Carbuncle in Adult
Alerts and Notices
SynopsisA carbuncle is a bacterial infection resulting from staphylococcal bacteria. This condition is the result of 2 or more contiguous furuncles, enlarging into a multiheaded giant furuncle (boil). Alcohol use disorder, malnutrition, impaired circulation, diabetes mellitus, and other forms of immunosuppression predispose an individual to infection. Symptomatic relief is provided by warm compresses. Antibiotics are used to clear the infection.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) first emerged as an important nosocomial pathogen in the 1960s. In more recent years, community-acquired outbreaks of MRSA have been described increasingly among prisoners, military recruits, athletes, intravenous (IV) drug users, and men who have sex with men. Community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) has also been identified in otherwise healthy individuals lacking these risk factors. In a recent study of emergency department visits for purulent skin and soft tissue infections, MRSA was identified as the etiologic agent in the majority (59%) of cases. Furthermore, this study determined that 57% of patients with MRSA did not receive the appropriate initial antibiotic therapy.
L02.93 – Carbuncle, unspecified
416893007 – Carbuncle
Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls
- Dermatophyte infections such as tinea barbae, kerions, or Majocchi granuloma can mimic a carbuncle.
- Actinomycosis typically occurs in the neck region.
- Atypical mycobacteria or sporotrichosis can occur as indurated pustular plaques.
- Inflamed or infected epidermoid cyst
- Medium vessel vasculitides may present with tender nodules; livedo reticularis or livedo racemosa may also be seen.
- Dissecting cellulitis of the scalp
- Acne keloidalis nuchae
- Hidradenitis suppurativa
- Pilonidal abscess
- Intraoral squamous cell carcinoma can mimic a carbuncle and should be considered if not responding to appropriate antibiotic therapy.
Carbuncle in Adult