Boil, also referred to as a skin abscess and furuncles, is a localized infection deep in the skin. Boils usually start as red, tender lumps. The lumps quickly fill with pus, growing larger and more painful until they rupture and drain. Most people with boils are otherwise healthy and have good personal hygiene. Although some boils disappear a few days after they occur, most take about two weeks to heal. In severe cases, boils may develop to form abscesses. These germs already exist on the skin and in the nose of some people without causing any problems. The symptoms of boils are red, pus -filled lumps that are tender, warm, and/or painful. A yellow or white point at the center of the lump can be seen when the boil is ready to drain or discharge pus.
Sometimes boils occur in clusters called carbuncles. Boils are most often develop on the back, underarms, shoulders, face, lip, eyes, nose, thighs and buttocks, but may be found elsewhere. Boils and carbuncles often resemble the inflamed, painful lumps caused by cystic acne. There are many causes of boils. Some boils can be caused by an ingrown hair. In a severe infection, multiple boils may develop and the patient may experience fever and swollen lymph nodes. Some people have multiple or recurrent boils. These boils are usually staph infections (furuncles or carbuncles). Boils can also be caused by not washing an area of the body, particularly the face. Exposure to harsh chemicals that irritate the skin. Chronic poor health makes it harder for your immune system to fight infections.
Many medications can suppress the normal immune system and increase the risk of developing boils. Most simple boils can be treated at home. Applying a warm compress or soaking the boil in warm water can help alleviate the pain. Antibiotics are often used to relieve the accompanying bacterial infection. Apply a warm washcloth or compress to the affected area. Avoid leisure activities which cause sweating and friction from clothing, such as squash and jogging. Don’t share your flannel or towel with other family members. Apply a topical antiseptic such as povidone iodine or chlorhexidine cream to the boils and cover with a square of gauze. Gentle heat, provided by a moist, warm washcloth held over the area for 20 minutes three times a day, speeds up the healing process.
Boils Treatment and Prevntion Tips
1. Apply a warm washcloth or compress to the affected area.
2. Don’t share your flannel or towel with other family members.
3. Follow a balanced healthy diet with meat, plenty of fruit and vegetables.
4. Don’t share your flannel or towel with other family members
5. Wash your whole body daily with soap and water. Wash your hands several times.
6. Bactrim or other sulfa drugs must be prescribed relatively soon after such a boil has started to form.
7. Soak a clean cloth in warm salty water and press it against boil, gently squeezing at the same time.
8. Magnesium sulfate paste applied to the affected area can prevent the growth of bacteria and reduce boils.