Abscesses are formed because an object, (e.g. splinter) or foreign organisms (like bacteria), become trapped under your skin and are not removed. The body reacts by sending blood to the area, causing it to redden, swell and become hot. White blood cells fighting the infection die and form pus. The body also attempts to isolate the area so that it will not spread to other parts of your body. It does this by forming a wall around the infection using the nearby healthy cells. This causes an area that is hard and swollen and full of pus i.e. an abscess.
If there is no way that the pus can drain out of the abscess then you may need to have the abscess drained by your healthcare practitioner.
Keeping the part of your body with the abscess elevated as much as possible and applying a hot compress of slippery elm powder, comfrey or marshmallow to the area may help speed up the healing process.
If your abscess has not healed within one week then please consult your healthcare practitioner.