Abscess incision and drainage is a surgical procedure by which a pus-filled skin nodule is cut into, drained and cleaned in order to clear the infection and allow the area to heal properly. It is sometimes necessary when antibiotic medications are unable to penetrate the thick lining of the infected cavity, and therefore prove ineffective in treating it. The physician uses a scalpel or other cutting instrument to cut a small opening in the abscess and allow the pus to exit. To keep the abscess from coming back, the doctor removes the epithelial lining before washing out the wound with saline, and – depending on the location and severity of the abscess - he or she will then either pack the wound or place a drainage tube, stitch the wound closed and bandage it. Common areas in which skin abscesses may need to be drained include the groin, armpits, teeth and gums.