What are the Best Tips for Abscess Relief?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2019
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The best way to get abscess relief is to let the abscess drain or have it drained by a professional. Generally, pain is associated with the pressure built up by bacteria, tissue, blood cells, and debris forming beneath the surface of the skin or tissue. This creates a lump which may swell quite large, causing pain and tenderness. To alleviate this discomfort, the contents must be drained to remove pressure.

Most abscesses form in the skin and are usually caused by staph bacteria. Staph may take root in broken areas of skin, no matter how small, including hair follicles, sweat glands, or pores. Once the area is infected, it begins to swell full of pus, blood, dead tissue, and other debris. This can cause considerable pain, discoloration, and redness.

To gain abscess relief, the area must be drained and the contents must be allowed to leak out. This generally happens on its own over time, but a particularly large abscess may need to be cut open by a doctor and lightly squeezed to ensure that all contents of infection are removed. Sometimes an antibiotic may be given to speed up recovery.


In most cases, abscess relief is almost immediate once the pus has been removed. The area may remain slightly tender to the touch for a few days and discoloration may continue for awhile after that. In some cases, the area will remain slightly blue or purple in color for years after the abscess is removed.

Internal abscess relief happens in much the same way, although they must be drained by a doctor. This is done using a catheter and a long tube which guides the pus out of the body. Relief usually begins right after drainage and pain is normally fully subsided within a day or two.

For external abscesses, it is important to keep the area clean and covered while drainage is still coming from the wound. The pus from an abscess is highly contagious and may lead to spreading of the bacteria to other family members or to additional abscesses in the same person. Wound dressings should be changed regularly, and any towels, sheets, and blankets should be washed in hot water after any contact with the area.

If abscess relief does not occur after proper drainage or if abscesses keep coming back, the cause may be a drug-resistant bacteria. This would require additional specialized treatment with antibiotics tailored to drug-resistant strains. Recurrent skin infections could also be a sign of an underlying immune disorder.


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