How do I Treat a Facial Carbuncle?

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  • Written By: Nat Robinson
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 17 October 2019
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A facial carbuncle is a pus-filled lump formed under the skin on the face. The lump is generally composed of multiple boils or furuncles. In most cases, a carbuncle is caused by staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Commonly, a carbuncle will form if the bacteria invades hair follicles on any area of the body, leading to an infection. Often, small carbuncles may be treated at home, however, very large lumps may need professional treatment.

One of the best home carbuncle treatments is applying warm compressions. The compressions may force pus from the facial carbuncle, which will need to be drained for healing to take place. To prepare a warm compress, soak a clean cloth in warm water for a few minutes. Check to make sure the cloth is not so hot that you may be burned, then apply the cloth to the carbuncle and hold it there for a few minutes. The compressions may be repeated several times throughout the day.

If your facial carbuncle is very large and painful, you may need to seek professional treatment. This will generally involve making a trip to your personal doctor. Often, doctors will need to cut an incision into a carbuncle for the pus to properly drain. For many people with carbuncles, this is the most successful method of treatment. If the doctor has to drain your carbuncle, he or she will generally prescribe antibiotics to resolve any of the infection that is left.


A health care professional may prescribe an anti-bacterial treatment for your facial carbuncle as well. It is vital to keep the carbuncle and its surrounding area as sterile and clean as possible. For this reason, anti-bacterial products may be used. The products may include facial washes, soaps and topical ointments that may be applied directly to the infected area. Most of the time, an individual will be advised to use anti-bacterial agents more than once a day.

If you have a facial carbuncle, you should dedicate a generous amount of time to providing tender facial care for yourself. It is important to clean carbuncles frequently and thoroughly. This is essential to ensure they remain free of germs and additional bacteria. As carbuncles can develop on any area of the body, overall skin care should become part of your daily routine. If you have a reason to believe that a suspicious lump on your face is a carbuncle, you should seek the advice of a medical professional, who can adequately diagnose the lump and advise on the best treatment.


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Post 2

My husband had something like that on his face, once. We tried the warm compresses, but they didn't help a lot. The place was on his jawline.

The problem is my husband is needle-phobic and hates going to the doctor. It takes an act of Congress to get him to go. He flatly refused to go to the ER.

So, hoping for the best, I got a compress as warm as he could stand it and put it on the area for about 10 minutes. Then, I got a tissue and squeezed very gently. It drained -- really drained. Then I packed it with antibiotic ointment. It did heal, but I know we were lucky that time. I wouldn't do it again.

Post 1

If a day or so of warm compresses didn't take care of a bump, I'd just go to the doctor, especially if I suspected a carbuncle. Those things are nothing to food around with -- especially not that close to your brain!

I might also ask if a plastic surgeon needed to consult on the procedure, if a large incision were necessary. I think that would be one way to minimize scarring. I don’t think I’d want to have the procedure without a plastic surgeon around.

I've had some painful zits, but fortunately, nothing like a carbuncle. The very idea makes me shudder!

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