Type 2 Diabetes Guide

Diabetic Abscesses in the Skin

An abscess is a mass filled with pus (dead tissue, bacteria, and white blood cells). Abscesses can occur if a gland in your skin becomes blocked; from inflammation of hair follicles; and also due to breaks in the skin which can allow germs to get under the skin, causing inflammation as our bodies try to deal with it. Abcesses can occur more frequently in people with diabetes. They can also occur in higher severity because diabetics are both more prone to infection and heal more slowly. While there's no such thing as "", diabetics who notice an abscess should take immediate steps.

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  • The most common areas to find an abscess are the armpits, the groin, anal and vaginal areas, in the tooth (dental abscess), and at the base of the spine.

  • Carefully monitor your skin, particularly high-risk areas, for any minor scrapes or cuts. Clean them thoroughly. Diabetics can develop which makes it harder to feel scrapes or cuts.

  • Occasionally, an abscess will open and drain on its own. In general, though, abscesses usually will not heal on their own or with antibiotics. They will likely need to be opened and drained by a doctor in order to heal.

  • Do not attempt to squeeze or puncture an abscess. This can push the infected tissue deeper into the body, or lead to further infection.

  • Most abscesses continue to get larger and more painful if not treated. The infection can spread and get much worse, and may even spread into the bloodstream. Fever and illness can result from a deeper infection.

  • Once a doctor has opened and drained the abscess, most people will immediately feel less pain. The pain will continue to subside as the abscess heals.

  • Follow the doctor's at-home care instructions. Report any feelings of illness, fever, increased pain, redness or swelling.

  • Most abscesses will heal within two weeks once treated.

In people with diabetes, abcesses can pose a real problem. Aside from the pain and discomfort, there are risks of a deeper infection and slower healing times. It is best to get it dealt with sooner rather than later. Follow your plan to keep your blood glucose levels tightly controlled and minimize the risk of . Good is also an important part of keeping healthy and feeling well.



The information on this website is based on our own research and personal experience, and is not a substitute for medical advice. Questions about your health and individual situation should be directed to your doctor.