General Information
Furuncle (Boil) is a very common skin infection caused by staphylococci, involving an entire hair follicle and nearby skin tissue. The infection consists of tender, red, perifollicular swelling which will eventually terminate in a discharge of pus and of a necrotic plug. The damage to the Furuncle usually occurs by the patient, another individual or an object. The bacteria will enter deep into the tissue and the subcutaneous tissue when damage to a hair follicle occurs. A single or multiple furuncles usually appear on the face, neck, armpit, buttocks and thighs but may appear anywhere a hair follicle is present. Furuncles that develop close together may expand and join, causing a condition called carbunculosis. After the initial period of pain and some pruritus, the furuncle may heal. More often, they progress to pustules that increase in discomfort as pus collects. They finally burst, drain, and then heal spontaneously.

Very common

Caused by staphylococcus bacteria or may be caused by other bacteria or fungi


Damage to the hair follicle allows bacteria to enter deeper into the tissues of the follicle and the subcutaneous tissue.

Small firm tender red nodule in skin; Fluctuant nodule (later)

Shows an area of perifollicular necrosis containing fibrinoid material and many neutrophils

1. “Furuncle” (Online) November 2006. http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/001474.htm (visited: March 18, 2008) 2. Lever, Walter F Histopathology of the Skin Philadelphia, J.B. Lippincott Company 1983

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