Everyone loves watching abscess popping videos, but do you know what exactly you’re watching?
Many confuse these large “pops” for being pimples, but they are actually something called an abscess. An abscess is a pocket of infection or pus that is collecting in the tissues of the body. They are usually red, swollen, and painful.
A bacterial infection is usually the cause of an abscess with the most common culprit being staph. The staph infection can enter the skin barrier through small cuts or scrapes. Yikes!
Abscesses are treated by a procedure called incision and drainage- the famous “pop”. This is the procedure that everyone loves watching, well.. almost everyone. To start the drainage process, the area of infection is usually numbed with a local anesthetic.
After the anesthetic is effective, a blade is used to make an incision down the body of the abscess to release the pus and infection. The provider uses their hands to press against the sides of the abscess to help manually express the drainage, which is what you see all over your social media.
The pocket is then thoroughly cleaned and is usually packed with a dressing material to soak up any remaining infection. Most patients feel a sense of relief after the infection is expressed.
Many ask, “how would you let it get that big?” when watching popping videos, but abscesses are sneaky and can grow FAST. It is important to seek medical attention for these infections. If left untreated, the infection can enter the bloodstream, which can lead to a more extensive infection and possible hospitalization. Watch one of our favorite pops below.