Pus

Pus wound

Last Updated August 23rd, 2019

Whenever the tonsils get inflamed and infected (tonsillitis), they become an easy ground for the bacteria to spread. The oral cavity provides a warm and moist atmosphere with a lot of leftover debris from food and this leads to rapid bacterial invasion. The S.pyogenes bacteria are responsible for pus-formation on the tonsils. If the tonsillitis infection is left untreated, it gradually becomes a pus-filled pocket, known as a peritonsillar abscess. These can also occur as a result of mononucleosis.
Even the eyes are highly susceptible to bacterial infections and hence pus accumulation. Excessive discharge from the eyes in the form of a white thick fluid is the indication of pus formation in the eyes. This is most commonly seen in the case of bacterial conjunctivitis. In many cases, a strep throat infection can give rise to pus formation in the eyelids. Many STIs such as gonorrhea or chlamydia also give rise to infections and pus accumulation in the eye.
If you are experiencing a burning sensation in your urine, chances are that you have a bacterial urinary tract infection and this could mean you have pus in the urine. Medically known as pyuria, this condition is not restricted only to UTIs. At times, there might be other causes too for high WBC count in your urine – pneumonia, polycystic kidney disease, and even intake of certain medications such as PPIs and NSAIDs.
Pus accumulates at the site of an infection. The moment your body’s immune system senses that it has been invaded by pathogens, it sends a team of disease-fighters, aka, the WBCs to that location. When these WBCs attack the pathogens, this results in the accumulation of these bodies and in addition dead tissue debris. The yellow liquid oozing out of an infection site (pus) is this exactly.
If the pus formation is due to the infection of anaerobic bacteria, it usually has a foul odor. The exact smell of pus depends on where it has formed. Many say that pus collection in the oral cavity (tooth abscess) smells like feces. Pyogenic (pus-causing) bacteria often give out a foul smell. This is because the bacteria breaks down healthy tissues and release certain enzymes which have a bad odor.
The color and odor of pus can indicate how serious the infection is. Generally, pus is yellowish in color because of accumulation of dead neutrophils. At times it can have a slight greenish tinge. A special type of antibacterial protein released by the WBCs makes the pus greenish in color. Another reason of green-colored pus could be an infection by P. aeruginosa. Brownish pus could mean that your liver has amoebic infection. Tinges of red are also seen in pus in several cases. This happens when the blood gets into the site of infection.

Overview

Environmental pollution, microbial infections, stress and numerous other factors may contribute to diseases of varying complexities. The part of the human body that is most sensitive to all the above factors is the skin. Hence the skin gets severely affected in most of the cases and may eventually lead to skin diseases of serious nature. A very common form of skin disorder is skin rashes. It may equally affect people belonging to all age groups and ethnic groups. These rashes often worsen and take the form of blisters filled with a whitish substance.

What is pus?

Pus woundIt is a sticky thick yellowish or pale greenish fluid that is often contained in the blisters or rashes formed due to microbial infections. These pus-filled blisters are mainly seen in bacterial or fungal infections. Pus is rich in a protein-type fluid called “liquor puris”. It also contains leukocytes that are produced by the immune response of the body.

During any kind of infection, the macrophages discharge chemicals known as cytokines, which in turn trigger the neutrophils. The latter releases granules which kill the pathogen. The pathogen, in turn, releases toxin known as leukocidins which helps in resisting the immune response. This can cause the death of the neutrophils due to destruction by the macrophages. This eventually leads to the formation of pus.

What does it look like?

Generally, it has a yellowish white color. In some cases, due to the presence of a myeloperoxidase, which is an antibacterial protein of greenish color, the pus may have a greenish tinge. Pseudomonas infection can form greenish, bad-smelling pus. The greenish color is attributed to a bacterial pigment known as pyocyanin.

Brownish pus is formed in liver abscesses caused by the amoeba. It is also foul-smelling and resembles an “anchovy-paste”. In general, an abscess is formed when an amount of pus gets trapped in a tissue space. Pustules may form due to build-up below the epidermis.

What are the different bacteria that form pus?

Pus wound in toesThe bacteria responsible for the formation of pus are known as pyogenic bacteria. The following species are often involved-

  • Staphylococcus aureus: It causes diseases like- skin infections, bone infections, joint infections and food poisoning.
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis: These infections are common in patients using an intravenous catheter or prosthetic devices.
  • Streptococcus pyogenes: The common diseases are- cellulitis and necrotizing fasciitis.
  • Escherichia coli: It is the main causative factor of different gastrointestinal diseases.
  • Streptococcus pneumonia: It mainly causes respiratory disorders.
  • Salmonella typhi: It causes typhoid.
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae: It causes different sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea.
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis: This causes tuberculosis and other associated infections.

What are the different fungi that form pus?

Following are the different types of fungal infections that cause pus formation-

  • Nail fungus: The fungal agents that belong to this category are- dermatophytes, yeasts, and non-dermatophyte molds. Nail fungus or “Onychomycosis” is a medical term for a particular nail disease mediated by fungal infections. The nail, in this case, is called “mycotic nail” and is severely damaged in most of the cases. With the gradual growth and spread of the fungus, the nails become hard, thickened and yellowish with corroded edges and can even be uprooted in case of extreme damage. Nail fungus not only affects the nails but also damages the surrounding skin and underlying tissues.
  • Ringworm: Ringworm is a fungal infection caused by the tinea species that affects both human beings and other animals. It forms elevated reddish patches and pus-filled blisters. This infection is highly contagious.
  • Scalp psoriasis: Scalp psoriasis is the medical condition in which scaly patches and reddish plaques appear in different regions of the scalp. Under such conditions, the immune system of the body mistakes the dead skin cells as harmful foreign substances and attacks the skin itself. This results in the formation of whitish or greyish flakes on the skin along with itching, redness, and tenderness. Pus-filled blisters form at a more advanced stage.

Pus accumulation is painful and can easily become a hub for bacterial growth. Try these easy and effective pus treatment measures to avoid infections.

What are the different types of pus-filled eruptions?

Eruptions or blisters that are filled with pus are of different types and occur in different types of infections. These are given below-

  • Papules: They are also called micro comedones and appear as clusters producing a rough patch on the skin. A single papule is seen as a reddish eruption on the skin. These are usually caused due to the localized reaction on the skin and are inflammatory in nature. They are painful and extremely sensitive when touched.
  • Macule: Macules usually form as after-effects of papules. They appear as scaly spots with prominent borders and usually leave impressions after getting peeled off.
  • Pustules: They are also called “zits” or pimples and are often filled with pus. They are usually very sensitive and might transform into cysts in certain cases.
  • Nodules: They appear as irregular elevations on the skin and are painful when touched. Nodules are more critical in characteristics and are deep-rooted within the skin. They might lead to a gradual destruction of the underlying tissues and must be taken care of immediately after occurrence.
  • Cysts: Cysts are the most critical forms of acne so far and erupt as pus-filled lesions. They can intrude the deeper layers of skin, causing permanent damage to tissues.

How is it diagnosed?

Pus or pus-filled blisters are diagnosed through the following techniques-

  • Blood and swab tests
  • Fluid test
  • RAST (Radio Allergosorbent Test)


Treatment & prevention

Pus in diabetic footThe treatment method(s) used for treating pus depends upon the cause of the pus and also the severity of the pus infection. In mild cases, a warm and wet piece of sterile cloth can be used to compress and drain the pus. Care should be maintained when draining pus from a wound since it might lead to secondary bacterial infections. It is always wise to opt for expert medical help when draining larger and deeper pus wounds. The doctor will either drain the pus with the help of a needle or by making an incision just below the pus wound.

Pus is generally formed at the site of the infection. It could be white or yellow in color and consists of dead cells, tissue, and bacteria. Generally, bacteria or fungi enter the body through broken skin. The body will respond by sending neutrophils to fight off the pathogens. During this process, some of the neutrophils and tissue will die out. This is what forms as pus where the infection has occurred. Epsom salt is chemically magnesium sulfate. Epsom salts have a natural ability to draw out the pus, causing the abscess to drain.

For proper treatment of any kind of such blisters, it is necessary to find the root cause. Doctors usually recommend protective measures such as well ventilated clothes and shoes, or friction pads (for athletes) in order to reduce possibilities of blisters and eruptions containing pus.

While it is impossible to completely prevent the onset of pus and pus wounds, one can still decrease the likelihood of getting these by practicing the following methods:

  • Not sharing shaving equipment such as razors.
  • Keeping wounds clean, dry, and covered.
  • Scratching pimples or trying to pick them with any sharp object.

Facts

  • The main constituents of pus are white blood cells, infection-causing microbes, and some amount of decomposed body tissues.
  • Depending upon the nature and magnitude of the infection, the pus could be green, yellow, or brown in color.

Facts

  • Pus is a protein-rich fluid since it contains leukocytes (white blood cells).
  • One liter of cow’s milk contains roughly 200 million pus cells.

Facts

  • Pus discharge indicates that a wound is healing in the normal way, with microbes and infected tissues being flushed out of the system.

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Whenever the tonsils get inflamed and infected (tonsillitis), they become an easy ground for the bacteria to spread. The oral cavity provides a warm and moist atmosphere with a lot of leftover debris from food and this leads to rapid bacterial invasion. The S.pyogenes bacteria are responsible for pus-formation on the tonsils. If the tonsillitis infection is left untreated, it gradually becomes a pus-filled pocket, known as a peritonsillar abscess. These can also occur as a result of mononucleosis.
Even the eyes are highly susceptible to bacterial infections and hence pus accumulation. Excessive discharge from the eyes in the form of a white thick fluid is the indication of pus formation in the eyes. This is most commonly seen in the case of bacterial conjunctivitis. In many cases, a strep throat infection can give rise to pus formation in the eyelids. Many STIs such as gonorrhea or chlamydia also give rise to infections and pus accumulation in the eye.
If you are experiencing a burning sensation in your urine, chances are that you have a bacterial urinary tract infection and this could mean you have pus in the urine. Medically known as pyuria, this condition is not restricted only to UTIs. At times, there might be other causes too for high WBC count in your urine – pneumonia, polycystic kidney disease, and even intake of certain medications such as PPIs and NSAIDs.
Pus accumulates at the site of an infection. The moment your body’s immune system senses that it has been invaded by pathogens, it sends a team of disease-fighters, aka, the WBCs to that location. When these WBCs attack the pathogens, this results in the accumulation of these bodies and in addition dead tissue debris. The yellow liquid oozing out of an infection site (pus) is this exactly.
If the pus formation is due to the infection of anaerobic bacteria, it usually has a foul odor. The exact smell of pus depends on where it has formed. Many say that pus collection in the oral cavity (tooth abscess) smells like feces. Pyogenic (pus-causing) bacteria often give out a foul smell. This is because the bacteria breaks down healthy tissues and release certain enzymes which have a bad odor.
The color and odor of pus can indicate how serious the infection is. Generally, pus is yellowish in color because of accumulation of dead neutrophils. At times it can have a slight greenish tinge. A special type of antibacterial protein released by the WBCs makes the pus greenish in color. Another reason of green-colored pus could be an infection by P. aeruginosa. Brownish pus could mean that your liver has amoebic infection. Tinges of red are also seen in pus in several cases. This happens when the blood gets into the site of infection.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Pus formations after surgery should be immediately reported to the physician.
  • If the point of pus bursts open on its own, then wipe the entire area with a clean piece of cotton and press the end of the wounds to expel the pus completely. Apply antibiotic cream/ointment and cover the area with a clean bandage.
  • Turmeric is an excellent substance to apply to pus wounds because it has high anti-microbial properties.
Don'ts
  • Try to drain the pus at home, in case of large pus build-up. Refer to a doctor for surgical removal or drainage of the fluid.
  • Avoid going to the doctor if the pus formation is accompanied by fever and weakness.
  • Use turmeric as the sole method of treating the pus wound.

 

 

 

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Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many experts now have…
Jackfruit: Slice your way into higher immunity, better digestion, & more… Native to the South East Asia, the jackfruit is a fruit brimming with thousands of health benefits. Discover…
Is bronchitis contagious? And how to prevent this infection? It is acute bronchitis that is contagious which means you can contract it from another person or you…
Bubble Tea: Bubbling with nutrition or a hidden sugar mine? The tapioca pearls present in the tea looks like bubbles and hence the name bubble tea became popular.…
Inhale oxygen, exhale worries: The top breathing exercises and how to perform them Performing the breathing exercise is like becoming mindful of how you breathe.  Here is a list of breathing…
reflexology massage
Top reasons why you should go for a reflexology massage today Reflexology involves the application of pressure to your feet and hands to encourage self-healing. Could this be beneficial…
colposcopy
Colposcopy Colposcopy is a simple, quick and non- invasive diagnostic tool to look closely inside the vulva, vagina, and…
beta 2 glycoprotein 1 IgG
Beta 2 Glycoprotein 1 IgG Beta 2 glycoprotein 1 antibody test involves detecting and measuring the presence of the IgG class of beta…
beta 2 glycoprotein 1 igm
Beta 2 Glycoprotein 1 IgM The Beta 2 glycoprotein 1 IgM test detects IgM class of antibodies in the blood.The presence of beta-2…
cystatin C
Cystatin C Test Cystatin C is a specific single-chain protein that is found in body fluids and is a biomarker for…
ureteroscopy
Ureteroscopy Ureteroscopy is the diagnostic procedure which is used for the detection of the kidney stones in addition to…
paleo profile test
Paleo profile  The Paleo profile is a series of tests which helps in measuring and monitoring various lifestyle diseases caused…
BULIMIA NERVOSA vomiting
Can you get addicted to food? Learn everything about food addiction What is food addiction? How can people get addicted to eating? Is it an unhealthy eating habit or…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
Coconut sugar: What is it and is it healthier than table sugar? In the long list of things that the wonderful coconut gives us, coconut sugar is another remarkable addition.…
Find all the instant ways to get rid of blackheads Blackheads - Not only are they aesthetically unappealing but if left untreated these can cause bacterial overgrowth on…
Carb Cycling: Weighing the pros vs the cons of this diet routine Completely discarding carbs from your life will do you more harm than good. Read more about carb cycling,…
EMG electromyography
EMG- Electromyography EMG detects the presence, location, and extent of diseases that damage the nerves such motor neuron disease. Electromyography…
Bronchoscopy procedure
Bronchoscopy Bronchoscopy is a procedure where in a scope is inserted into the lung pathway to observe any growth…
ketoacidosis diabetes
HB1Ac Test HB1Ac test is an important blood test that is used to measure the levels of glycated hemoglobin in…
LFT-test
Liver Function Test – LFT LFT or Liver Function Test is a blood test used to determine the levels of hepatic enzymes which…
Tissue Transglutaminase Antibody (tTG) Test Transglutaminase is an enzyme present in our body and is involved in protein metabolism. A tTg test is…
BoneMarrow-Biopsy
Bone Marrow Biopsy Bone marrow biopsy is a diagnostic procedure where a small amount of bone marrow is extracted from hip…
blood elements analysis
Blood Element Analysis Test A blood element analysis is a blood test performed to measure the level of toxic elements such as…
anoscopy
Anoscopy Anoscopy is an invasive diagnostic procedure where a small device known as anoscope will be inserted in the…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the world by the…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your family? You would…
aspartame or sugar
Aspartame – Hidden truths about this storm in a teacup Aspartame, the artificial sweetener, has gone under the scanner on several occasions for allegedly doing more harm than…
Spirulina: Battle diabetes and cholesterol with this blue-green algae Spirulina, a species of salt water algae, has now become a billion dollar industry. How you can use…
ashwagandha brain
Ashwagandha: The best-kept secret of Ayurveda now revealed! Ashwagandha literally means "smell of horse". Don't get bogged down by that one tiny detail because this ayurveduic…
Hibiscus: Nourish your beauty and health with these vibrant blooms Hibiscus is a trumpet shaped flower found abundantly in tropical countries. It has been historically used for its…
What to eat, what not to eat in the South Beach Diet? The South Beach Diet is one among the most popular weight loss programs that have been the talk…
Hydroquinone: Is it the best topical treatment for hyperpigmentation? Darkening of the skin due to high melanin levels is called hyperpigmentation.  Hydroquinone interferes with melanin production thus treating…
Top reasons why you need to pay attention to your vitamin B6 intake Vitamin B6- An essential water-soluble vitamin. Its deficiency leads to physical changes such as sores & glossy tongue…
11 unbelievable health benefits of thyme you didn’t know! Thyme is a herb that has been used in alternative medicine.It is a well known seasoning in the…
HSV-1_IGG
Herpes Simplex Virus I (HSV)-IgG Test Herpes simplex virus I(HSV)-IgG is an Immunoglobulin protein that acts as an antibody & stays in the blood…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are you too a…
cancer facts
8 hard-hitting truths no one tells you about cancer Did you know that 1.5 million new cases of cancer are reported every year? Can second-hand smoking kill…
cold flu sinus treatment
How to beat the common cold, flu, and sinus infection instantly? Can you guess some of the easiest tricks to treat cold and sinus infections? How are these different…