We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Is It Safe to Drain a Pocket of Pus?

By Madeleine A.
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

It is generally not safe to drain a pocket of pus unless the procedure is being performed by a health care professional, since self-treating it by draining it or trying to express its contents can lead to scarring and cause a systemic infection. Pus, which forms in response to a bacterial infection, can be white or yellow, and it sometimes can contain small amounts of blood.

A pocket of pus can form as a result of a tooth abscess, an infected hair follicle, or as the result of acne. In addition, it sometimes forms on a tonsil, which typically indicates an infection. These appear as small white bumps or pockets, which can cause painful swallowing. When a pocket of pus is found on a tonsil, it is usually accompanied by tonsil swelling, redness, and pain, which are signs of tonsillitis.

People who experience pockets of pus in their mouths often have other symptoms such as bad breath, pain, and redness around the area. In addition, other symptoms can include earache, fever, chills, fatigue, and muscle pain. Like pus pockets in other areas of the body, oral pus pockets should not be disturbed with fingers or other objects because of the risk of spreading the infection.

Treatment for a pocket of pus usually involves oral antibiotics, topical antibiotic ointment, or a combination of both. If the pus manifestation appears on the skin, the doctor may recommend the applications of warm compresses to the area. Warm compresses are soothing and can relieve inflammation, as well as reduce pain and redness. Using warm compresses is generally safe, but it is important to use a fresh compress each time to avoid re-infection.

When a pocket of pus is drained in the doctor's office, the procedure is done under sterile conditions. The procedure is not particularly painful and, in most cases, the area is prepped with a topical anesthetic prior to the procedure. If the purulent infection is extensive, lancing it may need to be done in an outpatient setting.

If oral antibiotics are prescribed, it is important that the entire course be completed. If not, the infection may persist or even worsen. Antibiotics can cause significant gastrointestinal disturbances. If they occur, the doctor should be consulted so that the patient doesn't abandon his treatment because of them.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By bear78 — On Nov 09, 2013
I think that whether a pocket of pus is drained or not depends on what color the pus is. If it's clear, then it doesn't have to be drained. That's actually not pus, it's serum and it promotes healing.

Pus that is yellow or green, on the other hand, means that there is an infection and it's best to drain it. If the wound is deep and if pus keeps developing, a doctor should look at it. Doctors will pack large wounds with antibiotics and leave a small opening for the pus to drain out. It's bad to keep pus inside the body because it can cause the infection to spread to the surrounding tissues.

By turquoise — On Nov 09, 2013

@literally45-- It's best to let a blister pop on its own. If you wear thick socks, I doubt that it will pop. And if your socks are clean, it shouldn't get infected.

If you have to have it drained, then use a warm compress when you get home or see your doctor. If you pop it yourself, you will allow bacteria to enter the blister.

By literally45 — On Nov 08, 2013

I have a blister full of pus on my foot. I'm afraid that it's going to pop inside my shoe while I'm walking and get infected. Should I pop it, drain it and put a band-aid on it before wearing my shoe?

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.