Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is an abscess supposed to bleed?"
I had a abcess lanced two days ago on my upper leg its bleeding an increased pain should I return to er
An abscess is a superficial skin infection that has resulted in a pocket of pus trapped under the skin. It is a common problem, but if you abscess has not resolved as expected after treatment, then you should talk with a physician. When you do talk with a doctor, you should be prepared to discuss the following information. A superficial abscess is usually caused when bacteria commonly found on the skin finds a way through the skin's barrier, often near a hair follicle, and causes a pocket of pus to form. The affected area becomes red, hard, and painful to the touch. One way of treating these infections is to do an "incision and drainage", which is the "lancing" that you describe. Depending on the size of the incision and the complexity of the abscess under the skin, the area can often drain for a few days after the procedure. The color of the drainage can range from yellow/tan (which would be pus) to thin/bloody (called serosanguinous drainage that can come from the wall of the abscess cavity). There should not be major bleeding after an abscess is drained. Most importantly, most people have decreased pain after the procedure because the pressure caused by the accumulating pus has been released and the infection begins to resolve. If your pain is increasing, it could be indicative of un-drained pus or an infection that is not resolving, which could require either further drainage or antibiotics. You should return to your doctor or the ER for evaluation. It is very possible that the bloody drainage from your wound is normal and will resolve with time. However, increased pain and ongoing drainage can also indicate a worsening infection. I strongly suggest you return to either your primary care doctor or the emergency department to have your abscess re-evaluated so that further treatment can be pursued if needed.
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