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How to treat abscesses

An abscess is a collection of pus that is usually caused by a bacterial infection. (See figure)

Pus consists of white blood cells, dead tissue cells and bacteria. Abscesses usually occur under the skin (such as boils) but can occur anywhere in the body including the brain, breast and virtually all body tissues and cavities. Most often, no obvious cause for infection can be found, but some people, such as diabetics, are more pre-disposed to getting abscesses.

Because an abscess is surrounded by a membrane which has no blood supply, antibiotics have difficulty reaching its centre. Sometimes the abscess bursts spontaneouls, but the treatment of choice is most often incision and drainage. In other words the doctor has to cut into it with a scalpel to let the pus drain out. This can be very painful for the patient, but once the pus if removed, the abscess and surrounding inflammation usually settles down quite quickly, but not always. The abscess can sometimes take days or even weeks to stop draining and requires frequent insertion of a gauze "wick" to help drain the cavity. Inserting and removing this wick can be very painful, particularly if inflammation persists.

Because wheatgrass can reduce inflammation quickly and stop exudate (body fluid) forming in the abscess cavity left after incision, pain is quickly reduced or eliminated and the wound heals quickly.

Wheatgrass (e.g. Skin Recovery Cream) needs to be applied to the abscess surface prior to incision as this reduces the pain caused by the knife. Then apply it again after the abscess has been drained. A wick is not necessary. Apply a light dressing and repeat the application in 24 hours.

Pain often ceases overnight with minimal discharge, inflammation & swelling. One can expect wound closure in two or three days, when the patient can manage their own wound with daily wheatgrass and dressings.

View abscess testimonials.

Dr. Chris Reynolds. M.B.,B.S.

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