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Difference between Abscess and Boil

Difference between Abscess and Boil

Abscesses and boils are both bumps that can form on the skin. They are both caused by infection, but they are different types of infection. Abscesses are typically larger than boils, and they can be more serious. If you have a bump on your skin that you think might be an abscess or boil, it is important to get it checked out by a doctor.

What is Abscess?

An abscess is a pocket of pus that forms when tissues become infected. Abscesses can occur anywhere in the body, but they are most common in the skin. They usually occur as a result of a bacterial infection, although they can also be caused by other factors, such as trauma or foreign objects. Abscesses are typically painful and may cause swelling and redness.

If left untreated, abscesses can lead to serious complications, such as sepsis. Treatment for abscesses typically involves draining the pus and taking antibiotics. In some cases, surgery may also be necessary. Abscesses can be prevented by practicing good hygiene and prompt treatment of any infections.

What is Boil?

Boils are skin infection that begins in a hair follicle or oil gland. Boils most commonly occur on the face, neck, armpits, buttocks, and thighs. Boils begin as a red, painful lump that gradually fills with pus. Boils can occur as a single sore or in clusters. Boils are caused when bacteria enter the skin through an opening, such as a cut or insect bite. The bacteria then multiply, causing an infection.

Boils are also known as furuncles. Boils can be treated at home with warm compresses and over-the-counter antibiotics. However, large or recurrent boils may require treatment by a doctor. Boils can usually be prevented by good hygiene and prompt treatment of cuts and scrapes.

Difference between Abscess and Boil

Abscesses and boils are both skin infections that can cause swelling, redness, and pain. They are often confused for one another, but there are some key differences between the two conditions. An abscess is a pocket of pus that forms when bacteria gets trapped under the skin. Boils, on the other hand, are caused by a build-up of dead skin cells and oil that become infected with bacteria.

Abscesses are usually larger than boils and are filled with pus. Boils will generally have a small whitehead at the center, while abscesses do not. Abscesses are also more likely to be painful than boils. Treatment for both conditions typically involves draining the infection and taking antibiotics. However, if an abscess is large or recurrent, it may require surgery to remove it.


Although boils and abscesses may look similar, they are two very different conditions. It is important to be able to distinguish between the two in order to treat them correctly. If you are unsure of which condition you are experiencing, please consult a healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment.

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