One of the most common skin problems that can be very painful and distressing is boils. These are red coloured and pus filled bumps that occur when one or more hair follicles get infected. There may be a white/yellow point at the centre when the boil is ripe and ready to burst.
In many cases, there may be no specific reason for developing a boil other than bacteria like staph infecting the hair follicle inadvertently. But prime targets are people with low/impaired immune system, like those with diabetes and kidney failure or on some immunosuppressive drugs, sometimes with frequent recurrence. Other reasons could be obesity and activities causing sweating (jogging, manual labour etc) may cause boils.
Back, underarms, thighs, buttocks, groins, and face are some of the areas to develop boils but sometimes they occur anywhere. The patient may have fever and sometimes itching before the bumps appear. When they are small, they will be firm but may be quite painful and they generally increase in size before spontaneous or manual bursting and subsequent draining. The bacteria will cause cellulitis forming an abscess, making the surrounding area warm and very painful and sometimes very foul smelling.
While most boils disappear within a few days by themselves, some boils take longer to heal and they can be very painful before evacuation. It is always best to start treating it early to avoid any later complications. For complete healing, the infected fluid or pus within should be drained totally.
Treatment of boils can be with medical intervention as well as surgery in more severe cases. Antibiotics are prescribed - especially if there be recurrence of large sized boils, but otherwise they are not necessary.
Apart from this, one can use few time-tested home remedies to cure the boils. Lancing the boil and draining it is one of the ways to treat them especially when there are multiple pus-filled pockets inside a large boil. This needs to be done carefully to avoid the possibility of infection.
Applying heat topically like applying hot poultices, warm compresses or soaking in hot water helps to ripen the boil and drain it out faster.
There are many boils home remedies to apply topically to ripen the boil and burst it:
1. Mix equal parts of onion and garlic juice and apply on the affected area. It is an effective home remedy for boils.
2. Mix milk cream and vinegar with turmeric powder and apply.
3. One of the common boils home remedies is cumin seeds. Soak cumin seeds in water and grind into a paste and apply.
4. Have Epsom salt and hot water soak twice a week initially and once a week subsequently.
Other things that one should be mindful of while suffering from boils:
It is very essential to maintain personal hygiene to the optimum level.
1. Bathe daily with medicated soap and water.
2. Using hand sanitizers keep the hands always clean.
3. Never share bath towels or flannels.
4. Always wear washed and clean clothes
5. Detoxing and cleansing internally will also help greatly as it will drain out all the internal impurities.
In case of regular occurrence of boils, the diet also must be checked to ensure it is balanced.
1. A normal balanced healthy diet that includes green leafy vegetables, whole grains and fruits and vegetables helps greatly.
2. Meat should be contained to a minimum. Also avoid chocolates, starchy foods, pastries, pickles and excessive coffee and tea.
A thorough medical check up should be done to identify the root causes if any.