Homeopathy for Abscess
Abscess is a pocket of pus collection caused due to suppuration after bacterial infection (mostly) or injury or foreign substances. It can occur anywhere in the body, i.e., outer surface or inner deeper organs or tissues. A boil or a pustule or a pimple in skin can be considered as small abscess. Initially, it will start with tender swelling with throbbing pain and its fate ends in draining of pus either inside or outside where the points are weak and easily prone for a let out.There are several different types of boils:
Furuncle or carbuncle: This is an abscess in the skin usually caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. A furuncle can have one or more openings onto the skin and may be associated with a fever or chills. The term furuncle is used to refer to a typical boil that occurs within a hair follicle. The term carbuncle is typically used to represent a larger abscess that involves a group of hair follicles. A carbuncle can form a hardened lump that can be felt in the skin. The condition of having chronic, recurring boils is referred to as furunculosis or carbunculosis.
Cystic acne: This is a type of abscess that is formed when oil ducts become clogged and infected. Cystic acne affects deeper skin tissue than the more superficial inflammation from common acne. Cystic acne is most common on the face and typically occurs in the teenage years.
Hidradenitis suppurativa: This is a condition in which there are multiple abscesses that form under the armpits and often in the groin area. These areas are a result of local inflammation of the sweat glands. This form of skin infection is difficult to treat with antibiotics alone and typically requires a surgical procedure to remove the involved sweat glands in order to stop the skin inflammation.
Pilonidal cyst: This is a unique kind of abscess that occurs in the crease of the buttocks. Pilonidal cysts often begin as tiny areas of infection in the base of the area of skin from which hair grows (the hair follicle). With irritation from direct pressure, over time the inflamed area enlarges to become a firm, painful, and tender nodule that makes it difficult to sit without discomfort. These frequently form after long trips that involve prolonged sitting.
Incidences – Even though it can occur in any part of the body, most commonly it occurs in and around the armpits and around anus (in buttocks). It can also occur in the root of the tooth, tonsils, liver, kidney, intestines, brain and spinal column. It is commonly noted in persons with poor hygiene, diabetics, alcoholics and in allergic personalities (with drug or food or irritants). Also it happens to crop up often in auto-immune disorders like psoriasis, SLE and in cancers and also with their treatment.
Types – Abscess can be classified as acute and chronic depending upon the period of sufferings. Also it can be classified as septic abscess and sterile abscess.
Septic abscess is caused by bacteria’s and the bacteria can be identified with culture reports, whereas sterile abscess is caused by injury or injection or foreign substances without bacterial invasion. The abscess can be localized or become multiple (generalized) with blood contamination.
Pathophysiology – Normally, abscess formation is a natural process in expelling the disease/foreign substances from our body. It needs to get opened on its own or with surgical intervention to expel the liquid contents. Initially, the infected or injured part will be flooded with blood. This causes redness, swelling and heat on that part. Increased blood supply also dilutes the toxins, supplies defense forces (white blood cells, enzymes and antibodies) to the affected part and nourishment to the inflamed part for better healing. Abscess finally makes destruction/necrosis of the solid tissue around infective agent / bacteria / foreign substance to form pus (yellow or green inflammatory liquid containing digested / active germs, WBCs, cell debris, etc.), so that it can simply wash out with the disease / foreign substances from our body. Normally, it will take a week or two. Sometimes it can even persist for months and also be recurrent in nature.
Symptoms – The most common symptoms are:
- Pain and sensitivity to touch. Pain will be mostly pricking in character.
- Redness and warm swelling
- Discharge of pus – when it opens
- Fever with chill and body ache
- Nearby lymph node enlargement
- Even though all the abscesses feel warm due to increased blood circulation, tubercular abscesses usually remain cold and so are called cold abscess which need immediate critical care.
- Infection – Bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus), fungus, viral, etc.
- Injections and injuries including thorn pricks and insect bites
- Diseases – diabetes, cancer and AIDS
- Drugs and therapy (steroidal and chemotherapy)
- Skin complaints – psoriasis, eczema, herpes, etc .
- In all the cases, poor hygienic measures and negligence in taking treatment account for the increased intensity of disease / suffering.
Complication – Usually, abscess drains (either by natural or by surgical drainage) and gets healed. If there is lack of care in letting out the pus and helping in the healing, the chances for spread of infection through blood (septicaemia), formation of sinus / fistula / gangrene may occur. Also, delayed wound healing usually ends in scar formation with contractures and puckering. Above all, rupture of abscess in deeper organs can threaten one’s life with the symptoms of shock. Complications of most of cases are only due to negligence or because of what is leftover.
Management and prevention – The secret lies in cleanliness and avoiding bacteria or allergens.
General treatment and surgery – The first and foremost approach of the modern school of medicine is to start with antibiotic treatment to arrest infection and its spread. Usually, they follow antibiotics and allow some time for the abscess to get ripened before doing I & D (incision and drainage). They also provide analgesics to reduce pain and anti-pyretic to reduce fever. Then, depending upon the cause and symptoms, they will try to eliminate the cause and make drain to switch off the pain and symptoms. Proper diagnosis, proper drainage and proper hygienic care will cure the abscess at the earliest. In some cases, even after surgical drain, wound healing may be difficult (if wound is very deep).
Homeopathic approach –
Abscess usually takes a week to resolve on its own. But, sometimes, abscess would become persistent and may be letting out pus when it is not properly cared for with medical intervention. Beyond the facts, even then with good care, some may develop recurrence which is more vulnerable to spread of infection. Homeopathy, unlike other system of medicines, doesn’t concentrate in just healing the spot, but it also aborts the tendency to spread and recur. It will also enhance healing.
Homeopathy can play a vital role in curbing abscess as soon as it appears and forcing it to get opened in later stages. There are many remedies in Homeopathy like surgeon scalpel which can let out pus from abscess to expel germs, foreign substance (thorn, etc.) at a faster rate. So, Homeopathy can treat abscess harmlessly for keeping good harmony of health without much pain. The earlier you treat, you get speedier and complete cure.
Belladonna – when the abscess is red in color during the stage of inflammation, blood boils, there is throbbing pain without formation of pus.
Hepar Sulph – it acts well in early stages of pus formation, it stops formation of pus or aborts pus in very less time period. It is indicated when the pus starts coming out from an abscess, when the pus is thick, yellow and the patient is sensitive to touch.
Silicea – it acts better when there is low healing power. The character of pus is thin and watery in indolent ulcers which are hard to heal. The patient is chilly; better in dry and warm weather and worse in wet and cold weather.
Chamomilla – when the pain is unbearable we can think of this medicine.
Merc Sol – it favors rapid formation of pus, useful for glandular abscess with throbbing pain, worse from warmth of bed.
Fluoric Acid – to form healthy granulations after Silicea
Calcaria Sulph – excellent remedy for abscess which is slow to heal after rupture, with a continues discharge of yellow pus. Patient desires open air but sensitive to drafts. Tendency to the formation of abscess
Pulsatilla – copious, bloody, yellowish or greenish pus, worse after taking rich food, and warmth; better in cold, open air
Calendula – when pus is thick and yellow without inflammation.