According to Wikepedia "An abscess is a collection of pus that has accumulated in a cavity formed by the surrounding tissue resulting from an infectious process (usually caused by bacteria or parasites) or other foreign materials (e.g. splinters or bullet wounds)." It is a defensive reaction of the tissue to prevent the spread of infectious materials to other parts of the body. The organisms or foreign materials kill the local cells, resulting in the release of toxins. The toxins trigger an inflammatory response, which draws large numbers of white blood cells to the area and increases the regional blood flow. This accounts for the classic signs of redness, heat, swelling, pain and loss of function.
Abscesses may occur in any kind of solid tissue but most frequently on skin surface (where they may form pustules (boils) or deep skin abscesses). They may also form in the lungs, brain, teeth, kidneys and tonsils. The major complication is the spreading of the abscess material to adjacent or remote tissues leading to extensive regional tissue death (gangrene). Abscesses in most parts of the body rarely heal themselves, so prompt medical attention is indicated at the first suspicion of an abscess.
"I am writing regarding an experience I had with activated charcoal and a cyst. My wife had a small cyst in her left auxiliary (armpit) region for several days and it kept getting bigger, more painful and more erythematous (red and inflammed). She had no fevers, chills, malaise or night sweats and no streaking was seen radiating out from the cyst. The pain was to the point of not allowing her left arm to comfortably rest by her side and I could not even lightly touch it without causing her a lot of pain. It grew to the size of a golf ball. Although it was this size there was evidence that it was coming to a head in order to be expelled through the skin.
Having been educated extensively first in natural medicine for years, and having written numerous articles published in peer-reviewed medical journals, and having later went the route of traditional medicine as well and became a Physician Assistant (Certified), I could now approach medical problems from two different perspectives. The traditional route would be to make an apptointment with her family physician at which point they might go ahead and lance and drain the cyst in the office, suture it, bandage it, place her on antibiotics for 7-10 days and schedule a follow up visit.
The natural medicine side brought to mind the fact that I wanted to draw out that localized inflammation and possible infection without having to lacerate the skin, and activated charcoal was the first thing that came to my mind in the form of a poultice. I took some activated charcoal powder and mixed it with ground flaxseed in no special ratio, but simply made a paste with it that would stay on the gauze and not be runny. Taped it down over top of the cyst and left it on overnight.
The next morning when the poultice was taken off the cyst had come to a head and a small closed comedone appeared on it. The erythema was virtually gone and the pain completely gone. My wife very gently squeezed the cyst and it burst open and released large amounts of pus. She continued to expel the material until nothing more came out. We cleaned the area well, dressed it with gauze. She could now rest her arm by her side and had not pain. By the next morning it had decreased to about 1/4 inch in diameter and finally disappeared several days later.
Without question, a poultice of activated charcoal holds tremendous value for post-surgical patients as well."