Close-up showing an abscess on the abdomen of a seven year old girl. Abscesses are collections of pus which form as a result of infection by microorganisms, typically bacteria (such as staphylococci). The pus is formed from destroyed tissue cells, from leucocytes (white blood cells) that have been carried to the area to fight the infection and from dead and live microorganisms. Abscesses may develop in any organ and in the soft tissues beneath the skin in any area. Antibiotics are usually prescribed to treat bacterial infections and sometimes the abscess needs to be drained either through a drainage tube or by leaving the abscess open.
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