Although the skin's surface provides protection from the environment, infectious organism can enter the skin in various ways. Natural openings, such as a hair follicle or sweat gland, or broken skin at the side of an insect bite or cut may provide a gateway for bacteria.
One of the most common types of skin infection is a boil, sometimes called an abscess or a furuncle.
What is a boil?
Boil is a tender, inflamed, pus-filled lump usually severe acne or acne cysts. Learn about the causes and treatment of acne.
What causes boils?
Commonly the bacteria Staphylococci
are the cause of skin boils. Nowadays, an especially aggressive type of Staphylococcus infection, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
is spreading fast all over the world. This virulent staph infection is resistant to commonly used antibiotics. MRSA often resides on skin without causing any harm, however often produces recurring boils. Skin boils caused by MRSA are even more difficult to treat.
What does a boil look like?
Boils may be small or large. They can be solitary or in a group forming a carbuncle. Multiple boils combine into a huge boil with many different heads, called carbuncle.
The boil looks like hot, red, swollen and painful lump which gradually comes to a head. The white or yellow head of a boil is pus indeed, as it forces its way upward.
Steps of boil formation:
- Rounded nodule, lump appears.
- Inflammation - redness, heat, swelling - with pain on contact.
- Swelling of the lump, which fill up with pus.
- A white spot appears in the centre (the head of the boil).
The boil can burst within 2 weeks, but it may also heal on its own, without bursting and slowly disappears. As hair follicles are so close together, bacteria can infect a wide area, causing more boils to occur. A couple of boils together form a carbuncle.
Boils on body usually appear on areas where clothing rubs against skin or where moist body parts are in constant contact: on the neck (back of the neck), under the arms (armpit boils), near the buttocks or around inner tights and groin (genital boils, vaginal boils).
Boils can be extremely painful, especially if it develops over a bony area, where the skin is stretched tight, like forehead. Pain is often throbbing and worse by touch.
Lets see now the most effective home remedies for boils:
Most Effective Home Treatment for Boils is TURMERIC
Turmeric is a traditional Ayurvedic home remedy from India
, a commonly used spice
(main ingredient of curry-powder), works as a natural antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, blood purifier and digestive system supporter. Turmeric taken internally, can cure boils in a few days. That means, infected boils simply disappear.
How to take turmeric internally?
- Buy turmeric powder in an Indian grocery shop or Supermarket.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder in some warm water.
- Drink the mixture at once and follow with two glasses of plain water.
- Drink the turmeric mixture 3 times a day, for several days.
The best is to take turmeric internally at the first sign of a boil, which may disappear overnight.
If you have recurring boils
you can use turmeric for a longer time period as a preventive remedy
- Turmeric can cause constipation, since it is one of the best remedy for diarrhea but - on the contrary in some cases it may cause diarrhea.
- Turmeric has diuretic properties, it dehydrates your system. Drink plenty of plain water during turmeric treatment.
- Turmeric is a natural blood thinner, do not take at the same time with anticoagulants.
- Turmeric stimulates the secretion of bile, do not use it, if you know to have a blocked bile duct.
Share your experiences: Post from Amy
I continuously get a boil between my pelvic area & buttocks. It seems to start at the same time as my menstrual cycle and starts to go away right about the time my cycle is about to start again, so I am barely without the boil. It is a solitary boil and feels hard under the skin and never comes to a head. I had done some research prior and learned about turmeric. I found it in capsule form. I am happy to report it seems to be working. I think it is causing constipation (how I came across your site today, researching if this is a side effect of the turmeric). Anyway, I just wanted to report that it has worked for me and that you can use the capsule form. I also bought some tea tree oil and used it as well directly on the boil.
External cures for boils
Old European folk remedy for boils is TOMATO
Our grannies used the humble tomato for drawing boils:
- Cut a tomato in half,
- warm it slightly
- and place the warm tomato piece on the boil.
- When it cooled down, change for the other half.
- Hold it in place with a band.
Leave the tomato poultice on place for a couple of hours or overnight. Even though it's messy, it helps almost always to bring the boil to a head and to burst.
A simplified version is using TOMATO-PASTE
. Just cover the boil with a thick layer of tomato-paste and wrap up with a cling-film and a warm flannel. Leave it on overnight. The effect is the same as with fresh tomatoes. Lancing the boil is not needed.
A good kitchen remedy to cure boils is GARLIC
You can use either the juice
of a freshly crushed garlic or a piece of raw garlic
directly onto the boil. It may cause burning or some pain, but usually after 24 hours the boil will be gone. Lancing a boil is not needed.
Old home remedy to get rid of boils is HONEY
Pure, raw honey, especially manuka honey
applied generously onto the skin boil helps very often to disappear or to drain the abscess. Lancing the boil is not needed. Honey is one of the best home remedies for cystic acne
Fabulous home treatment for boils is SALT
Dampen a wash cloth and pour some sea salt on it. Hold it on the body boil for 20-30 minutes. After that, take a cotton ball soaked in castor oil
and dipped in salt
and tape on the boil for overnight. The boil will either burst or disappear after a day.
Boil Drawing Salve
- 1 tablespoon of honey (best is manuka honey)
- with 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
- and 1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder
- and a big pinch sea salt.
Make a thick paste and apply it on the skin boil. Wrap it with a cling-film first and a cloth afterwards in order to keep it warm. Keep the poultice in place for a one or two days. If used in combination with turmeric internal boil cure, it works wonders. The body boil disappears in 1 or 2 days (literally).
Share your experiences: Post from Susie Moore from Chillicothe, Ohio, USA
Wash a potato. Peel a section of the potato larger than the body of the boil (yes, you leave a small amount of the potato attached to the skin). Adhere the potato peel to the boil and leave in place for 24 to 48 hours. The boil will come to a head and drain without lancing.
Read about the treatment of gum boils.
What should you NOT do with skin boils?
Never squeeze a boil because you might force the bacteria into the surrounding tissues or even into the bloodstream causing serious, life threatening infections.
When should you visit a doctor?
- If you frequently get boils of any size (recurring boils) you should have a medical examination to check, that you are not developing diabetes, thyroid or any other hormonal imbalances or immune-system problems.
- A boil needs medical treatment, if you notice red streaks spreading out from the centre of the boil, which mean that the infection is spreading. Seek medical attention if you notice chills, fever or swelling anywhere on your body.
- Boils of special location, as armpits boils, facial boils, breast boils (if you are a breastfeeding mother) or vaginal boils, genital boils (boils groin) need extremely careful attention.
Pages related to skin boils:
Inside the mouth abscesses are called gum boils.
Strep throat may cause boil around the tonsils
Ear infection and pus
Best Acne Treatment
All about skin acne and natural acne cures
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