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acute inflammatory nodule of the skin caused by bacterial invasion into the hair follicles or sebaceous gland ducts. It is actually a boilboil
or furuncle
, tender, painful inflammatory nodule in the skin, which becomes pustular but with a hard center (see abscess). It may be caused by any of various microbes, the most usual being Staphylococcus aureus.
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, but one that has more than one focus of infection, i.e., involves several follicles or ducts. Carbuncles occur more often in men because of their more extensive body hair growth. The infection is treated by applying antibiotics systemically and directly to the lesion and by incision and drainage at the proper time.



an acute, suppurative, necrotizing inflammation of the skin and subcutaneous tissue that tends to spread rapidly around a cluster of hair follicles and sebaceous glands.

Carbuncles are usually found on the back of the neck, on the face, and on the back. They generally appear when the skin becomes contaminated in places where it has been rubbed by clothing, the result of invasion by pyogenic microbes (staphylococci and streptococci). Exhaustion, diabetes mellitus, and gastrointestinal, liver, and kidney disorders are conducive to the appearance and development of carbuncles. The skin is inflamed and purple-blue at the site of the lesion, and the process is accompanied by suppuration. After the dead portions are sloughed off, multiple funnel-shaped openings form in the skin; this stage is followed by a wound with a dirty gray base and undermined margins. Carbuncles are accompanied by general intoxication, high temperature, and, in severe cases, vomiting and loss of consciousness. Treatment involves rest, local injection of novacain and antibiotics, X-ray therapy, ultrahigh-frequency sound therapy, blood transfusion, high-calorie diet, and, in the necrotic stage, surgery. Carbuncles are prevented through hygienic care of the skin and underclothes.



A bacterial infection of subcutaneous tissue caused by Staphylococcus aureus; multiple sinuses are created by tissue destruction.


1. an extensive skin eruption, similar to but larger than a boil, with several openings: caused by staphylococcal infection
2. a dark reddish-greyish-brown colour
References in periodicals archive ?
When I say big, I am talking about 17,500 people stepping over the film stars' palm prints to get into the carbuncular Palais des Festivals.
Candlesticks and sconces fastened high on the wall in the Artus Manor were simulating the joy of gleaming; they still flaunted their needles of flame, but already the fierce certainty w as concealed in their carbuncular gold plating that when the time came they would melt down in the fire into thick icicles of congealing copper.