The term Carbuncle is believed to have originated from the Latin word Carbunculus, meaning small coal.
It was also said to be derived from the words carbon, carbo and charcoal. A carbuncle is an erythematous, tender, group of swollen lesions, each known as a furuncle.
In turn, a furuncle, is a boil, or an infection of the hair follicle, containing a collection of pus beneath the skin layer. Simply put, a group of boils, or a collection of multiple infected hair follicles, corresponds to a carbuncle.
Picture 1 : Carbuncle: collection of multiple furuncles or boils Image Source: www. These organisms usually are inhabitants of the surface of the integuments, the nasal passages and the throat.
They enter the skin by penetrating through a hair follicle, a puncture, or an abrasion. Carbuncles can be contagious. The following factors are associated with increased risk of having the said skin lesions: [ 2 ].
Picture 2 : Carbuncle can be described as a tender, red mass, with a central yellow core of pus. Image Source: www.
These lesions are most likely to occur on the areas where hair and thick skin layers are present. They are usually located at the back, nape, gluteal region, inguinal area, thigh, and under the arms.
Picture 3 : An area of predilection, the nape has thick skin layers and is an area in near proximity of hair. Thus, it is usually a site where carbuncles are formed.
Picture 4: Carbuncle back of neck. Picture 5 : Carbuncle near chin.
The following may be done as supportive therapies in managing carbuncles: [ 2, 4 ]. The following may prevent occurrence, or recurrence of carbuncles, hence are recommended to be adhered on to: [ 6 ].
Published by Dr. Raj MD under Diseases and Conditions.
Article was last reviewed on December 24th, Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply. In This Article: What is a Carbuncle?
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