A boil is a localized infection in the skin that begins as a reddened, tender area. Over time, the area becomes firm, hard, and increasingly tender. Eventually, the center of the boil softens and becomes filled with infection-fighting white blood cells from the bloodstream to eradicate the infection. This collection of white blood cells, bacteria, and proteins is known as pus. Finally, the pus “forms a head,” which can be surgically opened or may spontaneously drain out through the surface of the skin. Pus enclosed within tissue is referred to as an abscess. A boil is also referred to as a skin abscess. Boils can occur anywhere on the body, including the trunk, extremities, buttocks, groin, or other areas.
There are several different types of boils:
Furuncle or carbuncle
This is an abscess in the skin usually caused by and infection with the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. A furuncle can have one or more openings onto the skin and may be associated with a fever or chills. The term furuncle is used to refer to a typical boil that occurs within a hair follicle. The term carbuncle is typically used to represent a larger abscess that involves a group of hair follicles and involves a larger area than a furuncle. A carbuncle can form a hardened lump that can be felt in the skin. The condition of having chronic, recurring boils is referred to as furunculosis or carbunculosis.
This is a type of abscess that is formed when oil ducts become clogged and infected. Cystic acne affects deeper skin tissue than the more superficial inflammation from common acne. Cystic acne is most common on the face and typically occurs in the teenage years.
This is a condition in which there are multiple abscesses that form under the armpits and often in the groin area. These areas are a result of local inflammation of the sweat glands. This form of skin infection is difficult to treat with antibiotics alone and typically requires a surgical procedure to remove the involved sweat glands in order to stop the skin inflammation.
This is a unique kind of abscess that occurs in the crease of the buttocks. Pilonidal cysts often begin as tiny areas of infection in the base of the area of skin from which hair grows (the hair follicle). With irritation from direct pressure, over time the inflamed area enlarges to become a firm, painful, and tender nodule that makes it difficult to sit without discomfort. These abscesses frequently form after long trips that involve prolonged sitting.
Symptoms of a boil are initially a hard, red, painful pus-filled bump usually less than an inch in size. Over the next few days, the lump becomes softer, larger, and more painful. Soon a pocket of pus forms on the top of the boil. Signs and symptoms of a more advanced infection are
- red, painful, and swollen skin around the boil;
- more boils may appear around the original one;
- fever; and
- swollen lymph nodes near the boil.
An active skin boil is contagious because the bacteria that causes them is contagious. Until the boil is drained and has healed, it is contagious through skin-to-skin contact or sharing objects. Boils should be covered with a bandage to prevent spreading infection to other people.
Most boils are caused by a germ (staphylococcal bacteria). This germ enters the body through tiny nicks or cuts in the skin or can travel down the hair to the follicle.
Most simple boils can be treated at home. Ideally, the treatment should begin as soon as a boil is noticed since early treatment may prevent later complications. The primary treatment for most boils is heat application, usually with hot soaks or hot packs. Heat application increases the circulation to the area and allows the body to better fight off the infection by bringing antibodies and white blood cells to the site of infection. Do not pop the boil with a needle. This usually results in making the infection worse.
Boils can be treated naturally. Because of its ugly look, we always try to find multiple solutions to get rid of it fast. To cure a boil, antibiotics can be a solution. But, for every problem, we can’t just rely on antibiotics. Apart from it, most of people try to lance a boil, apply some boil removing cream, apply a boil ointment, or wait for its automatic bursting out process. Now the question is what to do for a boil? It is simple; instead of damaging your skin, try some home remedies to cure boils instantly.
Onions have antiseptic chemicals that act as an effective antimicrobial when used for boil treatment.
Garlic can be used in a variety of ways to treat boils and abscesses, thanks to its antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Milk is an ancient remedy for the treatment of boils. Heat one cup of milk and add three teaspoons of salt in it. Stir the mixture thoroughly. To make the mixture thick, add some bread crumbles or flour in it. Apply the thick mixture directly on the boil. For quick results, repeat the process for several times in a day.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties. Regular use of tea tree oil will speed up the healing process and give you relief from the discomfort caused by skin abscesses and boils.
Castor oil is considered as an antiseptic for treatment of a boil. Put some drops of castor oil on a cotton ball. Put the cotton ball on the boil, directly. This will draw out the poison right out of the boil.
Turmeric is a natural blood purifier and has anti-inflammatory properties that can be very helpful in the treatment of boils.
Take a vessel and boil a cup in it for a few minutes. With the help of tongs, take out the cup. Before it gets cool, place it directly on the boil. This will increase blood pressure in the affected area and pus will come. Wipe out the pus and wash the area.
Black seed is one of the most popular natural cures for various types of skin infections including boils. The medicinal properties of black seed can give some relief from the pain caused by boils.
Bread poultice is quite beneficial in home treatment of boils. Take a piece of bread and soak it in warm milk or warm water. Now put the soaked bread on to the boil for a few minutes.
Warm Washcloth Compress
Applying a warm washcloth compress is the easiest way to reduce pain and increase circulation to help heal a boil.