Abscess: Symptom and Causes


The Symptoms of an Abscess depend on where it develops in your body

Skin abscess
  • A smooth swelling under your skin that can feel hard or firm
  • Tenderness in the affected area
  • Pain, warmth and redness in the affected area
  • An open wound or closed sore
  • Pus in the affected area that appears white or yellow
  • A high temperature (fever) of 38 C (100.4 F) or above
  • Chills
Internal abscess
  • Discomfort in the area of the abscess
  • Feeling generally unwell
  • A high temperature (fever) of 38 C (100.4 F) or above
  • Pain in your abdomen 
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Drowsiness (A very sleepy state) 
  • Diarrhoea (loose, watery stools)
  • A need to frequently pass urine
Depending on exactly where inside your body the abscess is, you may also have a number of other symptoms
  • A dental abscess can cause toothache, a bitter taste in your mouth and bad breath
  • A breast abscess can cause redness, pain and a discharge from your nipple 
  • A brain abscess can cause a headache, confusion and a high temperature (fever) of 38 C (100.4 F) or above


  • A skin abscess is often caused by a bacterial infection that occurs when Staphylococcus aureus bacteria enter the body through a hair follicle or through a wound or injury.
  • Abscesses can be caused by minor breaks and punctures of the skin, obstruction of sweat glands and oil (sebaceous) glands, and inflammation of hair follicles.
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