Incision & Drainage in Knoxville TN | AFC Urgent Care
Fighting a painful cyst or abscess? AFC Urgent Care offers walk-in incision & drainage services 7 days a week. Most procedures take less than one hour after being seen.
Abscesses vs. Cysts: What’s the difference?
Although cysts and abscesses may appear similar, they are two distinct skin conditions.
A cyst is a sac or cavity that can form in any part of the body, including the skin, and can be filled with pus or fluid. It may feel like a firm lump and can emerge anywhere on the body. It may go unnoticed until it starts growing or becomes painful. If a cyst is not causing any discomfort or pain and is not increasing in size or severity, it may not need removal.
An abscess is a pus-filled sac that arises when the body fights an infection caused by bacteria or fungi. Skin abscesses are the most common form of abscess and appear as a pocket of pus below the skin’s surface.
Signs & Symptoms of an Abscess
The signs and symptoms of a skin abscess are easily recognizable. You may notice a painful area on your skin that is compressible and resembles a large pimple or an open wound. This region of skin may appear red and tender, and the surrounding area may feel warm to the touch. In some instances, pus may also leak from the affected area, indicating an infection.
Occasionally, skin abscesses can cause additional symptoms, such as swelling around the wound and hardening of the skin’s surface. In more severe cases, you may also experience fever and chills.
What causes an abscess?
When sweat or oil glands are blocked, bacteria can become trapped beneath the skin and cause a skin abscess. You may also develop a skin abscess if you have a cut or injury that exposes the skin to bacterial infection.
Those who smoke, have severe eczema or acne or have diabetes are more prone to developing skin abscesses. Additionally, close contact with someone who has a staph infection can increase the risk of developing a skin abscess. A weakened immune system can also increase an individual’s susceptibility to skin abscesses.
Do I need I&D?
An Incision and drainage procedure is crucial to relieve pressure and alleviate any pain and discomfort you experience from your wound. The primary goal of I&D is to facilitate fluid drainage from the affected area, which helps in reducing the size of cysts or abscesses, preventing their spread and eliminating bacteria.
I&D is a highly recommended treatment option if you are experiencing mild to severe symptoms caused by a cyst or abscess. Although antibiotics can be effective in killing bacteria around the abscess, they may not be sufficient in eliminating bacteria inside the abscess cavity. I&D is necessary to ensure the harmful bacteria is completely cleared out, so you don’t have a recurring wound down the road.
What to Expect During an I&D Procedure
During an I&D procedure at AFC Urgent Care, you should expect the following steps:
1. Your provider will thoroughly clean the area around the abscess to minimize the risk of infection.
2. Next, they will administer a local anesthetic to numb the area around the abscess, making the procedure as painless as possible for you.
3. Once the anesthetic takes effect, they will use a sterile instrument, such as a scalpel, to make a small incision in the abscess. This will allow the pus to drain out, relieving the pain and pressure caused by the abscess.
4. If the abscess is large, your provider may need to make additional incisions to ensure that all the pus is drained from the wound.
5. After the procedure, your provider will clean the affected area again and apply a sterile dressing or bandage to prevent further infection. They may also prescribe antibiotics to treat any remaining infection or prevent new ones from developing.
If you have any questions or concerns about the procedure, don’t hesitate to ask your provider for more information.
An AFC team member will give you a set of instructions to follow for a successful recovery after your I&D procedure. These instructions will include keeping the affected area clean and dry, as well as taking any antibiotics that have been prescribed to you.
As the wound heals, new skin will form over the abscess site, closing the wound. Although complications are rare, it is essential that you seek medical attention right away if you experience any unexpected pain, bleeding, redness or swelling.
Our team at AFC Urgent Care is here to help you throughout the recovery process, and we encourage you to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have. We will be happy to provide you with the information you need to ensure that your recovery is as smooth and successful as possible.