries to wall off this area of inflammation, but occasionally cannot resolve it on its own.

Boils and cellulitis

Although boils are very common (over 200,00 cases per year in the United States), large boils and clusters of boils, referred to as carbuncles, need to be seen by a doctor. When this occurs, the area can become infected with bacteria. This can lead to a painful, hot area that can either drain a pus-like substance or become encapsulated under the skin. These can be treated with injections, incisions, and drainage, or monitored if they are non-infected and asymptomatic. Boils typically heal within 1 to 3 weeks, but a carbuncle will require a more intense treatment and longer healing time. 

Related Conditions

Folliculitis is inflammation, and generally superficial infection of the hair follicles. It is characterized by red bumps and pustules. It may be caused by bacteria (most common staph aureus), fungi, viruses, or parasites.

Furuncle (a boil) is an infection under the skin that causes a painful, pus-filled nodule. It involves the hair follicles and usually occurs in high-friction areas such as the neck, underarms, groin, buttocks, and between the thighs.

Carbuncle is several inflamed follicles into a single inflammatory mass.

Abscess is a collection of pus in the deeper skin tissues. It is typically painful, tender, and red. Generally these require incision and drainage of the abscess and antibiotics for treatment.

Cellulitis is an infection of the skin with or without an abscess. It occurs when bacteria enters the skin when the skin barrier is compromised (such as trauma, skin inflammation, swelling, and obesity). It results in redness, warmth, and tenderness.


Treatments may include topical and/or oral antibiotics, warm compresses, intralesional steroids to reduce inflammation, and/or incision and drainage. A culture may also be obtained. At Regency, we will help you determine exactly what your condition is, and how to best treat it.

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