A carbuncle is usually caused by bacterial infection, most commonly Staphylococcus aureus. It usually grows on buttock, back, or nape of the neck. It may develop very fast, take only 2-3 days to the size with diameter between 3-6 cm, larger than a boil. It is red and irritated, hard at the beginning, hurt when press. The center will turn to soft and white or yellow with pus. The pus then rapture and drains out. In addition to the discomfort, symptoms such as fatigue and fever may occur sometimes. The infection is contagious and may spread to other areas of the body. Men get carbuncles more often than women. The medical doctor may prescribe antibacterial soaps to clean the skin and oral antibiotics to kill bacteria. If it became worse, proper incision may be given. Few individuals may have recurrent carbuncles at different places. This may be caused by stress or poor immune function. Antibiotics and surgery can cure the carbuncle, but they are unable to prevent the recurrence. What is the best way to prevent the recurrence then?
Last Thursday, a male patient (Chen, age 48) came to my clinic with such a problem. He said that in the past half year, several carbuncles developed one another on his bottom. His family doctor gave him antibiotics, but the medicine could inhibit the carbuncle at the beginning, however, new carbuncles always grew again within a month after stop taking the antibiotics. And the antibiotics failed to take effect later because the bacteria gradually produced resistance to the medicine by gene mutantation. The doctor then had to cut the last two with surgery a week ago. But soon in one week, another new one came out again. He knew that it would become bigger within one or two days. He did not want to have surgery any more, thus decided to try Chinese medicine. He found me after he prayed.
I gave an examination first. The carbuncle was just came out, so was still small, hard and red, the size was about a nickel. I told the patient that I would give him acupuncture and maxibustion treatment, meanwhile prepare herbal formula for five days to let him take daily. I also suggest him to take some herbal medicine to enhance his immune function after the carbuncle being treated. He accepted my plan. After the treatment, I told him to come the next day. He came back last Friday. The carbuncle did not grow, and the area with hardness reduced to a size of azuki bean. I gave him another treatment of acupuncture and maxibustion, then told him come back when he finished the herbal medicine. He did not show up this week. When I called him yesterday, he told me the carbuncle has disappeared. He will come back soon when he has time for herbs enhancing his immune function.
- Willow Liu
- Diamond Bar, California, United States
- I am currently an acupuncturist in my own clinc and a holder of diplomas of Oriental Medical Doctor and Chinese Herbology (NCCAOM). I got my B.S. of Chinese Materia Medica, M.S. of Medicine, Ph.D. of Natural Product Medicine in China, then trained as a post-doctoral research scientist in Columbia University in New York. I was a professor of Liaoning University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China, an AvH research fellow in Dusseldorf University in Germany, a professor in South California University of Health Science in the U.S., and the editor and author of the book: Traditional Herbal Medicine Research Methods-Identification, Analysis, Bioassay, and Pharmacological and Clinical Studies (In English, contracted with John Wiley & Sons, will be published in January 2011). I enjoy to spent time to explore all aspects related to health and illness and to be challenged with diseases or symptoms that allopathic and other doctors failed to treat or relieve. I like to combine the knowledge of traditional and modern medicine in the treatment. Please drag down for the content!