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Read about symptoms of an abscess, which depend on where it develops in your body.

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

Skin abscesses

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, whereas an abscess in or near the lungs may cause a cough or shortness of breath.

General symptoms of an internal abscess can include:

  • discomfort in the area of the abscess
  • fever
  • increased sweating
  • feeling sick
  • vomiting
  • chills
  • pain or swelling in your tummy (abdomen)
  • loss of appetite and weight loss
  • extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • diarrhoea or constipation

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