Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Skin Boil Underlying Cause

A furuncle may start to form when the skin around the hair follicle is damaged. Once the skin is damaged, the follicle becomes infected by bacteria that are present on the skin surface. An abscess forms when the follicle becomes inflamed and the body forms a wall around the infection. Inside the abscess is a collection of infected tissue, called pus.

Damage to the follicle may be caused by:

  • Blockage of the follicle by creams or lotions
  • Chemical peels
  • Friction from sports uniforms
  • Friction from clothes
  • Shaving

Continue to Skin Boil Anatomy

Last Updated: Jul 9, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Skin Boil References
  1. Hedrick J. Acute bacterial skin infections in pediatric medicine: current issues in presentation and treatment. Paediatr Drugs. 2003;5 Suppl 1:35-46. [14632104]
  2. Laube S, Farrell AM. Bacterial skin infections in the elderly: diagnosis and treatment. Drugs Aging. 2002;19(5):331-42. [12093320]
  3. Winthrop KL, Abrams M, Yakrus M, Schwartz I, Ely J, Gillies D, Vugia DJ. An outbreak of mycobacterial furunculosis associated with footbaths at a nail salon. N Engl J Med. 2002 May 2;346(18):1366-71. [11986410]
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