A carbuncle is a cluster of boils caused by bacterial infection, most commonly with Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes.



Boils are bacterial infections that form under at a hair follicle. 



A carbuncle is a cluster of boils that are  tender and painful, and cause a severe infection which could leave a scar.



A carbuncle reflects an immune system that is active and fighting the infection.



A carbuncle is an  infection that is contagious.



It may spread to other areas of the body, or other people.



Infection involving methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become more common.



A carbuncle cluster of several boils is typically filled with purulent exudate made up of dead neutrophils, phagocytized bacteria, and other cellular debris.



Carbuncles may drain fluid or an incision and drainage procedure may be needed to do so.



Carbuncles are most common on the back and the nape of the neck.



It is palpable.



Size ranges in size from as small as a pea or as large as a golf ball. 



Surface is red, and it is surrounding by an area is indurated. 



Over time the skin on the center of the carbuncle softens and peripheral satellite vesicles appear, which rupture discharging pus and give rise to cribriform appearance.



Itching may occur, with erythema, skin irritation, and the area may be tender  when touched. 



Severe symptoms may occur, such as fatigue, fever, chills, and general malaise.



Causes/triggers of a carbuncle: recent incidence of folliculitis; friction from clothing or shaving; having hair pulled out, generally poor hygiene, poor nutrition, weakened immunity, and overall poor health.








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