Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Doctors usually can diagnose boils and carbuncles simply by looking at them. But if you have recurring infections or an infection that hasn't responded to standard treatment, your doctor might suggest sending a sample of the pus to a lab for testing.

Many varieties of the bacteria that cause boils have become resistant to certain types of antibiotics, so this test can help determine what type of antibiotic would work best in your particular situation.

July 17, 2013