Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Abscess, a collection of pus or matter in the tissues of the body. Abscesses are classified as acute, and chronic or cold. They must be regarded as the result of disease rather than a disease in themselves, e.g. the alveolar abscess or "gumboil" which occurs in dental caries (q.v.), or the abscesses which are so frequently met with in the strumous joint disease of children. The surgeon detects the presence of matter by the sense of "fluctuation" which it yields to his examining fingers. The early evacuation of the contents of an abscess cavity is in many cases a matter of great importance.