Apr 6, 2014
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A skin infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus, beginning in adjacent hair follicles (see FOLLICLE). As the folliculitis becomes confluent, a tender red lump develops which becomes necrotic (see NECROSIS) centrally with pus formation. A cluster of boils becoming confluent is called a carbuncle. Release of the pus and an oral antibiotic lead to rapid healing.

Recurrent boils are usually due to a reservoir of staphylococcal bacteria (see STAPHYLOCOCCUS) in a nostril or elsewhere, so an intranasal antibiotic cream may be prescribed. Underlying DIABETES MELLITUS should always be excluded.

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Medical Dictionary

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