Monday, March 24, 2008

Do you have a carbuncle?

I wrote this article as an information to those who doesn't know the english term for "pigsa". Yes, it is carbuncle. I saw this male as I was about to go to the office this morning who have this skin disease located on his neck. Now, what if it's located somewhere else, maybe right at your butt, that it hurts you and makes you decide not to come to the office. What would you tell your boss or your immediate superior?

Boss, I cannot come to the office today because I have a "pigsa".

Quite shameful isn't it? But how about if you would say:

Boss, I cannot come to the office today because I have a carbuncle.

Sounds OK. I bet your boss would permit you right away because he doesn't even know what a carbuncle is. I just don't know if my boss is familiar with the term, our firm is owned by an American.

I learned this term in one a radio station here in Metro Manila, 90.7 Love Radio. I am not sure if the show is titled "Tambalang Balasubas at Balahura" or just the segment of it. The show is graced by fellow bicolano or shall I say bicolana Nicole-hiyala and Chris-Tsuper. The tandem is known for their wacky acts and opinions in the airwaves but sometimes gives informations such as this one. If you want to have a smile early in the morning. You should try their show.

But when they gave this information they said that "pigsa" is impetigo or carbuncle but as I researched about the two skin diseases, I found out that there is a big difference between the two. And if you read closely on both skin disease you would find out that "pigsa" is carbuncle and not impetigo although they are closely related.

Just to give you an informations about this, a carbuncle is a lump on the skin usually caused by bacterial infection. Most carbuncles are caused by the bacteria staphylococcus aureus. The infection is contagious and may spread to other areas of the body or other people.

A carbuncle is made up of several skin boils. The infected mass is filled with fluid, pus, and dead tissue. Fluid may drain out of the carbuncle, but sometimes the mass is so deep that it cannot drain on its own. Carbuncles may develop anywhere, but they are most common on the back and the nape of the neck. Men get carbuncles more often than women. Because the condition is contagious, family members may develop carbuncles at the same time. Often, the direct cause of a carbuncle cannot be determined. Things that make carbuncle infections more likely include friction from clothing or shaving, generally poor hygiene and weakening of immunity. For example, persons with diabetes and immune system diseases are more likely to develop staphylococcal infections.

Carbuncles usually must drain before they will heal. This most often occurs on its own in less than 2 weeks. Placing a warm moist cloth on the carbuncle helps it to drain, which speeds healing. The affected area should be soaked with a warm, moist cloth several times each day. The carbuncle should not be squeezed, or cut open without medical supervision, as this can spread and worsen the infection.

Treatment is needed if the carbuncle lasts longer than 2 weeks, returns frequently, is located on the spine or the middle of the face, or occurs along with a fever or other symptoms. Treatment helps reduce complications related to an infection. A doctor may prescribe antibacterial soaps and antibiotics applied to the skin or taken by mouth. Deep or large lesions may need to be drained by a health professional.

Proper hygiene is very important to prevent the spread of infection. Hands should always be washed thoroughly after touching a carbuncle. Washcloths and towels should not be shared or reused. Clothing, washcloths, towels, and sheets or other items that contact infected areas should be washed in very hot (preferably boiling) water. Bandages should be changed frequently and thrown away in a tightly-closed bag.

Carbunculus may heal on their own. Others usually respond well to treatment. However, a carbuncle can return again and again for months or years following the first infection. Call a doctor if a carbuncle does not heal with home treatment within 2 weeks or is located on the face, neck or spine. The same if you have a fever or a lot of swelling around the carbuncle, or pain that gets worse. Also consult a professional if carbuncles come back often.
(I did not post an image to this article because I cannot see an image which would not be an eye sore to everyone. I'll post one if I get one.)


kai said...

woohoo thats informative. and okay, its carbuncle - never knew that term! haha thanks.

zahara said...


now i know!!!

A Simple Life said...

oo nga naman, parang dyahi pag sinabi mong pigsa, but when yo use carbuncle medyo sosi ang dating hahaha.

genesis said...

This is gonna be my word of the day, "carbuncle". Thanks for sharing!