What are the causes of a boil?
Staphylococcus aureus bacteria are the trigger for the formation of a boil. These occur naturally on the surface of the skin and on the mucous membranes of people and are in principle not dangerous. Hair follicles are small indentations in the skin in which human hairs are anchored. Aside from the lips, palms of the hands, and the soles of the feet, they are all over the body. In this article, we read about How to get rid of a boil?
If the staphylococci penetrate a hair follicle, the organism reacts with an inflammation – a so-called folliculitis. Over time, the infection spreads to deeper layers of the skin. Then a small part of the tissue dies, there is an accumulation of pus and a boil has developed.
How can a boil be treated?
Depending on how strong the boil is, different treatment methods are possible. If the accumulation of pus has not progressed that far, the doctor disinfects the affected area and applies a pulling ointment to get rid of a boil. With the help of warm compresses and moist compresses, the maturation process accelerates, and the pus then empties itself in the best case scenario.
If, on the other hand, the infection is well advanced and the purulent content does not escape by itself, the doctor scratches the skin with a scalpel and rinses out the boil with a disinfectant. Antibiotic therapy is required if there is a high risk of complications or they may have already occurred. These can be taken as tablets or given intravenously in the hospital. The latter is the method of choice mainly for facial boils.
Can I prick a boil myself?
The most important rule with a boil is “hands off” . Under no circumstances should you prick the pus yourself, otherwise the bacteria can penetrate the bloodstream and lead to life-threatening blood poisoning or meningitis. If you try to express the boil, there is also the risk of damaging the surrounding tissue and leaving unsightly scars. It is best to touch the infected skin area as little as possible. In this way you protect yourself from complications and other people from infection.
How can I support the healing of a boil?
You can speed up the healing of the boil by observing the following rules of conduct:
- It is best to touch the infected area as little as possible – do not prick or push the boil.
- Put the diseased area quietly and keep a strict bed rest if the infection is severe. With a facial furuncle, speaking and chewing is also prohibited.
- Apply a pulling ointment to the affected area. It supports the maturation process of the boil, which means that it is more likely to empty itself.
- Put a warm washcloth over the boil for about 15 minutes three times a day. The moist and warm compress relieves the pain and creates better conditions for healing.
- Disinfect the boil at regular intervals and wash your hands immediately after touching it.
- Once the boil has drained, cover the boil with a band-aid. This will make it less likely that you or someone else will infect yourself with the bacteria again.
What home remedies help with a boil?
Apart from the rules of conduct described, you can also support the healing process by using various home remedies to get rid of a boil. For example, if you put a few drops of marigold or propolis tincture on the affected area several times a day, the suppuration process accelerates and the inflammation subsides more quickly.
In addition, if you have a boil, you can take advantage of the antibacterial properties of tea tree, thyme or rosemary oil.
Apart from the moist and warm compresses, wraps with low-fat quark, healing clay, and yogurt are also suitable for treating a boil. They have anti-inflammatory effects and also help relieve pain. Some sufferers also swear by arnica preparations, as these should also lead to a faster evacuation of the pus.
What is the prognosis for a boil?
A boil forms within a few hours to days. If you adhere to the recommended self-treatment measures, the pus will usually empty on its own after about five to seven days. In some cases, however to get rid of a boil, the body also breaks down the pus inside so that it does not escape at all. If neither one nor the other happens, you should contact your general practitioner or dermatologist for professional therapy.
After the boil has been drained, the skin needs a few more weeks to completely regenerate from the inflammation. A small scar may remain, but in the best case, it is barely noticeable. Dangerous complications are rare with boils – unless those affected do not go to the doctor in time and try to express or prick the pus themselves.
How can I prevent a boil?
The most important measure to prevent skin infections of all kinds is careful hygiene. Regular hand washing or disinfecting helps prevent the bacteria from spreading to the body. Change your bed linen and towels at regular intervals and do not share your razor with other people. Open wounds or inflamed hairs should also always be disinfected quickly and covered with plaster so that as far as possible no bacteria can penetrate.
Tight and chafing clothing can promote the development of a boil. Especially after shaving, you should avoid them and instead wear a wide and comfortable garment. It is also important for diabetics that their blood sugar levels are correctly adjusted. Insufficiently or incorrectly treated diabetes mellitus often results in a boil. Another essential measure to prevent boils is to avoid contact with sick people. The triggering bacteria can transmit via smear infection. If you live with someone affected, you should pay even more attention to thorough hygiene.
Also read: how to make a smoothie