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5 Things Diabetics Need To Know About Carbuncles

by Art Bishop

As a diabetic, you should already know that high blood sugar levels can wreak havoc on your body. Complications like eye damage and foot damage are well-known, but you may not know that diabetes can also cause a lot of skin problems. Diabetes has been linked to carbuncles, a type of skin infection. Here's what you need to know about this complication. 

What do carbuncles look like?

Carbuncles look like a cluster of very large pimples. Each bump will be pea-sized at first, but will grow larger in a matter of days. The area around the carbuncle will be red and swollen. Carbuncles tend to be found on your shoulders or on the back of your neck, but they can develop anywhere. 

How does diabetes cause carbuncles?

Carbuncles are caused by staph bacteria. Staph bacteria are naturally found on your skin, and in people with healthy immune systems, this isn't much of a concern. However, diabetes weakens your immune system, so your body can't fight off the staph bacteria very well. This allows an infection to form beneath your skin, leading to the formation of carbuncles.

Are carbuncles dangerous?

Carbuncles are an infection, and like any infection, you can suffer from serious complications if they're not treated promptly. The infection can spread to other parts of your body, like your bones, brain, or even your blood, and when this happens, you could die. 

Can you treat them at home?

Carbuncles look like big pimples, but that doesn't mean that you can squeeze or pop them at home. The infection can spread to other parts of your body, so by squeezing it, you could end up spreading it to your hands or other parts of your body that you touch.

The most you can do at home is hold a warm cloth against the carbuncles. The warm cloth will help to reduce your discomfort, and it will also help to increase blood flow to the area, which is necessary for healing. 

How do dermatologists treat carbuncles?

Your dermatologist will surgically drain the infection. This can be painful, so the area will be numbed first. Next, the skin will be punctured with a sterile needle, and the pus will be allowed to drain. You will be given antibiotics to kill the staph bacteria. 

Diabetes causes lots of complications in the body, and the skin is no exception. If you notice any painful bumps on your skin, you may have carbuncles and should see a dermatologist immediately. For more information, contact a company like Dermatology Associates.