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Noticed carbuncle on wrist and spots on lower lips. What treatment should be done?

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Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 2015 Questions
I have what appeared to be a carbuncle on top of my wrist about 1 week ago. It went down after a couple of days, but now I have another one, next to it and also I now have a spot on my lower lip. Is there any cause for this? And what is the treatment if any? I don't normally get spots. I once got bitten about 6 months ago by a mosquito on top of wrist near to where the carbuncle now is. The bite got infected but a doctor drained and it cleared up within a couple of weeks.
Posted Fri, 8 Mar 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 30 minutes later
Thanks for writing to us.
Firstly, it should be seen whether you are having a carbuncle or furuncle

A carbuncle is characterised by a large abscess with one or more openings draining pus as it is an infection of multiple hair follicles. It is usually seen over back or nape of neck. It is seen in diabetics, people with low immunity, poor hygiene or poor nutrition. It occurs due to friction from clothing, shaving or when the hair gets pulled out.

A furuncle is basically a boil with a single pus point as it is involvement of single hair follicle and surrounding area.

To treat the same
Do warm water compresses of the lesion twice to thrice in a day as it will help in draining the pus
Apply topical antibiotic like fusidic acid or mupirocin
If painful take antiinflammatory analgesic like Brufen
Wash your hands frequently and use antibacterial soap to bathe
If it is a carbuncle, a course of oral antibiotic like amoxyclav in adult doses for 7 to 10 days may be required along with incision and drainage of the lesion.
A carbuncle can be contagious hence keep your clothes, bed sheets and towels separate and do not share these with other family members.
Do not try to squeeze and drain the lesion yourself

Sometimes continuous itching of any lesion may lead to development of secondary infection and that had happened with you earlier with mosquito bite.

Sending a pic of concerned area would help me in diagnosing and addressing your concern more specifically.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Noticed carbuncle on wrist and spots on lower lips. What treatment should be done? 24 minutes later
I have sent 2 photos. The first is of my wrist, you can see the old spot (which did just have one pus point) and the new one.
The second is of my lip, this is the one that hurts the most.
Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 1 hour later
Both images that you have attached are same! There is no image of your wrist lesion.
The lesion over your lip is a boil or furuncle only. It is not a carbuncle.
To treat the same
Do warm saline compresses thrice in a day and apply mupirocin or fusidic acid cream.
Take tablet Brufen twice in a day
If possible take a course of oral antibiotic amoxyclav for 5 days. I usually prescribe it in dose of 625 mg thrice in a day. As it is a prescription drug, a doctor's prescription is required.
Do not in anyway manipulate the lesion as the lesion is present in XXXXXXX area of face( its the area of face where even minor infections if squeezed or manipulated may spread XXXXXXX to cause severe life threatening infections).
Follow the same treatment for wrist lesion, hopefully its a furuncle only.
Wash your hands frequently and use antibacterial soap to bathe.

These infections are basically bacterial infection which on frequent touching can spread to other areas of body and hence you are having these over your lips and wrist

Follow the above suggestions, hopefully the lesions will resolve in 5 days. If severe swelling which is red tender, warm and hard develops near lip lesion, it points towards cellulitis and in such case make it a point to visit your doctor for sure.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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