Incision and Drainage of a Skin Abscess

An abscess is an inflamed and infected pocket of pus in the skin. It is often called a boil. Incision (cut) and drainage is a procedure to drain pus from an abscess. Incision and DrainageCopyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Call Your Doctor

    After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

    • Worsening pain
    • Redness
    • Swelling
    • Bleeding
    • Fever and chills
    • Rash or hives

    In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition


    An abscess is an inflamed and infected pocket of pus in the skin. It is often called a
    boil. Incision (cut) and drainage is a procedure to drain pus from an abscess.

    Incision and Drainage
    Incision and Drainage

    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    Drainage of an abscess is the preferred treatment to clear an abscess. It is often used if the abscess is large, growing, painful, or not improving on its own.

    Do not pop or cut an abscess yourself. This can spread infection and make it worse.

  • Possible Complications

    Possible complications may include:

    • Pain
    • Bleeding
    • Scarring

    Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

    • Smoking
    • Diabetes or other conditions that weaken the immune system