Boils can be painful and are caused by problems in the gastrointestinal system. A bacteria found there enters the bloodstream and causes a skin infection that turns into a boil. The infection blocks a hair follicle or oil gland and usually appears suddenly. It starts as a pink bump that swells and fills with pus. It continues to grow larger and fills with pus until it finally develops the white tip and then drains.
The boil may remain small but some can develop into a golf ball size sore before it finally ruptures and drains.
A small boil will not usually cause scarring, but larger ones can. Too much processed or natural sugar may be the cause of some boils.
When to Go to the Doctor
Most boils can be treated at home but some may need medical attention. If the boil is in sensitive areas including the face, groin, breasts, or armpits, you should not try to treat it with home cures. They should never be squeezed but allowed to rupture and drain on their own.
If there are red lines radiating from the site or fever, chills or other swelling in the body you should contact your doctor. Always contact your doctor if a boil appears and you also have diabetes.
There are some wonderful home cures to treat boils as well as carbuncles. Carbuncles are groups of boils that usually appear on the thighs, shoulder, or neck. Many remedies use ingredients you normally have in your home. One of those cures deal with onions.
Onions are used in treating many other common problems including bee stings and sunburn. Keeping onions may save you many trips to your local drugstore. Place a thick slab of onion over the boil and bandage it with a cloth.
You should leave the onion in place on the boil until it comes to a head and drains. Change the onion every three to four hours. This works by drawing blood to the infected area and causing it come to a head.
Another good home remedy is to place a warm washcloth that was soaked in saltwater over the place of the boil. This should be done at least five times a day for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. The warm compress will also bring the blood to the area of the boil and cause it to come to a head and drain faster.
Bread can also be used as a compress and this has been a folk cure for many years. Put a slice of bread in warm milk then place it on the boil. It is most effective when the bread is replace with a warm slice and left on for 15 minutes four times every day until it begins to drain. Tea bags will work this way as well. Again, place a warm tea bag on the boil for 15 minutes at least 4-5 times daily.
Warm vegetables are great to use for compresses on a boil. Heat the outer leaves of the cabbage, sliced tomatoes, onions, mashed garlic and place them on the boil several times a day for about 15 minutes. Change the warmed fruit when it starts to cool to be the most effective.