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An abcess is a concentrated collection of pus in any part of the body, caused by an infection. Abscesses are caused by an infection developing in the body's tissue and the body is unable to isolate the infection to keep it from spreading. White blood cells, the body's defense against some types of infection, migrate through the walls of the blood vessels into the area of the infection and collect within the damaged tissue. During this process "pus" forms, which is an accumulation of fluid, living and dead white blood cells, dead tissue, and bacteria or other foreign invaders or materials.
Abscesses may occur almost anywhere in the body and are caused by infectious organisms, parasites, and foreign materials. Skin abcesses are red, raised, and painful. Abscesses may cause significant damage if they affect vital organs..