Furunculosis of I.Randi
Furunculosis is a disease characterized by the formation of numerous pimples associated with a considerable inflammatory component.
More in detail, furunculosis manifests itself due to a deep infection that involves various hair follicles and the respective peri-follicular tissues with consequent inflammation of these same areas.
Furunculosis can occur in any part of the body with hair follicles, even if the areas most affected are face, neck, arms and buttocks.
The treatment of furunculosis is essentially aimed at eliminating the pathogen that caused the infection and, in any case, requires the intervention of the doctor.
What is that?
What is the Foruncolosi?
As mentioned, furunculosis is a skin disease characterized by the appearance of multiple pimples (the so-called "vespaio"). The latter are the result of a bacterial infection that involves the hair follicles and the surrounding tissues. Due to the infection, hair follicles and peri-follicular tissues become inflamed, further worsening the situation and creating great discomfort in the patient. Discomfort that further increases when furunculosis affects particularly delicate and / or sensitive areas (for example, buttocks or armpits).
Furunculosis can occur, indifferently, in both male and female patients, with a higher incidence in adolescents, in patients suffering from diabetes and in immunosuppressed patients.
Furunculosis occurs mainly on the face and neck, but there are also many cases of furunculosis in the buttocks, arms, armpits and even the back.
Did you know that ...
Furunculosis can occur in all areas of skin where hair follicles are present, however, this pathology is unlikely to occur in several districts at the same time. For example, if a patient is suffering from furunculosis of the face or neck, he can rarely be affected by furunculosis of the buttocks at the same time.
What are the Causes and Risk Factors of Furunculosis?
Furunculosis is triggered by a bacterial infection, usually supported by Staphylococcus aureus strains, both sensitive and resistant to methicillin (respectively, MSSA and MRSA). However, in the etiology of the disease there could also be the contribution of other bacterial species, such as, for example, streptococci.
The aforementioned bacteria are normally present on the skin, but their proliferation is kept under control by the body's immune system. In certain situations, however, they manage to replicate uncontrollably, thus giving rise to skin disorders and pathologies, among which we also find furunculosis.
Among the factors that can promote bacterial colonization and the development of infection on the hair follicles, we find:
- Presence of other pathologies and skin disorders (such as, for example, eczema and dermatitis);
- Weakening of the immune system (for example, caused by physical and mental stress, diseases such as AIDS, etc.);
- Taking drugs that can depress the immune system (as do, for example, immunosuppressive drugs and cortisone drugs);
- Poor personal hygiene;
- Presence of diabetes;
- Presence of obesity;
- Presence of anemia;
- Presence of ulcers of the lower limbs;
- Family history of furunculosis.
Did you know that ...
The infection that triggers furunculosis could potentially be transmitted from one individual to another by direct contact. Therefore, contact with an individual suffering from furunculosis and / or with health personnel dealing with this type of disease can represent another possible risk factor for the disease.
Clinical symptoms and manifestations of furunculosis
Furunculosis is manifested by the appearance of numerous pimples. These appear as red, swollen and painful nodules .
The central part of the nodule usually contains necrotic tissue and bacteria. As the infection progresses, the size of the lesions that characterize furunculosis can increase and become more painful, as can be seen in the formation of pus in the upper part of the pimples.
Furunculosis is always accompanied by an inflammation that can be more or less severe depending on the extent and extent of the infection.
Finally, we recall that - although rarely - in some cases, furunculosis may occur in association with symptoms such as fever and enlarged lymph nodes .
Possible complications of furunculosis
Among the most common complications of furunculosis we undoubtedly find the scars that can form after the healing of the lesions.
In addition to this, when furunculosis is in an active phase, it could lead to superinfection and / or abscess formation.
Furthermore, the infection that triggered furunculosis could involve other body areas, or in extremely serious cases, spread inside the body and even lead to bacteremia.
Because of this possible complication, we remind the importance of avoiding crushing or cutting pimples with "do it yourself" methods; on the contrary, it highlights the need to consult a doctor or dermatologist.
What is Recurrent Furunculosis?
One speaks of recurrent furunculosis when the disease occurs three or more times within twelve months. In a sense, recurrent furunculosis could be considered as a sort of complication of "classical" furunculosis, since, in most cases, re-infection occurs in areas where a previous outbreak has already occurred.
Particularly susceptible to the development of recurrent furunculosis are patients with a family history of recurrent furunculosis, patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus or other diseases that can compromise the immune system and / or skin integrity (such as, for example, atopic dermatitis).
How is the diagnosis of pimples made?
The diagnosis of furunculosis can be considered relatively simple. In fact, from the anamnesis and the simple visual examination, the doctor can guess what problem afflicts the patient. To complete the diagnosis, the doctor may decide to make a swab of lesions in order to identify which is the bacteria responsible for the infection. Only in this way, in fact, will it be possible to determine which is the best therapeutic strategy to use.
Of course, to make a correct diagnosis, the doctor will have to carry out all the necessary investigations in order to exclude the possible presence of pathologies that can give clinical manifestations and symptoms similar to those induced by furunculosis (an example of similar diseases could be the suppurative hydrosadenitis or reverse acne).
Forunculosis Treatments and Treatments
Being a disease caused by a bacterial infection, usually the treatment of furunculosis involves the administration of antibiotic drugs for topical use ; such as, for example, clindamycin (Dalacin T®).
In the most serious cases of furunculosis and in cases of recurrent boils, the doctor may decide to prescribe oral antibiotic drugs ( penicillins, cephalosporins ).
However, if the disease is caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains, therapy becomes more difficult and requires the use of antibiotics other than penicillins. In such situations, one can use, for example, the use of vancomycin or linezolid .
Due to the risk of developing antibiotic resistance, attempts are being made to limit the use of antibiotic drugs as much as possible. However, if the use of these drugs is essential, the treatment should not be continued for long periods of time.
To counter the furunculosis, in addition to the treatment with antibiotics, the doctor may decide to intervene by making the incision of the nodules and the consequent drainage of the pus contained within them. This operation is more delicate than one might think and - in order to avoid complications - it must be performed in suitable environments, with sterile instruments and by health personnel.
Since it is a disorder that involves large areas of skin and is characterized by intense inflammation, resorting to natural remedies to treat furunculosis may not only be ineffective, but may even be counterproductive because it does not intervene quickly with the most appropriate treatments, allowing this way to infection and inflammation to progress.
It is much more likely that recourse to natural remedies will prove to be useful in the event that a single boil appears, an unusual event that can occur in any individual. However, in most cases, pimples that appear individually tend to heal spontaneously within a short time.
Useful Tips to Prevent Forunculosis
The following are some useful tips to prevent the onset of furunculosis. These are simple steps that, if followed correctly and consistently, can prevent, or at least limit, the appearance of this annoying condition.
- Maintain good personal hygiene;
- Use cleansing products suitable for your skin type;
- Avoid the mixed use of objects for personal care (razors, sponges, towels, etc.) belonging to individuals suffering from furunculosis;
- Avoid touching the lesions of patients with furunculants and, if this should happen, wash your hands thoroughly;
- In case of predisposition to furunculosis, try to reduce stress to a minimum and treat the diseases and disorders that could favor the development of the infection.
Useful tips to limit the damage and complications of furunculosis
Below, however, some tips are given for patients already suffering from furunculosis. Following these simple steps can be useful to avoid transmitting the infection to other parts of the body or to other individuals and to prevent the appearance of possible complications.
- Avoid crushing or cutting pimples yourself, even if they have the yellow surface full of pus; similar behaviors, in fact, could favor the spread of bacterial infection to other hair follicles or to other areas and could cause the appearance of scars after the healing of the lesions. For the incision of pimples, therefore, it is necessary to consult the doctor;
- Do not rub, scrape or traumatize the lesions in any way, as they could break and promote the transmission of the infection to other skin areas;
- Maintain adequate personal hygiene taking care to gently cleanse the areas affected by furunculosis. After normal cleansing, dry the skin thoroughly by dabbing it and not rubbing it;
- Avoid touching the lesions with your hands, especially when they are dirty, as they are potential vehicles of other pathogens;
- Before applying any topical medications to areas with pimples, wash your hands thoroughly. At the end of the application, proceed with hand washing again.