What Is A Boil? Symptoms, Prevention and Treatment
Boils are awful. The last thing anybody wants is a skin infection that never stops itching. Boils are uncomfortable, leave itchy red rashes and aren’t very attractive. But what is a boil? How are they treated? This article will discuss and analyze what boils are and how they can be controlled.
What is a Boil?
A boil is a common skin infection in a hair follicle or oil gland. At first, the infected area becomes tender and red with a developing lump. After a few days, this lump will transform in a pimple like mound that is colored white. This is from the collection of pus underneath the skin. Typically, a boil is found on the face, neck, armpit, shoulder and buttocks. Usually, a boil is a hard painful red lump that is no bigger than half an inch.
Symptoms include pain, redness, more boils, swelling in the infected area and in rare cases, fevers. It is crucial to seek medical attention if you begin having a fever or your lymph nodes swell. This is an indication of a worsening infection which could become more severe.
In most cases, a boil is very easy to diagnose. When doctors look at it, they analyze the infected area and ask about your symptoms. Since boils are relatively common, most doctors can make a diagnosis with ease.
What Causes a Boil?
A boil is often caused by a bacteria called Staphylococcus. The infection is developed when bacteria enters the hair follicle much like germs, resulting in a boil. A tiny break in the skin dramatically raised the chance of developing a boil. Some of these breaks can include cuts, scrapes, ingrown hairs and bug bites. Other things that can factor in the development of a boil is diabetes, inadequate nutrition and hygienes, exposure to harsh chemicals and drug use.
How to Prevent a Boil?
Sometimes preventing a boil is out of your control, but some simple efforts can be made to avoid infection. For starter, you want to make sure anything that touches your body is cleaned well. This includes bed sheets, clothes, and towels. Any minor skin wounds should also be treated immediately to prevent boils. Practising good personal hygiene and eating well will help you avoid infection. With that being said, keeping your hands away from your face is another popular method for preventing the pesky abscess.
How Are Boils Treated?
In most cases, treatment for a boil is unnecessary. If you go to a doctor, they will most likely send you home without prescribing any medication. In rare cases, if the boil is too large, a practitioner will have to drain out the puss through a careful procedure including small incisions. This procedure is done to prevent or stop a more severe infection. Antibiotics are also effective in treating boils. Oral antibacterial medications can be prescribed for severe infections. In most cases, doctors will advise you to leave the abscess alone and let it heal itself. A normal boil will last no longer than 2 weeks.
Home Remedies for Boils
If you would like to speed up the process of boil recovery, a selection of home remedies has proven effective. Eating natural products such as onions and garlic with antibacterial properties can speed up the boil recovery process. You can eat these straight up or mix them into a juice. Also, some people apply garlic juice to the infected area as a disinfectant.
One of the most popular home remedies for treating a boil is tea tree oil. All you need is some tea tree oil and a clean cloth. Heat the cloth up in the microwave and put a few drops of the oil on it. When that’s done, apply it to the infected area a few times a day. You can get tea tree oil at most grocery or health food stores.
The final popular home remedy is tumeric. This is not much different than the onion and garlic method considering its also an effective antibacterial product. Mix some turmeric powder with water making a paste. Apply a thin layer of this mixture this to the boil. This is known to speed up recovery.
In retrospect, a boil is an infection that is centralized to hair follicles. They appear as white abscesses that can be painful and itchy. In most cases, a boil is not severe, but surgery or antibiotic treatment is occasionally required. As far as home remedies go, using natural antibacterial produce is the most conventional method.