Symptoms & Signs
A carbuncle is a swollen lump or mass under the skin. It may be the size of a pea or as large as a golf ball. The carbuncle may be red and irritated and might hurt when you touch it.
It may also:
- Grow very fast
- Have a white or yellow center (pustule)
- Weep, ooze, or crust
- Spread to other skin areas
Sometimes, other symptoms may occur. These may include:
- General discomfort or sick feeling
- Skin itching before the carbuncle develops
Diagnosis & Tests
Your doctor will look at your skin. The diagnosis is primarily based on what the skin looks like. A skin biopsy may be done to help make the diagnosis or determine the exact type of bacteria involved.
Review Date : 4/12/2007
Reviewed By : Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Associate, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.