How to Prevent a Skin Abscess

by Erica Roth ; Updated July 18, 2017

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Pus and other detritus that forms when an area of the skin is infected is called an abscess. A skin abscess is a common occurrence but can become a very serious medical condition if left untreated. Preventing a skin abscess begins with the most basic practices of personal hygiene. Immediately treating cuts and scrapes, no matter how small, can help you avoid this painful phenomenon.

Practice appropriate hygiene. The National Institutes of Health recommends washing your body on a regular basis with soap and water to prevent infection of any open wounds. Dry well with a towel to avoid bacterial or fungal infections from developing in damp areas, such as skin folds.

Clean cuts, scrapes and abrasions. Afterward, bandage them to keep out debris that could lead to an infection and a subsequent abscess. Apply an antibacterial ointment before securing your bandage, as an added protective measure.

Take care of your overall health to prevent complications such as skin abscesses. According to Aurora Health Care, conditions such as carbuncles, boils and abscesses, which are all related infections of the skin system, including hair follicles and oil glands, are more likely in people whose health is already compromised.

Diabetics and people with weakened immune systems may be more likely to develop skin abscesses. If you are affected by these illnesses, consult your doctor for ways to manage your health so you can prevent an abscess from forming.

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