What Is a Furuncle?

By katherine
Aug 1, 2020
Medical Expert Medical Expert

2. What Causes Furuncles?

A hair follicle is an opening in the skin from which a hair grows out. Each individual hair has its own follicle. The underlying cause of a furuncle is a bacterial infection of a hair follicle. The most common culprit is Staphylococcus aureus. This is a type of bacteria that lives on the surface of the skin and sometimes in the nose. Your immune system is usually effective at keeping the bacteria at bay. However, sometimes it can get under the skin’s surface through a cut or opening in the skin, a splinter, or insect bite. Other times, it just travels along the hair down into the follicle.

However, the bacteria reaches the hair follicle, it then causes an infection that causes damage to your skin cells. White blood cells travel to the area to fight the infection. The bacteria, the white blood cells, and other proteins mix together to form a thick, cream-colored fluid called pus. Pus will build up in the follicle as the white blood cells fight the infection. Sooner or later, the buildup of the pus causes the skin to break and the pus to drain out.


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