Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page

A to Z: Abscess, Skin

An abscess (AB-sess) is a collection of pus that forms as part of the body's response to an infection. A skin abscess forms when bacteria get under the skin.

More to Know

A skin abscess happens when the body tries to fight off an infection. The immune system sends white blood cells, which collect around the infected area and cause a buildup of pus. Skin abscesses are commonly treated by draining the pus from the infected area.

Keep in Mind

An abscess usually will not get better until the pus drains out. Sometimes you can help this happen naturally by using warm compresses or soaks and antibiotics. Other times, a doctor drains the pus and might have a sample tested to identify which bacteria caused the infection. After draining the abscess, the doctor might clean the area and cover it with gauze or a bandage. Some abscesses do not require antibiotic treatment after drainage; others are treated with both drainage and antibiotic medication.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

What next?

By using this site, you consent to our use of cookies. To learn more, read our privacy policy.

Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
There are 10 nurses in the picture.

And we have many more pediatric primary care providers in Northeast Ohio. You can meet some of them here.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The five differences are:
– Phone color
– Coat pocket
– Stethoscope earpiece color
– Stethoscope bell dot
– Clipboard paper color

Need help finding a doctor, choosing a location or getting a general question about Akron Children's answered? Call us or fill out the form and we'll help in any way we can.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The two matching doctors are 9 and 14.

With virtual visits, you can see our pediatric experts from the comfort of home or wherever you are.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The correct path:
The Correct Path
We offer many ways to get pediatric care all over Northeast Ohio. Use this page to find the right kind of care and the most convenient location for you.