Pus is a very common condition that happens as a result of an infection.

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The following guide explains what it is, its main symptoms, how to treat it, and everything in between.

  1. What is pus?

  • Infections are quite common. Our bodies are designed to react when under attack from one. Pus is precisely that, a reaction of our body when under attack of some infection. It usually is made of thick fluid that has cells, bacteria, and dead tissue cells.
  • It can come in several colors like yellow, brown, green, and white. That mainly depends on the type of infection, as well as from where it is. Sometimes is odorless, while other times it stinks.
  1. Where is it formed?

  • Pus is mainly formed in an abscess which is a space that has come to place as a result of a tissue breakdown. Sometimes the abscess is formed on the skin’s surface and other times inside the body.
  • However, some parts of our body are more exposed to infection than others. Some of the most vulnerable parts are the urinary tract, the mouth, the skin, and the eyes.
  1. Does pus cause any symptoms?

Other symptoms almost regularly follow the infection that is the cause for the pus. For example, a surface abscess may be followed by a red skin around it, as well as streaks of red. That area sometimes is swollen or may be causing you pain.

When it comes to internal abscesses, there aren’t any visible symptoms. However, there might be some flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, fever, and chills.

Sometimes pus occurs after surgery. They are known as surgical site infections (SSI). The symptoms can be different and depend on what type of surgery it was, which part of the body was and is still exposed, and under which conditions the surgery took place. Even though that SSI can happen to anyone, several risk factors increase the chances of one. The most notable SSI factors are:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Long surgical procedure (over two hours)
  • A previous condition that weakened your immune system
  • Obesity  

The main symptoms of a surgical site infection (SSI) are:

  • Warmth around the operated area
  • Redness around the operated area
  • Pus continuously draining from the wound
  1. How to get rid of pus?

  • How you deal with pus depends on how severe the infection is. In case of a smaller abscess presented on the surface of the skin, you can use a warm, wet compress to drain it. You can repeat the process several times a day for five or six minutes.
  • What you don’t want to do is to avoid the urge to squeeze it. That can significantly make things worse as you would be opening a new wound that can cause another infection.
  • In case you are looking to a much bigger, deeper abscess, don’t hesitate to ask for medical assistance. A physician can draw out the pus with a needle, or in some cases even make a tiny incision so that the abscess can be drained. For the biggest one that won’t heal on their own, you will need to use antibiotics.
  1. How to prevent pus?

The truth is that some infections cannot be avoided. At the same time, there are ways to reduce your risk of infection by following a few simple guidelines:

  • Never share razors with anyone.
  • Never share bedding or towels.
  • Always keep your wounds dry and clean.

In case, you already have an infection and an abscess, here are a few tips on how not to spread it to other people:

  • Avoid public swimming pools.
  • Don’t use share gym equipment.
  • Keep your hands clean, especially after being in contact with your abscess.


Pus shouldn’t be the reason for significant concern as it is just how our bodies response to an attack from infections. In most cases, the pus goes away on its own, without the need for treatment or a visit to the doctor. Especially, if it is on the surface of the skin. However, if it persists for more than a couple of days, it’s important to contact your doctor.

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