Furuncle Definition Pictures - 6 Photos & Images

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.

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