A carbuncle is a single large boil or a group of boils which join together to form a large boil. A furuncle is a smaller sized boil and like carbuncles they are caused by due to a bacterial infection of the skin commonly by S. Aureus bacteria.
Typically symptoms that indicate a carbuncle or a furuncle are the projection of pus filled bumps under the skins surface that tend to increase in size. Carbuncles and furuncles typically break out on their own after running their course but in case they do not special medical treatment would be needed to cure the infection and stop it from spreading to other areas. For example if there is a repeated occurrence of boils or if they become very big you would certainly need special medical care.
In some extreme cases the bacteria in the carbuncle or furuncle can penetrate into the body’s bloodstream and as a result quickly and easily spread to other parts and areas of the body. This is a very serious case (blood poisoning) and can turn deadly for the affected person. Symptoms such as tiredness, and increased heart beat are typical of blood poisoning. Blood poisoning is a serious condition and should be treated as soon as possible.
In the treatment of staph infections, usually a lukewarm soak is softly pressed against the infected region so as to increase blood circulation in that region and to expose heat to the bacteria. once the carbuncle or furuncle runs its course and finally breaks open, one should carefully wash the area with a good soap and clean warm water to clean the area.
Certain simple but important measures such as keeping your hands clean, washing the wound regularly and not sharing your clothing wear with other family members in the house can help in preventing boils such as carbuncles and furuncles.