An abscess is a hollowed-out space with pus. It is surrounded by irritated tissue and is caused by an infection. The infection is a result of the inhalation of bacteria that is commonly found inside a person’s mouth or throat. People with weak immune systems may develop an abscess of the lung. Fungi or organisms that cause tuberculosis may also result in the formation of a lung abscess. The abscess can also be caused by a serious infection called Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Abscesses are most often caused by a bacteria, called Staphylococcus aureus, which normally exists on the skin and inside the nose. It can enter the body through a cut, abrasion, puncture, or even an insect bite.
Other factors can increase the risk of S. aureus infection, including:
- A chronic skin condition such as acne or eczema
- A weakened immune system
- Coming into close contact with an infected person
- Poor hygiene
- Development of an abscess on the face
- Development of multiple abscesses
- Worsening or extremely painful abscesses
- Abscesses of more than two inches in diameter
- Abscesses that persist for more than two weeks
- Abscesses that recur