Boils are also known as furuncles and are a type of skin infections. These infections are caused by bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and affect the hair follicles or oil gland. The bacteria generally enter the body through small nicks and cuts.
More About Boils:
Boils are common in areas where we sweat a lot and where the skin experiences a lot of friction. Boils typically occur on face, neck, thighs, buttocks or armpits. Boils start out as painful small red lumps with red swollen skin surrounding the area of the bump. However, they grow bigger with time and get filled up with pus. They become painful and finally burst and the pus is removed. The yellowish white tip of the boil indicates that it is filled with pus and breaks open to yield the pus. The boils are painful conditions but rarely cause any serious side effects barring the risk of repeated infections.
Treatment of Boils:
Boils can be treated with home remedies or by medical professionals. It is recommended that boils need medical attention if fever develops and the lymph nodes are swollen. Boils on the face and nose also needs to be treated immediately. It is to be remembered that the boils should not be pricked or popped as the infection might spread leading to other boils.
Home Treatment for Boils:
Applying hot compress for 20mins on the boil will give good relief from the pains associated with the boil and helps the pus to get accumulated on the top. The heat from the hot compress enhances blood circulation to the area and white blood cells are delivered to the boil thus increasing the capacity of the body to fight the infection. Repeated hot compress speeds up the breaking of the boil. Care needs to be taken even after the boil bursts. The boil area needs to be washed with anti bacterial soap to prevent the spread of the infection. Cleaning the area with alcohol will also help. A topical antibiotic ointment can also be applied. It is to be noted that frequent washing of the boil area with soap will help in preventing the spread of the infection.
Other Home Remedies:
- Applying a paste of neem on the affected area
- Applying tea tree oil on the boil twice or thrice a day will help
- A paste of black seeds on the boil will also help
- The anti bacterial and anti inflammatory properties of turmeric are well known. A tea spoon of turmeric can be boiled in a glass of milk or water and ingested. Another home remedy is to make a paste of turmeric and ginger and apply on the boil.
Medical Treatment of Boils:
People with lower immunity, diabetics and who have poor personal hygiene are more susceptible to boils and are at a risk of repeated infections. When the boil is big or when the pus head does not form even after home remedies it is advisable to approach a medical practitioner. The area around the boil is numbed and the pus is drained by opening the boil by the health care provider. Antibiotics are also administered depending on the severity of the infection. This process is called lancing.
Most of the boils can be cleared using home treatment. However, boils should not be ignored and if the boil persists adequate medical help should be sought. Though it is very difficult to avoid skin boils it is always possible to maintain good personal hygiene and health to prevent such infections.