What is Furunculosis?

Furunculosis is an infection caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria in hair follicles. It is sometimes referred to as a boil, and it appears as a large bump that is tender and red. Furunculosis is most common in areas where skin rubs against skin or clothing, such as the face, neck, underarms, back, and buttocks. Furunculosis is usually painful and can be accompanied by systemic symptoms such as fever, malaise, and chills.

Causes of Furunculosis

Furunculosis is most commonly caused by an infection of the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Staphylococcus aureus lives on the skin and can contaminate skin lesions and hair follicles. It can also enter the body through broken skin or rashes. If the natural defenses in the skin are weak or the person’s hygiene is poor, the bacteria can get into the hair follicles and cause an infection.

Signs and Symptoms of Furunculosis

The most common symptom of furunculosis is a painful, red bump that is filled with pus. Other symptoms may include:

  • Swelling of the lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Malaise
  • Tenderness of the area around the boil

Diagnosis and Treatment of Furunculosis

If a person suspects they have furunculosis, they should see a doctor so that the infection can be properly diagnosed and treated. The doctor will take a sample of the fluid from the boil and send it for laboratory testing. The test results will help to determine the proper course of treatment.

Treatment of furunculosis usually involves antibiotics taken orally or applied directly to the affected area. In more severe cases, surgical drainage may be necessary. If the infection is not treated, it can spread to other parts of the body. In some cases, complications such as sepsis, impetigo, and cellulitis can occur.