- Alternative & Natural Medicine
At Home Treatment for Chronic Boils
What are Boils?
According to WebMD, a boil is a skin infection that begins in an oil gland or hair follicle. They are usually caused by staphylococcal bacteria. This infection will generally turn red, develop into an obvious bump, and fill with pus. Boils that develop into groups are known as carbuncles.
What Causes Boils?
Staphylococcal bacteria can enter the skin through a nick, cut, or through a hair follicle. Even very small cuts can become infected. Certain conditions, or environmental factors can make some individuals more susceptible to boils, such as diabetes, a compromised immune system, poor nutrition and hygiene. Some people may also have staph bacteria as part of their natural flora.
How to Treat a Boil
If you are running a fever, or a boil refuses to drain on its own, or red streaks begin to appear around the lump, call your doctor. There are cases where real medical intervention is necessary. But if it is a seemingly innocent boil, apply heat (a heating pad or warm washcloth) to increase blood flow to the area. This will make a boil come to a head faster. Boils tend to drain on their own, but may require lancing (this is best done by a medical practitioner). The area around a boil should be kept as clean as possible to prevent infection from spreading. A great product for cleaning areas of infection is an antimicrobial. Hibiclens, a well known microbial wash, can be very effective.
Boils can spread. Not only can they spread on a person, they can spread person-to-person. Do not share towels, and always use a clean unused towel. Wash towels in hot. Keep bathing areas clean by bleaching them or washing them down an antimicrobial.