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Symptoms

The symptoms of an abscess depend on where it develops in your body.

Skin abscesses

Signs of a skin abscess can include:

boil is a common example of a skin abscess.

Internal abscesses

Abscesses that develop inside an organ or in the spaces between organs can be more difficult to identify than skin abscesses. The symptoms can be vague and there may be no obvious external signs of a problem.

The symptoms of an internal abscess can also vary depending on exactly where in the body the abscess develops. For example, a liver abscess may cause jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), whereas an abscess in or near the lungs may cause a cough or shortness of breath.

General symptoms of an internal abscess can include: