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Furuncles: Introduction

A furuncle is a large infection of a hair follicle, the tiny opening in the skin from which a hair grows. Furuncles are due to an invasion of bacteria that enter the follicle and cause a bacterial infection of the follicle and nearby skin.

Furuncles are most commonly due to an infection of the bacterium, Staphylococcus aureus. The body tries to attack the bacterial infection by sending a surge of white blood cells (infection fighting cells) to the infected follicle. If the infection isn't stopped quickly, living and dead white blood cells, fluid, bacteria, and dead tissue collect within the infected follicle and form a deep pocket of pus. The surrounding tissue also becomes inflamed and painful.

Furuncles are often due to poor hygiene or conditions that cause a low resistance to infection. A furuncle can also be a complication of folliculitis. Symptoms of a furuncle include swelling or a reddened lump that develops in the skin. The swelling eventually emerges to the skin's surface and comes to a head of pus. In some cases a furuncle can lead to potentially serious complications, such as septicemia. For more information on complications and symptoms, refer to symptoms of furuncle.

Making a diagnosis of a furuncle begins with taking a thorough medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination. A furuncle can generally be diagnosed based on symptoms and a physical exam. A culture and sensitivity test (C and S) may also be performed. This involves growing a sample of the drainage from the furuncle in the laboratory. This test determines the type of infectious organism causing the furuncle, as well as which antibiotic would be most effective in treating it.

If the furuncle is large or has lead to complications, such as cellulitis or septicemia, certain tests are generally performed. These include a complete blood count (CBC). A CBC is a blood test that measures the numbers of different types of blood cells, including white blood cells (WBCs). Different types of WBCs increase in numbers in characteristic ways during an infectious or inflammatory process, such as cellulitis or sepsis. For people who have serious or recurring furuncles, other tests may be performed to determine underlying diseases or conditions that can increase the risk of developing furuncles, such as diabetes.

It is possible that a diagnosis of a furuncle can be missed or delayed because some symptoms, such as a skin lump and inflammation, are similar to symptoms of other diseases of conditions. For more information about misdiagnosis and diseases and conditions that can mimic a furuncle, refer to misdiagnosis of furuncle.

Treatment of a furuncle varies depending on the severity of the furuncle and other factors. Treatment may include medications and possibly an incision and drainage procedure. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of furuncle....more »

Furuncles: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of a furuncle may be delayed or missed because some symptoms, such as a skin lump, mimic symptoms of other diseases and conditions. These include acne, rosacea, folliculitis, impetigo, and sebaceous cyst. ...more misdiagnosis »

Furuncles: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Furuncles, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

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Furuncles Treatments

The first step in treating furuncles is preventing their occurrence. Prevention includes maintaining good personal hygiene with frequent hand washing and washing the body with soap and water. Although furuncles can rupture and go away on their own in generally healthy people, it is a good idea to report any symptoms to your licensed health care provider. Large, multiple or ...Furuncles Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Furuncles may include:

Review further information on Furuncles Treatments.

Furuncles: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Furuncles may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:

Causes of Similar Symptoms to Furuncles

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Furuncles:

Furuncles: Deaths

Read more about causes and Furuncles deaths.

Causes of Furuncles listed in Disease Database:

Other medical conditions listed in the Disease Database as possible causes of Furuncles as a symptom include:

Definitions of Furuncles:

An infection of cutaneous and subcutaneous tissue that consists of a cluster of boils. Commonly, the causative agent is STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS. Carbuncles produce fever, leukocytosis, extreme pain, and prostration.
- (Source - Diseases Database)

Detailed list of causes of Furuncles

The list below shows some of the causes of Furuncles mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Furuncles?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Furuncles. Of the 17 causes of Furuncles that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 2 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 0 causes are "common" diseases
  • 0 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 0 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 1 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 16 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Furuncles:

The following list of conditions have 'Furuncles' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Furuncles or choose View All.

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Causes of Furuncles Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Furuncles based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Diabetes - history of diabetes or family history of diabetes?

    What are the alternative names for Furuncles:

    Furunculosis, Pustular rash, Pustule, Cutaneous abscess, Boil, Carbuncle
    - (Source - Diseases Database)

    Classifications of Furuncles:

    Medical Conditions associated with Furuncles:

    Skin symptoms (5992 causes), Skin problems (3422 causes)

    Symptoms related to Furuncles:

    Obese (236 causes), Immunocompromised, Elderly, Diabetes (212 causes), Poor hygiene, Immunocompromised patients, Bacterial colonization of skin or nares, Hot and humid climates

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:


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