carbuncle


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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 ?
Yet not to have my wasted lifetime back again would I give up my hopes of the Great Carbuncle! Having found it, I shall bear it to a certain cavern that I wot of, and there, grasping it in my arms, lie down and die, and keep it buried with me forever."
Mine is the sole purpose for which a wise man may desire the possession of the Great Carbuncle. Immediately on obtaining it--for I have a presentiment, good people that the prize is reserved to crown my scientific reputation--I shall return to Europe, and employ my remaining years in reducing it to its first elements.
"Nor need you hesitate, learned sir, on account of the necessary destruction of the gem; since the perusal of your folio may teach every mother's son of us to concoct a Great Carbuncle of his own."
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.
"Now, as touching this Great Carbuncle, I am free to own that I have never had a glimpse of it; but be it only the hundredth part so bright as people tell, it will surely outvalue the Great Mogul's best diamond, which he holds at an incalculable sum.
Thus, long ages after I am gone, the splendor of the Great Carbuncle will blaze around my name!"
"To think!" 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.
"The Great Carbuncle!" answered the Cynic, with ineffable scorn.
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.
Up, this very minute, or we shall lose the Great Carbuncle!"