In view of the fact that carbuncles and furuncles are such relatively common and well understood conditions, it is surprising that diametrically opposed methods of treatment are practiced. The incident which inspired this investigation was the demonstration of a patient by a surgeon at a hospital staff meeting. The case was presented to illustrate a successful and satisfactory outcome of the treatment of a carbuncle of the side of the face. The patient was alive, it is true, but his face was disfigured by an extensive crucial incision scar covering almost the whole side of the face. One of the authors who attended the staff meeting expressed the opinion that if a dermatologist had achieved such a result as the consequence of treating a carbuncle he would have preferred keeping the patient hidden rather than presenting him as an outcome to be proud of.
We have never found it necessary