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Pathology of Furuncles  

Dr Sampurna Roy MD         





Furuncles (boils) are deep-seated infections with Staphylococcus aureus in and around hair follicles.

Staphylococcal Infection ;  Toxic Shock Syndrome .

Styes are boils that involve the sebaceous glands around the eyelid.

A carbuncle is a coalescence of multiple furuncles which may lead to multiple points of drainage on the skin surface.

They occur only on hairy surfaces, such as neck, thighs, and buttocks of men, and the axilla, pubic area, and eyelids of both sexes, the latter surfaces predisposed to boil formation by friction or maceration.

The boil begins as a painful follicular papule with surrounding with surrounding erythema and induration.

A yellow apex forms and the central core becomes necrotic and fluctuant.   

Microscopic features: A furuncle consists of a deep dermal abscess centered on a hair follicle.  

This is usually destroyed, although a residual hair shaft is sometimes present in the center of the abscess.

There is often extension of the inflammatory process into the subcutis.

The overlying epidermis is eventually destroyed and the surface is covered by an inflammatory crust.

Rupture or incision of the boil relieves the pain.

Several boils may occur in close proximity, and they often recur.


Further reading:

Recurrent furunculosis: a review of the literature.

Furuncle of the nose.

Cutaneous myiasis presenting as chronic furunculosis--case report.

Staphylococcus aureus positive for Panton-Valentine leukocidin genes but susceptible to methicillin in patients with furuncles.

Biofilm formation of Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from impetigo and furuncle: role of fibrinogen and fibrin.






Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)






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