Abscesses

An abscess is an encapsulated inflammation in healthy tissue. It is red, painful, and filled with pus. The cause is a bacterial infection from a wound or a scratch in the skin.

The development of an abscess can follow from injury to the skin in the form of a small scratch or cut that becomes an entrance to bacteria invading the tissue and reproducing.
Abscesses can develop in connection with hair follicles, sweat- or sebaceus glands, and in lymph nodes.

The risk of leaving an abscess untreated is the possibility that the inflammation might spread to other areas of the body.

People who develop abscesses with increased frequency are likely to have an immune system with a decresed function, but the action of a warm and humid climate also favour the reproduction of bacteria in scratches and cuts.

One should examine all possibilities of hormonal imbalances and decreased function of the liver and/or kidneys, and if present, one should make sure that they are treated properly.

Recommendations

General advice on disease prevention and a healthy lifestyle can be found in the library article "General Advice - for healthy as well as for ill ones" in the VitaHealth section under Focus Articles. You can also test your health by taking our "Health Check".

People who regularly develop abscesses should seek the help of a qualified therapeut or physician. If the abscesses appear in connection with small scratces or cuts, one needs to be extra carefull with the hygiene in these areas.
The immune system can be stimulated by a daily supplement of vitamins and minerals. One will often benefit from using different combinations of detoxifying and immuno-stimulatory herbs. It should also be determined whether the abscess needs to be removed surgically.

Ginger, Zingiber officinalis, can be used in combination with turmeric, Curcuma longa, which can both be squeezed and mixed together in a paste. The application of the paste on the abscess will cause the inflammation (pus) inside to be drained to the surface of the skin.

Compresses of horseradish, chopped garlic, and onion have a healing effect.

Vitamins:
  • Bioflavonoides increase the effect of vitamin C and other vitamins.

  • Copper is used in the construction of connective tissue. Although copper deficiency is rare, it can be provoked by chronic inflammation. It has an analgesic effect.

  • Royal jelly stimulates the hormonal system in cases of hormonal deficiencies.
  • Selenium stimulates the immune system and takes part in the reconstruction of damaged skin.

  • Silicon stimulates the skin and the connective tissue, promotes the healing of wounds, and stimulates and strengthens the cells of the immune system.
  • Vitamin A stimulates reconstruction of the mucous membranes and the immunological defence against microorganism.
Beneficial herbs:
  • Burdock, Arctium lappa, removes toxic agents and has a bacteriostatic effect in cases of abscesses and other localized dermal inflammatory conditions.

  • Centelle, Centella asiatica. External use promotes the reconstruction of connective tissue

  • Clove, Eugenia caroyphyllata, contains bacteriostatic and analgesic agents. When used externally, pulverised clove suppresses the development of infection.

  • Comfrey, Symphytum officinale, has bacteriostatic and wound healing abilities.
  • Garlic, Allium sativum, has blood-cleansing effects and stimulates the immune system.

  • Ginger, Zingiber officinalis, suppresses bacterial growth (also used externally blended with turmeric).

  • Lemon, Citrus limon, is bacteriostatic when used externally. To be applied directly on the infected area of the skin.

  • Melilot, Melilotus officinalis, stimulates wound healing - For external use only.
  • Myrrh, Commiphora molmol, has bacteriostatic and bacteriolytic effect - for external use.

  • Red elm, makes a good compress against abscesses.

  • Tea tree oil, Malaleuca alternifolia. For external use. Mix a couple of drops with a teaspoon of vegetable oil and apply the oil onto the abscess.

  • Turmeric, Curcuma longa, has cleansing effects (also used externally blended with ginger).

Warnings

If you have large and frequent abscesses, you should be examined by a doctor before starting to treat yourself.

Remarks

Also see "Bacterial infections in general" and "Skin problems".