If you have an area of skin with multiple red, raised lumps, you may be suffering from carbuncles. Carbuncles are actually a group of boils that appear to be connected. A boil develops when one of your hair follicles becomes infected. Then, dead skin cells and white blood cells accumulate and form a lump. Read on to learn more about the causes of carbuncles, what you can do to treat them, and how you can prevent them.
How Carbuncles Form
Carbuncles form when multiple hair follicles in a single area all become infected at one time. Many times, the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria causes the carbuncles. If can enter the skin through a small cut or scrape. Shaving can also cause small cuts to the skin that permit the Staphylococcus aureus to enter your body.
Know the Symptoms of Carbuncles
In addition to the appearance of multiple red lumps, carbuncles can also cause you to have a fever. This is because the infection in the carbuncles activates your body's immune system. When your body has a fever, this means that it has increased its number of white blood cells and antibodies to fight off infection.
Learn the Treatment for Carbuncles
Carbuncles are typically deeper than a single boil and may require you to visit your dermatologist. Your dermatologist can examine the carbuncles and determine if you may have an underlying condition that is contributing to the carbuncles.
Your dermatologist will likely drain the carbuncles by making a small incision. Don't try to pop your carbuncles yourself; this can cause the infection to spread through your body and result in a scar. If you leave any of the carbuncles behind, this will cause the issue to simply return.
A trained dermatologist can remove the carbuncles in a manner that is less likely to leave a scar. You may also receive a prescription for antibiotics.
What You Can Do to Prevent Carbuncles
There are a few steps you can take to prevent carbuncles from occurring. Refrain from wearing tight clothing or fabrics that aren't breathable. Swap your regular soap for an antibacterial version, and use it two times a day.
Carbuncles are more likely to appear in individuals with uncontrolled diabetes. If you have diabetes, make sure that you keep your blood sugar levels at the appropriate level.
For recurrent carbuncles, visit a dermatologist like those at Georgia Skin Cancer & Aesthetic Dermatology. You may need to have the bacteria in the carbuncles tested to determine if it is resistant to antibiotics. If it is, your dermatologist can prescribe a different antibiotic and drain the carbuncles if necessary.