To learn how to treat boils it may be helpful to know what exactly a boil is. A boil is caused when the bacteria on the skin enters into the body by way of a cut or tear in the skin. Since some illnesses, such as diabetes, can often cause a lot of skin tears people who have diabetes are far more prone to these types of infections than other people, though anyone can get a boil at any age.
Boils can form anywhere on the body, but the most common places for boils are on the neck, back, shoulders, face, underarms, and buttocks. They do sometimes occur in the genital area as well. The boil itself is a small lump that is made up of pus and dead skin tissue, it can grow quite large and turn a whitish color as the pus continues to build up.
Boils can be prevented by making sure to keep your skin clean, being careful with grooming so you don’t nick your skin while shaving, and keeping your body properly hydrated and nourished which will make it stronger and more able to fight off infection.
For the more mild forms of boils, the best treatment is usually just to soak them with a warm compress several times daily. This will help alleviate a lot of the discomfort as well as encourage the pus to rise to the surface and put pressure on the membrane of the boil. This pressure will force the boil to rupture and all the pus can drain out, thus getting rid of the boil.
When you have the boil, as well as during and after it’s drained, you have to be very careful to keep the affected area, and your hands and washcloths, clean. If you don’t, you can spread the infection to other parts of your body and even to other people.
When the boil has drained keep the area covered with sterile bandages and a light antibiotic cream to prevent a re-infection while the skin is healing.
There are some times when it’s appropriate to see your doctor since the infection is of a more severe variety and will probably need more aggressive care and a course of antibiotics.
Some indications that the infection is of a more severe variety are:
1. Red streaks coming from the site of the boil.
2. A fever.
3. Multiple boils clustered in the same spot on your body.
If any of these symptoms show up make sure to see your doctor, so he can prescribe a course of antibiotics. One other note: while it used to be common practice to lance the boil, pop it, that’s no longer the recommended treatment unless it’s done by your doctor. If it’s done with equipment that hasn’t been properly sterilized it can actually cause another infection, don’t try to do this at home.
This is the best information on how to treat boils. Sometimes knowing what you shouldn’t do is almost as important as knowing what you should do.
This article is not medical advice and should not be interpreted or used to replace professional medical advice from your personal medical doctor.