from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Classification according to ICD-10
L02 Skin abscess, boils and carbuncles
ICD-10 online (WHO version 2019)

A furuncle (from Latin furunculus , "little thief"; colloquially also blood black ) is a deep, painful inflammation of the hair follicle and the surrounding tissue, which is usually caused by staphylococci ( Staphylococcus aureus ) or a mixed flora of different pathogens .

Tissue destruction ( necrosis ) and central melting ( pus ) create a “plug” that can break through the surface of the skin and thus empty itself spontaneously. Healing takes place with the formation of scars .

The inflammation of the surrounding tissue causes pain bility of the range.


Hair follicle inflammation can occur anywhere on the hairy skin. Only when the inflammation spreads to the entire hair follicle and the surrounding tissue is it called a boil. Boils occur preferentially on the neck, buttocks, inner thighs, external ear canal and upper lip. If several boils melt together, this leads to a very painful, extensive carbuncle .

Furuncle formations in the facial area are very dangerous because the pterygoid plexus in the deep facial region between the masseter muscles is connected to both the veins of the face and the cavernous sinus in the interior of the skull. The angular vein can also communicate with the eye socket via the veins. The inflammation can slowly spread along the veins into the brain and lead to life-threatening encephalitis or cerebral vein thrombosis (a furuncle of the upper lip had a mortality rate of up to 50 percent before the introduction of antibiotics in 1941 ).

Boils occur spontaneously and usually without any apparent cause, singly or in clusters. However, skin diseases such as impetigo and sycosis ( beard lichen , "Mentagra") as well as metastases in purulent diseases of other organs and the resulting septicemia can be causes of furuncle formation. If it occurs in episodes, it is called furunculosis . Diabetics and those with kidney disease are particularly prone to boils. Other causes are tight-fitting, chafing clothes or insufficient disinfection after a shave.


A boil should be surgically cut open in order to counteract the further penetration of the pathogen into the surrounding tissue through the resulting pressure relief. In the case of "immature" boils, the application of vasodilating ointments (so-called draft ointments ) can, in favorable cases, lead to healing, otherwise the maturation of the boil and thus the time until surgical treatment can be accelerated by red light or short-wave radiation. Antibiotics can help minimize tissue damage.

Another treatment option in the case of chronic occurrence is an attempt at therapy with auto vaccines , a type of vaccination with the individual pathogen.

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: furuncle  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Synonym given after: furuncle . In: The New Herder . First half volume. Freiburg 1949, column 1252
  2. Boils. Dermatology Department - Altmeyers Encyclopedia, accessed October 30, 2017 .
  3. ^ Ferdinand Sauerbruch, Hans Rudolf Berndorff: That was my life. Kindler & Schiermeyer, Bad Wörishofen 1951; cited: Licensed edition for Bertelsmann Lesering, Gütersloh 1956, p. 328.
  4. ^ Furuncle - Department of Dermatology - Altmeyer's Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 27, 2017 .