An accumulation of pus that can occur anywhere on the body (including on the skin and inside of tissues and organs) is called an abscess. An abscess can occur on any person at any age.
The following symptoms can appear on the face, back or chest:
- Red spots or bumps
- White or yellow pustules which are often painful and inflamed
- Swollen, red lesions which are hot to the touch
An abscess is usually triggered by an immune system that is impaired, physical trauma, a bacterial invasion, tissues that are not draining properly, poor nutrition, and other factors. An abscess will tend to develop in places where clothing rubs tightly against the skin, or around wounds, cuts or a small puncture.
Poor diet and food sensitivities or allergies can also cause an abscess.
The infected area will become red, swollen and tender and the person may develop a fever as well.
Some tests can be utilized to assess the reasons for chronic abscess formations. They include:
- Intestinal permeability - urine
- Immune system imbalance or disease - blood
- Detoxification profile - urine
- Vitamin and mineral analysis (particularly vitamins C and E) - blood, urine
- Anemia - blood
- Blood-sugar balance - blood
- Digestive function and microbe/parasite/candida testing - stool
Treatments for Abscess
An excellent place to start for treating any illness or abnormal condition is the diet. Dark green and orange vegetables should be consumed to help repair and maintain the skin. They can be eaten raw or lightly cooked to retain their fiber and nutrients.
Consuming a quarter of a cup of ground flaxseed daily provides the body with essential fatty acids and lots of fiber for proper elimination. Take the flaxseed with at least one glass of water. Nuts and seeds (such as almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds) are good sources of vitamin E and essential fatty acids.
Good sources of protein are peas, beans, lentils, eggs and fresh, cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines. The latter are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Drink a glass of purified water every two hours (when awake) in order to flush out toxins and maintain overall good health.
If antibiotics are being taken, be sure to eat live, unsweetened yogurt daily. Yogurt replaces the "good" bacteria in the digestive tract, which are necessary for good health.
Foods to avoid include colas, sugar, candy, and chips and nachos. All of these products suppress healthy immune function.
Food allergies (such as an allergy to cow's milk) can be the root cause of an abscess. Avoid known allergies.
Do not consume saturated and hydrogenated fats, which worsen skin inflammations. Avoid fried foods and solid fats such as lard, margarine and vegetable shortening.
Skin conditions can be aggravated by coffee and other caffeinated products. Herbal teas are a good alternative to such drinks.
Those individuals who have a sensitivity to carbohydrates may notice an improvement in their skin condition by reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing protein sources. This happens because elevated levels of the blood sugar-regulating hormone insulin increases skin inflammation.
Undergoing a detoxification routine may help to cleanse the body of inflammatory poisons. A three-day regimen consuming only vegetable juices will help the body rid itself of toxin buildup. A variety of juices should be taken during this time, but the best choices may be those made from carrots, apples, and beets with their tops, as well as drinks made from green substances (such as wheatgrass, spirulina, barley grass and chlorella).
Other natural remedies include:
- Vitamin E - for a healthy immune system and skin. Take 400 IU of a mixed complex twice a day.
- Vitamin A - supports immune function. Take 10,000 IU for 10 days, then stop.
- Vitamin C with bioflavanoids - Vitamin C helps support immune function and bioflavanoids reduce inflammation of the skin.
- Echinacea - enhances immune function.
- Burdock root - this herb is used as a skin detoxifier.
- Zinc - This mineral supports immune function and helps to promote healing of the skin.
- Colloidal silver - Apply two drops up to four times daily for its potent antimicrobial effects.
- Tea tree oil - Apply topically as a cream or put 10 drops in a half ounce of water and apply three times a day.
While the following products are recommended for treating an abscess, they are also useful in treating boils:
- Belladonna - use this product when there is a rapid onset accompanied by redness, throbbing and burning. Pus is not usually present at this point. A high fever may also be present.
- Hepar Sulphur - this product can be used when an abscess has come to a head. The lesions will be sensitive and tender to the touch with a sharp, sticking pain. Symptoms are worse in cold air or from applications of cold compresses and are better from warmth. This therapy helps to bring the pus out of the abscess.
- Oregano oil - this substance has been used for centuries because of its powerful antimicrobial properties. It is useful against several different types of bacteria that commonly cause skin infections.
- Balch, J.F. & Stengler, M. (2004). Prescription for Natural Cures: a self-care guide for treating diseases and health problems with natural remedies including diet and nutrition, herbal medicine, nutritional supplements, bodywork, and more. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons Ltd
- De Vries, J. (1992). Skin diseases. Edinburgh : Mainstream
- Goodman, T. (1984).The skin doctor's skin doctoring book.New York : Sterling
- Papadopoulos, L. (2003). Understanding skin problems : acne, eczema, psoriasis and related conditions. Chichester, West Sussex : John Wiley and Sons Ltd
- Turkington, C., (1998). Skin deep : an A-Z of skin disorders, treatments and health. New York : Facts On File
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