The formation of pus is caused by the death of tissues and cells surrounding an infection in the body. This symptom can occur on the surface of the skin or internally. Different treatment methods are available for individuals suffering from this symptom, depending on the location of the infection and its severity.
Pus may appear as a whitish or yellowish tinged substance which oozes when exposed to the air. When pus forms on the surface of the skin, it is typically referred to as a pustule or pimple. When pus forms beneath the skin, it is often known as an abscess. It can occur in the internal organs and tissues of the body, or the muscles and bones.
The formation of pus often indicates the presence of a bacterial infection somewhere in the body, whether beneath the skin or in a wound which begins at the surface of the skin. This foreign matter will only present itself after the infection has set in and the body has begun to fight it. It often means that the bacteria has been present for a lengthy amount of time, though the individual may not have previously been aware of it.
Pus is usually comprised of dead white blood cells, tissues, and other forms of biochemical debris. When an infection sets into an area of the body, white blood cells are among the first defenders sent to the site. They aggressively attack the infection and attempt to kill all foreign cells which do not belong and can harm the body. As the white blood cells successfully eliminate damaging bacterial cells, these dead cells may remain lodged in the wound and begin damaging the surrounding tissue. When this type of matter begins to accumulate, it has the potential to prevent further healing from taking place, and the body will seek to expel it.
Different treatments are available to heal such wounds after the formation of pus has appeared. Minor topical wounds should be cleaned with soap and water at least twice a day and bandaged to prevent the intrusion of more dirt and bacteria. They can also be coated with antibacterial ointment which will fight surface bacteria which is always present on the skin. Internal abscesses should be addressed by a medical professional, and may only be diagnosed after exposure to highly sensitive imaging equipment, such as sonograms and x-rays. These infections are often treated with oral antibiotics and surgical removal.