Medically referred to as a furuncle, a boil is a dome-shaped lesion that occurs when a hair follicle gets infected. More often than not, the causal organism for boils is Staphylococcus aureus. These could occur in any part of the body. However, such lesions mostly appear on the face, neck, armpits, thighs, or buttocks. Once the infection begins, the affected area turns red and a lump appears. With time, the affected area fills with pus and dead tissue. The affected individual is likely to experience pain. Usually, the pain resolves once the boil drains.
A boil is a deep infection in the skin. These could be caused due to:
This is a chronic skin condition that is characterized by the blockage and inflammation of hair follicles. The exact cause of this condition is not known, but it is believed that genetic factors or hormones could be the triggers. Armpits, groin, or the anal region is mostly affected. The symptoms of hydradenitis suppurativa include the formation of blackheads and abscesses. These boils become large. These rupture and leak pus. Tunnels connecting these lumps or abscesses might also form under the skin. Drug therapy (use of antibiotics, corticosteroids), drainage, or surgical removal of the affected areas are the treatment options.
Cystic acne mostly affects teenagers. It is a severe form of acne caused by a deeper infection of the skin that gives rise to pus-filled lumps. If left untreated, the infection can spread when the cyst breaks open. Antibiotics, creams containing retinoid, isotretinoin, birth control pills, etc., are recommended for treating cystic acne.
Furuncle or Carbuncle
Also called deep folliculitis, a furuncle is a boil that is caused due to a bacterium called Staphylococcus aureus. The term carbuncle refers to painful cluster of boils that are connected to each other under the skin. These are filled with white blood cells, dead skin cells, and bacteria. Immunocompromised individuals, or individuals affected by diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, etc., could be susceptible to carbuncles. Poor hygiene could also be a contributing factor. The boils must drain in order to heal. In some cases, antibiotic therapy might be required.
A pilonidal cyst appears at the bottom of the tailbone. It can become infected and get filled with pus. People who travel extensively are more susceptible. Usually, hair follicles can be found in the cyst. Pain, swelling, redness, accumulation of pus, fever, etc., are some of the symptoms. Incision and drainage is required for treating such cysts.
Natural Cures for Boils
While home remedies might help, it's advisable to consult a doctor for proper treatment. A few effective home remedies or natural cures for boils are given below.
➻ Mix a pinch of turmeric in milk and drink it. Application of turmeric paste on the infected area can also help in the reduction of pus. You can apply the paste thrice a day.
➻ Make a paste of neem leaves, and apply it on the infected area.
➻ Mix cumin powder in warm water. Apply it four times a day on the infected area. It will reduce the pain and swelling.
➻ Epsom salt is an effective cure for boils. You can apply it directly, or apply it after mixing it with warm water.
➻ Apply onion juice on the infected area three to four times a day. It would help in removing the pus. You can also apply raw onion after heating it.
➻ Warm compresses are very effective when it comes to draining the pus. All you need to do is apply a warm cloth on the affected area. After draining the pus, clean the area and apply an antibacterial cream on it.
➻ Clean the affected area, and apply tea tree oil on it.
Though these remedies might prove beneficial to some extent, it's advisable to consult a doctor. Never squeeze the boil to remove the pus, as this will cause the infection to spread. Medical assistance must be sought, if the boils are recurring.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.