Carbuncles: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
Carbuncles are large and unsightly infections that can cause a fair amount of pain. In this article, we’ll explain what carbuncles are as well as their causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
What Are Carbuncles
Carbuncles are a type of painful, pus-filled bump which forms deep under the skin. What happens is, bacteria gets under the skin and begins to multiply and grow until it creates a large, painful growth. Carbuncles are also called staph skin infections, boils, and furuncles, by medical doctors and dermatologists.
They usually first develop on the skin looking like tender, red lumps. Eventually, these small lumps begin to quickly fill up with pus and begin growing to accommodate the ever-increasing amount of fluid.
In reality, carbuncles are not just one of these pus-filled bumps but a collection or cluster of boils that have connected under the skin forming one, large infection. It’s important to know that you can treat these boils on your own but there’s a right and wrong way to do it. You’ll want to make sure that you don’t pick or squeeze the boil as that can lead to further infection.
Causes Of Carbuncles
Carbuncles are primarily caused by a bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus. Staph is a common type of bacteria which is usually found on the skin or inside of the nose. The presence of Staphylococcus aureus isn’t inherently dangerous because of how common it is, but if it can get under the skin then there can be problems.
Boils and carbuncles usually appear on areas of the skin where the skin had already been broken. A cut, bug bite, or other small injury are all examples of this. Any small opening in the skin can help Staphylococcus aureus enter the body and begin multiplying and infecting the patient. This is why you should always take care of wounds whenever they appear. So you do not run the risk of infection.
It’s possible for anyone to develop carbuncles and other forms of boils. It does not matter if you’re healthy or not, there is still a chance that you can develop the condition.
That being said, there are certain risk factors that seem to increase a patient's likelihood of developing this skin condition.
Carbuncle risk factors include:
Diabetes - Diabetes makes it harder for the body to fight off disease and infection. That includes bacterial infections. Doctors and dermatologists have found that those with diabetes are more likely to develop carbuncles than non-diabetics because their bodies have a harder time fighting off staph infections.
Compromised immunity - Any sort of autoimmune disease which makes it harder to fight off bacterial diseases will also make it more likely that you will develop carbuncles.
Contact with others who have a staph infection - Staph infections are contagious. If you’re often in close contact with others who have staph infections, your chances of developing carbuncles or some other staph related infection increases as well.
Other skin diseases - Having any sort of condition where your skin is prone to cracking or breaking in any way can lead to a higher likelihood of developing carbuncles. This is primarily because the more often your skin cracks, the more chances bacteria have to enter the skin and multiply.
Symptoms Of Carbuncles
As we previously said, carbuncles start off looking like red, painful lumps. They eventually begin to fill with pus and eventually, the bumps will show white or yellow tips and will either ooze or crust.
Other carbuncle symptoms include:
- General sick feeling
- Swelling in the nearby tissue
- Swelling of the lymph nodes
Carbuncles are painful and can leave scarring if they’re not properly treated. It’s important that, if the condition is bad enough, you go to your doctor to seek treatment.
Your carbuncles are bad enough to see a doctor if:
- They develop on your face
- They worsen quickly
- They haven’t healed after two weeks
- They become extremely painful
- They cause a fever
- They grow larger than 2 inches in diameter
- They continue to reappear after healing
Treatments For Carbuncles
The best thing you can do to treat carbuncles is prevent them from developing in the first place. You can do that by doing one or more of the following three things:
Cover wounds - Bandages and antibiotic ointments can help prevent wounds from getting infected with Staphylococcus aureus or other kinds of bacteria.
Wash hands - Bacteria thrive on your hands. Primarily because most of our physical interactions in the world require our hands. Keeping your hands properly clean will greatly reduce the spread of bacteria and disease to both yourself and others.
Don’t share personal items - Towels, sheets, razors, clothing are all personal items that should not be shared with others. These items commonly contain bacteria, which if one is not careful, can spread from person to person easily.
If you’ve done your best to prevent carbuncles, but have still developed the condition, there are still things you can do to treat them.
Carbuncle treatment options include:
- Topical antibiotics
- Oral antibiotics
- Carbuncle draining
Carbuncle draining is a form of surgery. Your doctor or dermatologist will determine whether or not you need to have a carbuncle drained. Make sure that you let the doctor do it and never try to drain a carbuncle by yourself.
After you’ve been successfully treated for carbuncles, you need to practice some basic self-care to prevent them from recurring. Self-care treatments include things like:
- Using warm towels
- Using antibacterial soap
- Washing hands thoroughly
- And general cleanliness
Emuaid Can Help Treat Your Carbuncles
If you’re looking for extra help in preventing carbuncles and other similar skin conditions, Emuaid is the ointment for you. Emuaid is a homeopathic remedy which has been shown time and time again to be able to kill bacteria and fungus while soothing irritated skin.
Emuaid can be applied on skins much like any other antibacterial ointment and can help prevent the formation of carbuncles in the first place. If you’re already experiencing carbuncles, the ingredients in Emuaid can still help. The homeopathic ingredients in Emuaid have been found to help speed up the healing process by encouraging increased blood flow to the applied area. This can help reduce scarring.
If you’re looking to prevent or treat carbuncles, you should consider using Emuaid.