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Abcess on shoulder

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I was a little frightened at a new problem I have. 2 weeks ago, it developed a new abscess on the back of my shoulder.  When I consulted my doctor, he prescribed me some antibiotics. I took it for 3 days. Last night it started to discharge and draining by itself. I remember, I had another abscess about 4 years ago, in the same spot. After discharge, my doctor tried to drain it out fully. But it seems something is left there and not removed completely. Should I consult with some other doctor? Any help please.

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Category: Family Physician-GP
 30 Doctors Online

Hello, Thanks for writing to us

Sorry to hear your problem has recurred. You might be probably suffering from a simple boil, also called furuncle. It is nothing but infection of the hair follicle. It is caused by the most abundant bacteria present on the skin, Staphylococcus. The presenting sites are usually the back and the neck, like in your case, back of the shoulder. Other presenting sites include hairy regions like axilla and groin. It starts with a painful swelling which gradually extends. There will be tremendous pain with swelling. It may also be associated with the surrounding follicular infection (perifolliculitis), which may give rise to greenish pus discharge.

The infection may heal by itself or may require treatment with antibiotics. There is a chance that it can leave a sinus which is a blind tract, leading to increased chance of recurrence. This occurs so often because Staphylococcus are notorious that they are resistant to many antibiotics. The old abscess after drainage can develop a healing tissue whilst not closing completely leaving remnants that might get infected in the future.

As you stated that your physician started you on antibiotics, they should be continued till the prescribed period. On & off use and undisciplined use of antibiotics may lead to the development of resistant strains .If not regressed one would consider Culture and sensitivity of the pus that is being discharged, for it to be treated perfectly. I recommend you to keep the area clean and dry, apply some dressing daily, avoid scratching that area.

Hope this helps.


Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Experience: 
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
Dr. John Monheit and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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