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Causes, Home Remedies, and Prevention of Boils

Updated on December 21, 2012

It is very uncomfortable if you are suffering from "Boils". I knew it because during my first month in United States, I suffered from 3 boils (1 on the groin area, and 2 on my armpit). It was too painful and gross. I do not want to go to a doctor to have it checked because I always prefer to do home remedies. But hey, if you have boils on sensitive areas (such as near your butt hole), I believe you need to go to the doctor and undergo surgical removal.

In my case, I felt a painful lump that grows bigger the next day. I immediately said that it is a BOIL and I hate it.

What is a Boil and What Causes It

In a simplified explanation, a boil is an infection caused by a bacteria (Staphylococcal). It usually starts with the infection of an oil gland or hair follicle. The bacteria can enter even just a tiny opening or cut into your skin. Any person with diabetes, low immune system, and those with poor hygiene and improper diet are susceptible with this.

On the first day of infection, you will notice that the affected area is reddish in color. It is not painful by then but you will be surprised that within just a span of one night, the small red area becomes so hard, big and painful. After a few days, pus will accumulate into it until it forms a head and burst.

Home Remedies

You don't have to wait and do nothing while you are suffering from excruciating pain because of boils. Here are some of the things that I did to help me ease the pain and cure the boil without seeking medical attention.

  • WARM COMPRESS - This is the first thing that you have to do when you figured out that you have boils. You can simply get a washcloth and wet it with hot water and put it on your boils (Alternative: You can use clean gloves and fill it with warm water then tie it up and do the warm compress). Do this for 5 to 6 times a day. It can help you ease the pain and bring the boil into a head.
  • KEEP THE AREA CLEAN - You should always keep the infected area clean (as well as the surrounding area to prevent further infection). What I always do is to clean the surrounding area with alcohol swab first. Afterwards, get a betadine solution and use it to clean the exact infected area. If the boil has already bursted out, you can put some topical antibiotic ointment on it. Cover it with clean gauze. Do this for 3 to 4 times a day or as needed.
  • LANCING - Do not do this if you're in doubt. Yeah, I lanced my boils but with the use of sterile lancet.I felt that the pus is already accumulating on the top so I decided to get a sterile lancet and lance it on my own. I drained my boil but before doing that, I make sure that my hands are clean and all of my needed stuffs are ready (sterile gauze, micropore, alcohol swab, betadine solution). After lancing and draining, cleaning it and covering it with clean gauze is a must.
  • VICKS VAPORUB - I recently discovered that Vicks Vaporub can help in easing the pain and putting the boil into a head. My last boil is on my armpit and the pain is killing me (okay, I am overreacting!). I searched for the fastest way to cure boil and I read that some people put Vicks Vaporub on it. I gave it a shot because I am so desperate to stop this boil. I put Vicks on it at night before I go to sleep and BOOM! In just 2 days, my boil is gone. No lancing done, and few gauze are used..

So far, those are the only things that I do to cure my boils. The longest time that I had a boil is only for 9 days, and the shortest one is the 2 days. I never had fever while I have boils so I really doesn't need to see a doctor. But if you are suffering from high-grade fever and your boil does not heal in two weeks (or the boil is getting bigger and you're having multiple infection), you have to seek medical attention.

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      Annette D. 5 months ago

      I dont bother when I have a boil as far as bursting it. I just rub coconut oil on it 3 or for times a day until it's gone. However I only use the unrefined version because it has more benefits than the refined. Just rub it on and massage it in for a little bit . Maybe around 20 seconds or so. I've been told sometimes the root of the boil if not completely removed can stay dormant and resurface later as another boil. So keep applying the coconut oil a few days even after you think it is completely gone just to make sure it won't resurface.