Abscess L02.9

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

All authors of this article

Last updated on: 09.12.2023

Dieser Artikel auf Deutsch

This section has been translated automatically.

Localized, encapsulated inflammation in the epidermis, hair follicles, in eccrine or apocrine sweat glands, in the dermis and/or subcutis, caused by pus-inducing substances or pathogens (bacteria or fungi), accompanied by tissue melting, and melting centrally after 4-5 days.

Pus is the constellation of neutrophilic granulocytes, cellular debridement, and liquefied tissue. Abscess is the name given to the purulent, fluctuant, cutaneous or subcutaneous formation of a cavity. Epidermal or infundibular accumulations of pus are called pustules or, in the minus variant, microabscesses (e.g. Munro microabscess in psoriasis vulgaris).

Notice. The microabscess named after Pautrier, which consists of lymphocytes and not neutrophilic granulocytes, is to be understood as a misnomer.

This section has been translated automatically.

Mostly staphylococci (especially Staphylococcus aureus), less frequently gram-negative germs (E. coli, Proteus mirabilis) or mixed flora. The typical manifestation is determined by the pathogenic properties of the pathogens. Staphylococci produce the enzyme coagulase, which activates coagulation and slows down the spread of inflammation in the interstitium.

Dead parasites or their remains are further causes of abscess formation.

Fungi can also lead to abscesses in rarer cases.

Clinical features
This section has been translated automatically.

Classical signs of inflammation (tumor, rubor, dolor, calor) and fluctuation. Pulse-synchronous throbbing pain; these symptoms are absent in the development of pustules.

This section has been translated automatically.

Specific infections (sedimentation abscess, cold abscess), tumor, phlegmon.

This section has been translated automatically.

Bacterial follicular and non follicular pustules are treated locally with antiseptic and internally with antibiotics. Dermal abscesses must be sufficiently incised and drained; penicillinase-resistant penicillin, possibly after antibiogram.

Alternative: Clindamycin 3x300mg/day p.o. for 10 days

Alternative: Trimethoprim-Sulfmethoxazole 2x 160TMP/800 SMXmg/day p.o. over 10 days

This section has been translated automatically.

  1. Miller LG et al (2015) Clindamycin versus trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole for uncomplicated skin infections.N Engl J Med 372:1093-1103


Please ask your physician for a reliable diagnosis. This website is only meant as a reference.


Last updated on: 09.12.2023