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Related to carbunculosis: carbuncle, boils


a condition marked by the formation of numerous carbuncles.


an abnormal condition characterized by a cluster of deep, painful abscesses that drain through multiple openings onto the skin surface, usually around hair follicles. Carbunculosis is a form of folliculitis, most commonly caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. The lesions caused by this condition may cause fever and malaise. Diabetics and the immunosuppressed are more susceptible to carbunculosis. Men are more susceptible to carbuncles than are women.
observations Carbunculosis commonly follows persistent S. aureus infection and furunculosis. Diagnosis is based on obvious skin lesions, a patient history of previous furunculosis, and S. aureus in wound culture.
interventions Treatment of carbunculosis requires the administration of systemic antibiotics and surgical drainage. The prognosis depends on the severity of the infection and the physical condition of the patient.
nursing considerations Nursing care for this disorder is mainly supportive and educative to impress the patient with the importance of meticulous personal and family hygiene. Patient teaching includes explaining the importance of reducing sugar and fat intake and cautioning him or her not to squeeze a carbuncle or furuncle because it may rupture into the surrounding area. The patient is also instructed not to share towels and washcloths with other family members because this practice may spread the bacteria. Also stressed are the importance of thoroughly laundering towels and washcloths before reusing them and the need for daily changes of laundered clothes and bedsheets. The patient is additionally encouraged to change dressings frequently and to discard them in paper bags. Because carbunculosis often follows furunculosis, a disorder associated with diabetes, the patient should have a thorough physical examination.


A focal folliculitis, which is most common in the neck and back and often caused by infection of Staphylococcus aureus, which spreads by direct contact.

Hot compresses, drainage, antibiotics.


A condition marked by the occurrence of several carbuncles simultaneously or within a short period of time.