carbuncle


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Related to carbuncle: boil

carbuncle,

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.

Carbuncle

 

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. B. GALITSKII

carbuncle

[′kär‚bəŋ·kəl]
(medicine)
A bacterial infection of subcutaneous tissue caused by Staphylococcus aureus; multiple sinuses are created by tissue destruction.

carbuncle

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 classic literature ?
Here have I quitted my regular traffic, leaving my warehouse in the care of my clerks, and putting my credit to great hazard, and, furthermore, have put myself in peril of death or captivity by the accursed heathen savages--and all this without daring to ask the prayers of the congregation, because the quest for the Great Carbuncle is deemed little better than a traffic with the Evil One.
Wherefore, I am minded to put the Great Carbuncle on shipboard, and voyage with it to England, France, Spain, Italy, or into Heathendom, if Providence should send me thither, and, in a word, dispose of the gem to the best bidder among the potentates of the earth, that he may place it among his crown jewels.
Thus, long ages after I am gone, the splendor of the Great Carbuncle will blaze around my name
ejaculated the Lord de Vere, rather to himself than his companions, the best of whom he held utterly unworthy of his intercourse --"to think that a fellow in a tattered cloak should talk of conveying the Great Carbuncle to a garret in Grub Street
Ye must know, friends, that Hannah and I, being wedded the last week, have taken up the search of the Great Carbuncle, because we shall need its light in the long winter evenings; and it will be such a pretty thing to show the neighbors when they visit us.
Especially the man with spectacles, who had sneered at all the company in turn, now twisted his visage into such an expression of ill-natured mirth, that Matthew asked him, rather peevishly, what he himself meant to do with the Great Carbuncle.
I have come three thousand miles, and am resolved to set my foot on every peak of these mountains, and poke my head into every chasm, for the sole purpose of demonstrating to the satisfaction of any man one whit less an ass than thyself that the Great Carbuncle is all a humbug
The stars, those dial points of heaven, now warned the adventurers to close their eyes on the blazing logs, and open them, in dreams, to the glow of the Great Carbuncle.
And upward, accordingly, went the pilgrims of the Great Carbuncle, now treading upon the tops and thickly-interwoven branches of dwarf pines, which, by the growth of centuries, though mossy with age, had barely reached three feet in altitude.
At the base of the cliff, directly beneath the Great Carbuncle, appeared the figure of a man, with his arms extended in the act of climbing, and his face turned upward, as if to drink the full gush of splendor.
Or, perhaps, the very light of the Great Carbuncle was death
The Great Carbuncle," cried a peevish voice behind them.