Boils are red and disgusting. Nobody likes them on their skin. Often it gets painful and keeps growing larger till they are drained. The swollen bumps can get under your skin and become highly uncomfortable.
Often, you can treat the boil can be treated with home remedies. This article will find what causes boils, antibiotics for boils, and how to get rid of a boil. Kindly read on to find out.
What is a boil? What causes boils? How long does it last?
A boil occurs when one of our hair follicles (anywhere on the body) becomes infected. The infection spreads to the surface of the skin, and it becomes red and swollen. Our White Blood Cells (WBCs) then rush in to fight the infection, and the lump turns white due to the formation of pus (accumulation of dead WBCs).
There are quite a few factors that cause pus and carbuncles (accumulation of infected nodes on the skin). They are:
Poor personal hygiene due to which the skin is exposed to myriad harmful bacteria and viruses that cause an infection.
Low immunity level
Damage to the skin like scratches, cuts, and wounds through which staph bacteria can enter our bodies.
Boils typically lasts one to three weeks. They heal when they open, and the pus drains out. That can take anywhere between one and three weeks.
What Symptoms Are Related to Boils? Where Do Boils appear in the body?
Boils occur due to hair follicle infections caused by harmful bacteria known as Staphylococcal bacteria, nicknamed Staph bacteria. The symptoms of boils are pretty painful (and disgusting). They are:
- The surface of our skins becomes red and swollen. They will feel painful when touched.
- More boils may develop around the first one. Sometimes, they may clump together to form a carbuncle.
- You may develop a fever.
- Your lymph nodes will become swollen.
Boils most commonly occur in these body parts. They are:
You must note that they can occur in other body parts too. The body, as mentioned earlier parts are just the commonplaces of occurrence.
What Are the Types of Boils? Who Is Most Likely to Develop a Boil?
A boil is also well-known as a furuncle. There are different types of boils, based on where they occur. They are:
- Carbuncle: This is an accumulation of different boils that were once close together. The skin becomes extremely swollen and white, with pus oozing out of it.
- Hidradenitis Suppurativa: When a boil or a cluster of boils appear on the armpits, it is called hidradenitis suppurativa. They have the same appearance and symptoms as regular boils.
- Pilonidal Cyst: If a boil occurs where the backbone and buttocks meet (at the border), it is called a pilonidal cyst.
- Cystic Acne: This is an aggravated form of boils. In this condition, the skin’s pores become blocked, leading to severe skin swelling and reddening.
- Sty: If a boil appears on our eyelids, it’s called a sty.
A boil can occur to anyone, but people with specific diseases or people on medications that weaken their immune systems are more prone to getting boils.
Autoimmune diseases like diabetes, celiac disease, kidney failure, etcetera enhance one’s chances of getting a boil as the body does not function properly in those conditions.
Diseases like hypogammaglobulinemia, in which there’s inadequate production of antibodies in our bodies, also heighten the chances of getting boils.
Can Boils become Contagious? Is it very dangerous?
On their own, boils are not contagious. They are not communicable infections, but if your boil has been caused by Staphylococcal bacteria, more popularly known as staph bacteria, then it will spread from person to person on contact.
Boils are a common phenomenon and are usually non-communicable and safe. However, in some cases, boils can cause severe health complications. One such severe health complication is called Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis.
Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis is a condition in which boils cause a blood clot in the spaces behind the eye socket. The blood clot, in turn, increases the blood pressure on the brain, causing symptoms such as:
- Severe headaches.
- Swelling of the eyes.
- Severe pain in the eyes.
If surgery is not done on time, Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis can prove to be fatal.
What Is the Treatment for a Boil? Should Boils Be Drained if It occurs?
There are myriad allopathic medicines and home remedies available to cure boils. While allopathic medicines are sometimes costly and come with certain side effects, home remedies to treat boils can be done free of charge and at the comfort of your home.
Some of the home remedies for boils are:
1. Apply heat on the boil
Apply a warm compress on the boil. This will enhance blood circulation/inflow to the boil. Thereby, more WBCs are brought in to kill harmful staph bacteria causing the boil.
The heat will also cause boils to open up and drain out the pus, and thereby your body will be rid of boils in a few days.
2. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil has antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It kills the harmful staph bacteria responsible for causing boils. Tea tree oil gives a burning sensation when applied to the skin.
Hence, you must not apply it to boils directly. You must mix it with one tablespoon of coconut oil or olive oil and then apply it to the boil. This will cure boils in two or three days.
3. Turmeric powder
Turmeric powder has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It kills the harmful staph bacteria that cause boils and reduces the swelling of the skin. Turmeric powder also detoxifies one’s body when ingested. Use this image for turmeric powder.
Mix one cup of turmeric powder with half a cup of warm water to form a thick paste. Apply this paste to your boil every day to get rid of it in a few days. Mix one tsp of turmeric powder with a glass of milk and ingest it to cure yourself of boils.
4. Epsom salt
Epsom salt causes boil to open up and drain out their pus, thus healing your body of them. You must dissolve Epsom salt in warm water and pour the solution in a warm compress.
Press the warm compress against the boil for 20 minutes for best results.
5. Over The Counter (OTC) antibiotic ointments
OTC antibiotic ointments are fast-acting on boils and soothing on the skin. OTC antibiotic ointments like Neosporin are widely available and contain all the necessary ingredients to cure boils.
Applying OTC antibiotic ointments on your boils twice a day will eliminate them in a few days.
6. Castor oil
Castor oil contains a compound called ricinoleic acid, which has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it an effective natural remedy to cure boils. Apply lukewarm castor oil to your boil thrice a day to get rid of it in a few days. Use this image for castor oil.
7. Neem oil
Neem oil has antiseptic, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. It easily kills the harmful staph bacteria responsible for causing boils. Unlike tea tree oil, neem oil does not give a burning sensation when applied to the skin.
Hence, it can be applied to boils directly. Applying neem oil to your boil twice a day will get rid of it in a few days. Use this image for neem oil.
There is no need to burst open and drain boils manually. They will open and drain themselves of their pus in a week, or they will be absorbed by our bodies and broken down into valuable compounds in a week.
More often than not, boils heal by themselves, even if no medication is applied to them.
Are boils caused by being dirty? Are boils contagious from toilet seats?
Although it is not sure why there is a formation of boils in your body from face to thighs, there is an increased susceptibility to poor hygiene or other conditions that weaken your immune system.
Sometimes, boils’ recurrence also occurs with dirty environments, poor hygiene, and contact with other infections. The critical takeaway is boils are not contagious, but the pus can cause infection to others and yourself.
If you have a boil on your skin, make sure to keep the area clean and be away from others’ touch.
Why do boils keep coming back? Steps to be taken to prevent them from coming back. What are the signs of an infection caused by boils?
Not all types of boils reoccur. Only those caused by the harmful staph bacteria reoccur, and that too only if the boils have not been treated with antibacterial medicines. Boils do not look good on a person’s skin.
Nobody would want their boils to reoccur. So here are some easy and cost-effective measures you can take to prevent the recurrence of boils.
- Take a cool shower every day and use antibacterial soaps for washing your body. This will kill any remaining staph bacteria on your skin.
- Wash your clothes regularly, primarily if you work out a lot and they’re sweaty.
- Avoid sharing your towels, clothes, or washcloths with other people. This will nullify any chance of spreading staph bacteria.
- Do not share your razors or deodorants with anyone, as staph bacteria can spread via them also.
- Keep your bathrooms and toilets as clean as possible because staph bacteria thrive and multiply in unhygienic places.
- If you have boils, apply home remedies or OTC medicines to them every day until they get cured.
These steps are a must if you soon want to see boil healing stages.
How do you know if your boil is healing? Is itching a sign of healing?
If staph bacteria have not caused your boil, they will heal on their own in a week. After a week, your boils will open, and their pus will drain out. If that doesn’t happen, the pus inside your boils will be absorbed by your body and broken down into useful compounds. Therefore, your boils will disappear.
When the pus oozes out of your boils, it will cause an itching sensation. Therefore, itching is a sign that your boils are healing.
Also read: Organifi Green Juice Review
When Should You Seek Medical Attention? What ointment is good for boils? Can a boil make you feel sick?
Boils are usually non-communicable and not fatal. They are only an irritation on the skin. Sometimes though, boils can be contagious and can lead to health complications.
Harmful staph bacteria cause such boils. You should consult a doctor regarding your boils if you show any one of the following symptoms:
You should consult a doctor regarding your boils if you show any one of the following symptoms:
- Your boils are deteriorating your vision by the day.
- Your boils grow larger in size (they swell) and become more painful.
- Your boils cause a fever.
- When home remedies and OTC medications do not cure your boils.
- If it reoccurs.
There are a plethora of antibiotics for boils. Some of the most popular ones around the world are: Use this image for erythromycin.
Do boils go away on their own? Does it leave a spot after healing?
Most of the boils heal on their own after one to three weeks, and they do not leave any marks after they have healed. However, boils caused by staph bacteria do not heal on their own. These kinds of boils multiply and sometimes merge into one to form large carbuncles.
When carbuncles open and drain their pus (after applying antibacterial ointments), they do leave a scar on your skin. So yes, some types of boils do leave a scar after they have healed.
Are boils a sign of diabetes? What do the research and study say about it?
Diabetes does not directly cause boils but leaves a person more prone to getting boils due to staph bacteria. A person’s immune system becomes weak and does not function properly in diabetic conditions.
So diabetes patients, please beware of boils. If staph bacteria cause it, it could turn contagious and prove fatal. If it’s caused by staph bacteria, it could turn contagious and prove fatal.
What is the experts’ advice to prevent from having Boils as per research?
Prevention is always better than cure. Health experts in the US recommend that we follow these guidelines to prevent the occurrence of boils. They are:
- Make sure to shower every day and wash your body with antibacterial soaps to kill any kind of dangerous bacteria that causes health issues.
- Wash your clothes, bedding, and towels regularly to prevent staph bacteria from thriving on them. Staph bacteria thrive in unhygienic places.
- If you have a wound or a cut, tend to it immediately as leaving it open for a long time will make harmful bacteria enter your body.
- Follow a healthy diet to keep yourself fit.
- Do not take medications that will weaken your immune system as you will be more prone to getting boils (especially that kind which is caused by staph bacteria) then.
What do people think about getting rid of boils? According to people’s reviews and internet research
Take a look at these screenshots and see what people think about how to get rid of boils.
Prevention is always better than cure. Kindly follow the above-mentioned guidelines to prevent the occurrence of boils.
In case your boils swell over time and become more painful, in case they do not get cured despite home remedies or OTC medicines, in case they cause fever, or in case they deteriorate your vision by the day, kindly consult a doctor. They could prove fatal otherwise.
People also ask
1. Why do boils reoccur sometimes?
Only the boils caused by staph bacteria reoccur sometimes. Staph bacteria survive the medications applied to them sometimes and cause the recurrence of boils.
2. What will happen if a boil is left untreated?
If boils caused by staph bacteria are left untreated, they can deteriorate one’s vision, cause carbuncles, spread to other people, and even cause deaths sometimes.
3.What foods to avoid when one has boils?
Foods rich in fructose and sucrose should be avoided. Even foods containing corn and foods made from wheat should be avoided if one has boils.
4.Can Vicks be applied on boils?
Yes, Vicks can be applied to boils to cure them as it has all the necessary ingredients to do so.
5. What does the Bible say about boils?
Now, this is interesting so lend me thy ears. “So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot even unto his crown,” says the Bible.