The cause of furunculosis is obscure. External spread of bacteria from existing infections to nearby hair follicles is an obvious factor as many writers have pointed out, but that consideration alone does not account satisfactorily for the refractory nature of the disease and its tendency to relapse. Many other causes of furunculosis have been suggested, therefore, such as insanitary personal habits or surroundings, anemia, hypoproteinemia, debility, fatigue, low general or local resistance to the infection, hyperglycemia, low metabolic rate and internal foci of infection. Reflecting this uncertainty of causation, a host of therapeutic measures has been recommended and used for furunculosis, but not one of them has proved uniformly successful.
Certain characteristics of furunculosis point definitely to a local cause for the disease rather than to any systemic abnormality. Furunculosis usually starts with a single infection; thereafter boils tend to appear in succession and not simultaneously in a single crop,
PRICE PB. CAUSE AND TREATMENT OF FURUNCULOSIS. JAMA. 1944;124(17):1189–1191. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850170025005
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