A carbuncle is a skin infection presenting with multiple boils on the skin. It can occur anywhere in the body caused due to bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus. Carbuncles are commonly seen around the nape of the neck and the back.
It presents with painful boils discharging pus and necrotic (dead cells) material involving the skin and deeper tissue.
The infection is contagious and may spread to other areas of the body or other people.
- Most patients are adults with poorly controlled diabetes.
- It is more commonly seen in males than females.
- Not seen in children.
There is no exact cause as to why does one get bacterial infection leading to Carbuncle. However persons with diabetes and weakened immunity are more prone to develop a carbuncle.
Carbuncle can increase due to shaving and poor hygienic conditions.
- Nape of the neck is the classic and most common site.
- Trunk and proximal extremities are affected less commonly.
- Other Sites being: Back, Shoulder, Cheek, Upper Lip, Dorsum of Finger.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Fever and enlarged Lymph nodes may be present in some cases.
- Skin becomes red and swollen.
- Carbuncle presents with pus-filled boils (mass), dead tissue, which spread rapidly.
- Subsequently central part softens, multiple vesicles appear on the skin which transforms into pustules which may burst or coalesce to form an ulcer.
- Burning pain and severe itching in and around the site of carbuncle is the most distressing symptom.
- Mostly diagnosed clinically by expert eyes.
- A biopsy may be required to confirm the diagnosis.
- Blood sugar levels must be checked to rule out Diabetes.
Carbuncle finds an excellent treatment with homeopathy. Most cases heal and antibiotics can be avoided.