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Gluteal Abscess Causes

Gluteal Abscess Causes

A skin abscess can develop anywhere on the body. A gluteal abscess is one that forms on the buttocks, usually close to the anus.

What is a gluteal abscess?

An abscess happens when bacteria get into the body, prompting the immune system to send white blood cells to the infected area. As the white blood cells fight the bacteria, the surrounding area of tissue will die (become necrotic), resulting in a small cavity. This will become filled with pus, creating an abscess.

There are different types of abscess. A gluteal abscess is normally a skin abscess, where pus collects just underneath the skin. This will create a hard, pus-filled lump that can be seen and felt with the fingers. The surrounding tissue will also look red and inflamed. A gluteal abscess can appear anywhere on the bottom, although most will develop close to the anus.

What causes a gluteal abscess?

A gluteal abscess is caused by a bacterial infection. This might arise if:-

  • There is a minor skin wound, allowing bacteria to enter the body;
  • The glands in the perianal area become blocked and infected;
  • The tissue in the buttocks becomes necrotic (dies) usually due to repeated trauma such as injections;
  • Bacteria enter the root of a hair on the skin;
  • A patient has the infection MRSA.

Treating a gluteal abscess

Because a gluteal abscess can normally be seen with the naked eye, it should not be difficult to doctors to make a diagnosis. A decision must then be made as to how to treat the problem. For very small abscesses, antibiotics alone may be sufficient. In most cases, however, the pus will need to be drained.

If an abscess is not drained, it may continue to grow in size until it eventually bursts. This can be very painful and can also cause the infection to spread. This may lead to serious complications, particularly if the infection enters the blood stream or creates a large area of necrotic tissue.

Failure to diagnose and treat a gluteal abscess

If medical professionals fail to diagnose and/or treat a gluteal abscess, causing a patient to suffer complications, there will be grounds for a medical negligence claim. Any reasonably competent doctor should be able to recognise an abscess and decide upon a suitable course of treatment. If antibiotics do not work, no time should be wasted in draining the pus with a needle.

If you or your loved one has suffered harm because of a gluteal abscess and you believe medical negligence is to blame, get in touch with us today.

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