Definition of Abscess
An abscess is a cavity containing pus and surrounded by inflamed tissue, formed as a result of a localized infection.
Description of Abscess
An abscess may develop, enlarge or subside, depending on whether microorganisms or leukocytes (white blood cells) gain the upper hand in any one of a number of locations in the body. Abscesses may develop in any organ and in the soft tissues beneath the skin in any area.
Common sites include the breast, gums and peri-rectal area. Rarer sites include the liver and the brain. Common sites for abscesses under the skin include the axilla (armpit) and the groin. These two areas have a large number of lymph glands that are responsible for fighting infection.
A collar-button abscess is one in which a small abscess cavity under the skin connects via a sinus to (channel) to a much larger one in deeper tissues.