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Staph infection, abscess on neck, pain, swelling. Emergency?

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I have a staph infection that has abscessed on the left side of the back of my neck. I have been to the doctor where she cut and drained it. She then packed it. I am supposed to return to the doctor tomorrow, but I am worried because the pain is continuing to increase and swelling has spread to the front of my neck almost to my collarbone. Should I be concerned enough to go to the emergency room?
Posted Fri, 20 Apr 2012 in Skin Rash
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 17 minutes later

Thanks for writing to us.

After drainage of an abscess a dull aching pain might persist but at least the pain should not shoot up. Increase in the swelling right upto your collar bone is also a matter of concern. In my opinion you should at least go to ER to get the packing unpacked as it is hindering free outflow of the accumulated pus.

Second thing I would advise you is to go for a culture sensitivity of the pus drained and to complete the full course of antibiotic even if you feel symptomatically better. This will prevent the repeated infections that you are having.

Third advise is that you should get your blood glucose levels checked both fasting as well as post-prandial to rule out diabetes as such repeated infections are commonly associated with diabetes.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. If there are additional concerns, I am available for your followups.

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