Carbuncle – A bacterial infection of skin


Carbuncle is an abscess which is larger than a boil. It is a localized bacterial infection. It is filled up with pus and has one or more openings which help in secretion of pus when it bursts open. Carbuncles are contagious and may spread to other parts of the body or to another person. Carbuncles usually develop in individuals’ whose immune system is weak. Read about bacterial infection of skin.

Staphylococcus aureus is the most common causative agent of carbuncle that enters the subcutaneous layer of the skin through hair follicle pore when there is an accidental removal of hair or any damage.

A carbuncle starts appearing as a small red pimple which gradually develops into bigger boil kind which is swollen and painful. It will last for 10 days to 20 days. It naturally bursts open releasing the pus and heals itself. Carbuncles are usually formed on face, neck, back and thighs.


Carbuncles are red round shaped boils which are painful and irritating. They are filled with pus. Sometimes in extreme condition they spread from one place to the other causing severe discomfort, fatigue and fever.


There are many causes for the formation of carbuncles. Following are few causes:-

  • Weakening of immunitycarbuncle
  • Poor nutrition
  • Poor hygiene maintenance
  • Poor hair removal methods liking shaving waxing without applying antiseptic

Precautions and Treatment

If carbuncle doesn’t burst open and spreads treatment with antibiotics is advised. If untreated there is a great chance of infection entering into blood stream and spreading to other vital internal organs causing a great damage.

The part of the body where carbuncle is formed should be washed with mild antiseptic soap and avoid touching and scratching in order to prevent its spreading to other parts. Do not burst the carbuncle wit any sharp needle or nails etc.

Apply clean warm watered cloth or a heating pad for 10min for every 2hrs to subside the pain and irritation.

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