An abscess is a pus and debris filled mass that is usually warm and painful to the touch. Abscesses can show up anywhere on your body, but the most common places are in your armpits, around your anus, the base of the spine, around a tooth, and in your groin. 


Abscesses are usually caused by a bacterial infection that gets inside the skin.

Treatment most often involves cutting the abscess open and draining it.


  • Painful, compressible mass that is red, warm to touch, and tender.
  • As some abscesses progress, they may "point" and come to a head so you can see the material inside and then spontaneously rupture.
  • If the infection spreads, you may develop a fever.

When to call your doctor

  • You have an abscess anywhere on your body that is larger than 1 cm or a half-inch across.
  • The abscess continues to enlarge or becomes more painful.
  • The abscess is on or near your rectal or groin area.
  • You have a fever of 101.5°F or higher.
  • You have a red streak going away from the abscess.

Our Neighborhood Walk-In Clinic is:

  • Walk-in friendly
  • Open 7 days a week 8am-8pm
  • In-network for most Washington insurers
  • Open extended hours
  • Equipped with X-Ray and Lab on-site
  • Staffed by Doctors, Physician Assistants, and Nurse Practitioners.