Suppuration is a process that takes place during an inflammation. Inflammation is an important process during tissue repair. During inflammation, chemical mediators are released by cells to cause vascular changes so that immune cells are transported to the site. The immune cells act upon foreign bodies (e.g. bacteria), cell debris, and dead cells.
Exudate is also formed at the site during inflammation and there are different types of exudates produced. Examples include serous, purulent, and hemorrhagic exudates. A purulent exudate is one that is formed through suppuration. This type of exudate is formed during a severe inflammation accompanied by infection. It varies in color depending on the kind of microbial agent causing the infection. It may be yellow, green, or brown in color. It is thicker than a serous exudate because of the presence of white blood cells (especially neutrophils) together with the infective microbial cells and the liquefied dead tissue debris. 1
Word origin: Latin sūppuratiō (from sub- + pūs pus)
1White, L., Duncan, G., & Baumle, W. (2010). Foundations of Adult Health Nursing. NY: Cengage Learning.