Carbuncle

Introduction:

A carbuncle is a skin infection presenting with multiple boils on the skin. It can occur any where in the body caused due to bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus. Carbuncles are commonly seen around the nape of 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.

Incidence:

  • Most patients are adults with poorly controlled diabetes.
  • It is more commonly seen in males than females.
  • Not seen in children.

Cause:

There is no exact cause at 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.

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Distribution:

  • 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 skin which transforms into pustules which my burst or coalesce to form an ulcer.
  • Burning pain and severe itching in and around the site of carbuncle is the most distressing symptom.

Diagnosis:

  • Mostly diagnosed clinically by expert eyes.
  • Biopsy may be required to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Blood sugar levels must be checked to rule out Diabetes.

Conventional treatment:

  • Anti bacterial soap found to be effective in control of infection to the other parts of the body.
  • A course of Antibiotic should be completed.

Homeopathic management:

Carbuncle finds an excellent treatment with homeopathy. Most cases heal and antibiotics can be avoided.

The duration of treatment for Carbuncle:

Most patients show significant improvement in about five to six weeks. The full length of treatment is usually for about four months. Some patients may need longer course of medication. It is possible to avoid antibiotic in most cases, if timely homeopathic treatment is used.

Complications:

  • Sepsis
  • Spread of infection to other areas
  • Permanent scarring of the skin
  • Abscess of the brain, skin, spinal cord, or organs such as the kidneys.

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