Skin Abscess

A common boil, a collection of pus beneath the skin, may need to be surgically lanced to let it drain and heal.

A boil is a localized infection in the skin that generally starts as a reddened, tender area. Over time, the area becomes firm, hard, and tender. Eventually, the center of the boil softens and becomes filled with infection-fighting white blood cells from the bloodstream to eradicate the infection. This collection of white blood cells, bacteria, and proteins is known as pus. Finally, the pus "forms a head," which can be surgically opened or spontaneously drain out through the surface of the skin. Pus enclosed within tissue is referred to as an abscess. A boil is also referred to as a skin abscess.

What are the causes?

There are many causes of boils. Some boils can be caused by an ingrown hair. Others can form as the result of a splinter or other foreign material that has become lodged in the skin. Others boils, such as those of acne, are caused by plugged sweat glands that become infected.

The skin is an essential part of our immune defense against materials and microbes that are foreign to our body. Any break in the skin, such as a cut or scrape, can develop into an abscess should it become infected with bacteria.

Cane River Surgery Center is proud to partner with:

Louisiana Extended Health Care (LEHC)
Frank Aviles, PT, CWS, WCC, FAACWS, CLT
PT and Certified Wound Specialist

Mr. Aviles is Clinical Director of Therapy Services and a Wound Specialist for a long-term acute care facility in Natchitoches, LA. Please address correspondence to:

For more information on these medical conditions visit or contact Cane River Surgery toll free 877-924-2555.