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A small cutaneous abscess, usually resulting from infection of a hair follicle by Staphylococcus aureus. Also known as boil.



an acute purulent necrotic inflammation of a hair follicle and surrounding tissue caused by pyogenic bacteria, chiefly Staphylococcus aureus.

The occurrence of furuncles is promoted by contamination and microtraumas of the skin, increased perspiration and fatty secretion, and metabolic disorders. Characteristic is a painful inflamed nodule with a central slough, or core. After the necrotic tissue is sloughed off, the skin heals and forms a scar. Furuncles usually appear on the neck, back, face, or back of the head. The presence of multiple furuncles is called furunculosis. Purulent necrotic inflammation of the skin and subcutaneous tissue around a group of hair follicles and sebaceous glands is called a carbuncle. Severe complications (purulent meningitis, sepsis) may result from a furuncle on the face.

Treatment includes applying an antiseptic to the skin and, sometimes, administering an antibiotic orally or intramuscularly. Prevention consists of proper personal hygiene, prevention of microtraumas of the skin, and prompt treatment of injured skin.


Raben, A. S. Furunkuly i furunkulez, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1962.


References in periodicals archive ?
Furuncular myiasis of the breast caused by the larvae of the Tumbu ly (Cordylobia anthropophaga).
Furuncular myiasis of the foot caused by the Tumbu ly, Cordylobia anthropophaga: Report in a medical student returning from a medical mission trip to Tanzania.
Physicians should consider myiasis in patients who have a furuncular lesion after returning from tropical countries.
Clinical and parasitological observations on a case of disseminated furuncular myiasis caused by Cordylobia rodhaini in a man in Ethiopia [in Italian].
Furuncular myiasis in Africa is caused by Cordylobia anthropophaga (also known as the tumbu fly, putsi fly or mango fly).
Furuncular myiasis is treated by covering the lesion with petroleum jelly or liquid paraffin for a short period.