Carbuncles form when one or more hair follicles get infected. They often occur on the back of the neck, shoulders, or thighs.


Carbuncles fill with pus, growing larger and more painful until they rupture and drain. People who have a carbuncle often feel unwell and may experience fever and chills.


Sometimes carbuncles drain and heal with self-care. Others require an incision and drainage by a doctor.

Last Updated Jun 13, 2017

Content from Mayo Clinic ©1998-2020 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. Terms of Use