What Are the Different Treatments for Pus?

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  • Written By: Rebecca Harkin
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 17 October 2019
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The best treatment for pus is washing the area with soap and water, applying an antibacterial ointment, and then covering the area with a bandage. Abscesses are accumulations of pus under the skin. The best treatment for pus that comes in the form of an abscess is to gently place a tepid compress over the area several times a day and to keep the area clean. Pus and abscesses are signs of infection and should be taken seriously. If these wounds are accompanied by fever, nausea, and extreme pain, then one of the first treatments should be to seek help from a medical professional.

Occasionally wounds or delicate membranes, such as those found in the eye, can become infected. These infections will sometimes produce pus, a white, yellow, or brownish fluid composed primarily of the dead cells that produced the inflammatory response that was used to contain the infection. Along with swelling, heat, and pain, pus is a sign that a wound or area is infected.


If the wound is minor and the affected person is not suffering from intense pain, fever, or nausea, then all of the treatments for pus can be performed at home. First, the person or a caretaker should remove the pus and clean the area by washing the wound with warm water and soap. Next, the area should be dried with a clean towel and a small amount of antibacterial lotion should be placed over the wound to help fight the infection and to seal the wound off from further infection. Finally, the wound should be covered with a bandage. If the wound suddenly swells, the pain intensifies, or a fever develops, the injured person should be seen by a doctor.

An abscess is also a sign of an infection and should be treated with care so that the infection does not spread deeper into the tissue. A small abscess that is about 0.4 inches (1 cm) across can be treated at home. All treatments for pus in the form of an abscess should begin with preparation of a warm compress by soaking a clean washcloth in hot water and then ringing it out. The compress can then be placed gently over the abscess for about 30 minutes, and then the area should be washed and dried. This treatment should be done four times a day.

The warm compress will soften the skin above the abscess and may help to release some of the pus held under the skin. When the pus is released, the area should be washed with warm water and soap and dried with a clean towel. Finally, antibiotic ointment and a bandage should be placed over the wound. Abscesses that are larger than 0.4 inches (1 cm) should be seen by a doctor so that the infected material can be safely drained and the underlying tissue cleaned.


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Post 3

I get ingrown hairs a lot. They always get infected and fill with pus. My doctor taught me how to drain these without causing an infection.

First I use a warm compress to encourage the blister to drain on its own. If it doesn't, I take a sterile needle ( I burn it to sterilize it) and gently poke a hole in the blister. Then, I take a cotton swab and press around the blister to get the pus out. I wash the area with soapy water, apply antibiotic ointment and let it heal. I never play around with blisters or pop them with my fingers.

I'm trying to prevent ingrown hairs by exfoliating more frequently. But it's still good to know what to do when I do get them.

Post 2

@ddljohn-- The treatment depends on the cause of the pus.

If it's pus due to a blocked tear duct for example, simply wiping the eye with hot water can be enough. Especially in infants, blocked tear ducts usually resolve themselves. If the cause is allergies, anti-allergy eye drops and oral allergy medications can be used. If the cause is an infection, antibacterial or antibiotic eye drops can be used.

You can take care of most cases of eye pus at home. But if there is an eye infection (conjunctivitis), it's a good idea to see a doctor.

Post 1

What is the treatment for eye pus? Can it be treated at home?

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