An abscess is a pus-filled lesion, arbitrarily defined as being less than 1 centimetre in diameter, enclosed within a pyogenic membrane.
Abscesses are most frequently caused by staphylococcal infection within the skin. However, abscesses may occur anywhere in the body and the infecting organism is largely determined by the site.
Abscesses may be acute or chronic. The latter are typified by the cold abscess of tuberculous infection.
Last reviewed 01/2018