If you find yourself having a boil, then you should take immediate steps to get rid of it. Don’t get overexcited and squeeze, pinch and put more pressure on it. You might be making things worse. You can make use of heat and drying methods mentioned below to safely deal with it.
What are boils?
Boils are also called as Abscess, a furuncle. It is essentially a bacterial infection caused by bacterias called as staphylococci. It makes its way into your skin usually through hair follicles. Boils usually form pus at the top layer of the skin which appears pale white or yellowish in color. Boils often occur as a result of constant rubbing on the skin surface by the clothes, there is a high probability of its occurrence when skin surface is moist. Common places of its appearance are armpits, places around buttocks, inner thighs, face, and neck. Usually, boils heal by itself in around 2 weeks time. But it can induce constant pain in the place of its occurrence restricting your movements.
Best way to deal with boil would be to take steps to get rid of it as soon as possible.
Use some heat
Hot towel: Soak a hot towel or a clean cloth in hot water (make the water as hot as possible) and wring it. Place the hot towel or cloth over the boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Do this as many times as you can in a day.
Thyme or Chamomile tea Compress: Thyme contains a chemical called thymol which is anti-bacterial and chamomile also contains a chemical called chamazulene which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. So prepare a hot compress out of tea prepared from these herbs and apply it to the affected area three to four times a day.
Hot tea bags: Tea is loaded with tannins and astringent compounds which are well known for its anti-bacterial properties. Apply hot tea bags over the boils to ease the pain and make it heal faster. Repeat this several times a day as often as you can.
Cabbage leaf: This is an old and traditional method to heal boils faster and it is recommended by some Doctors as well. Cook some leafs of cabbage in hot water, let it cool down a bit and use a gauze to wrap the cabbage leaf. Place the wrapped cabbage leaf over the boil and tie it down in place. Leave it for about 60 to 90 minutes before removing it. Do it once or twice a day. Always use a fresh leaf for every session.
If the boil is located in a place where you cannot possibly treat it directly, then soak yourself in a hot bathtub. Let the water be as hot as you can possibly tolerate. It should soothe your pain and help the boil heal faster as hot water is good for killing most harmful bacterias.
When should you seek Doctor’s help?
Boils that appears in your nose and face can be threatening as the bacterias present in them can infect sinuses, blood, and even reach your brain leading to serious medical conditions. So getting them attended by a Doctor is the best way to deal with it.
If you find yourself having to deal with boils too frequently, then it could be a sign of diabetes or some immune disorder. Get yourself checked through appropriate tests. Additionally, boils in armpits, groin areas, and breasts need Doctor’s attention. Any boils larger than half an inch in diameter needs to be medically treated by a Doctor.
How to Drain it?
If you find the boil is filled with pus with the visible head then you can safely drain the pus and accelerate its healing process.
Step 1: Sterilise a needle by exposing it over a flame, make sure your hands are safe. Heat up the tip of the needle it becomes red hot and let it cool down.
Step 2: Take a cup of warm water, mix one teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide and one teaspoon of salt and mix it well.
Step 3: Use the sterilized needle to gently prick the outer skin.
Step 4: Take a clean washcloth dip it in the warm hydrogen peroxide solution (see step 2) and place it on top of the boil. Repeat this process for three to four days time and change the compress as often as possible.
Every time you remove the washcloth, wash off the boil and surrounding areas with an anti-bacterial soap. Apply any anti-bacterial ointment over and around the affected area.
You can heal a boil by drying it out. Acne medication creams that contain benzoyl peroxide helps to dry out the boil and fight bacterias in it. Apply it twice a day.
Tea-tree oil is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent. Apply some oil over the boil two or three times a day to make it heal faster.
How to Prevent?
- If you have a history of boils, then try to use replace your normal soap with an antibacterial one.
- Wear comfortable clothing and use fabrics that make your skin to breath free. Tight clothes, sweatbands often rub against your skin, holds on to the sweat, and leads to boils.
- Don’t share your clothing with others. Bacterias in the boils can spread through clothing. Also, keep a separate towel for yourself.
- If you are obese or overweight then your things and other regions can rub against each other. This can lead to moist skin rubbing against each other leading to boils. So losing some weight can help you get over it.
- Use some talcum powder in areas like armpits, inside thighs to keep it dry.
- Make use of a beaded seat pad in your car seat if you travel by car regularly. It eases the air circulation behind you.