- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Natural Treatments for Chronic Skin Infections
Chronic skin infections such as boils are often related to the bacteria Staphylococcal aureus or what is commonly known as a staph infection. Staph bacteria gets into the broken skin of a bug bite, sore, or cut and causes infection. Types of skin infections: Folliculitis is infection around the hair follicles caused by shaving; Cellulitis usually starts as a red bump that gets painful, hot to the touch, and may spread. There are many others. My infections usually turn into a boil and sometimes skin abscesses that are really gross and painful. I have overly sensitive skin so any type of bug bite could turn into an infection if I don’t pay attention to my skin.
What Can You Do?
Obviously, if you have a lot of boils or other skin infections you want to make sure that you don’t have MRSA or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus that is resistant to antibiotics and can quickly spread and lead to death if untreated. In fact, any kind of staph infection can quickly get out of hand. A good tip is that if you have a fever that will not go away and red lines/streaks going from the site of the infection, it is spreading and you need to seek immediate medical treatment. On the other hand, chronic antibiotic treatment for minor staph infections can weaken your overall health and lessen the effectiveness of antibiotics when you really need them.
It is best to eventually try to get chronic skin infections under control using natural treatments.
A boil is a big swollen red lump full of pus that is painful to the touch. Usually they eventually get a white head at the top, like a very large, swollen pimple. You can get them many places. Common areas are armpits, legs, butt, back, but they can really pop up anywhere.
If you have a boil, it will need to drain in order to get rid of the core of the infection and provide you some relief. Warm compresses can help reduce the pain and encourage the boil to drain. Don’t push or pop the boil, as you might actually spread the infection. What has worked for me is black drawing salve or Ichthammol ointment. This stuff really stinks; it smells like tar. You have to lightly cover the boil with the ointment, don’t rub it in, and put a bandage over it. This stuff will not absorb into your skin, so it will stain your clothes and spread all over if you don’t cover it.
Since it smells really strong, you probably want to do it over a weekend where you are not going out or overnight. Leave it on all-day or overnight. It may take up to 3 days, but if there is anything that needs to come out of the boil, it will start to come out and drain. Be patient. It takes a while to work. Once your boil is draining, you need to cover it to prevent the infection from spreading. Wash your hands, change the bandage often, and wash your clothes and sheets immediately if you get some of the discharge on them. If you allow the boil to drain completely, more than likely the core of the infection will come out. If you can't drain the boil on your own and it keeps getting worse, you may have to go to the doctor and have it lanced.
Tea tree oil can help the skin area after the boil has drained. I put tea tree oil on any eruption on my skin that I feel might develop into a boil. It is a natural antiseptic and will kill germs. It will help heal the skin and prevent scaring. Again, with the scaring, it takes a while to work so be patient. Keep putting it on.
Build up your Immune System to Prevent Future attacks
If you are prone to infections of any kind, it is probably because your immune system is a bit weak. Higher susceptibility to allergies and infections can be a sign of a weaken immune system.
What causes a weaken immune system?
- Chronic use of antibiotics can weaken your immune system because antibiotics kill off the good bacteria with the bad bacteria, leaving you vulnerable to infection. Repeat infections that lead to repeat antibiotics use often cause a cycle of infection that is hard to break.
- Stress, especially chronic stress, can tear down your immune system. Stress combined with not enough sleep can wear down your body and make you prone to getting sick.
- Too many toxins in your body can weaken your immune system. Consuming a lot of processed foods with chemicals, additives and preservatives that are hard for your body to eliminate can have you feeling run-down and leave you prone to infection and sickness.
Build up Your Immune System by:
- Eating the right foods. Incorporate more fruit and vegetables in your diet; lessen the amount of processed foods and sugar you consume.
- Taking care of your skin: pay attention to harsh products that could be aggravating your condition. Try tea tree oil body wash and other types that are designed to reduce inflammation. You might be allergic to your soap or laundry detergent. Pay attention to how your skin reacts and make changes.
- Exercising: reduces your stress levels, produces healthy pheromones, and reduces the toxins in your body.
- Taking Supplements: There are many suggestions for vitamins and supplements to build up your immune system (http://www.digitalnaturopath.com/cond/C46953.html). It might take some time to find those that are right for you.
It takes a long time to build up your immune system. The weakening of your immune system likely did not happen overnight. As a result, you won’t be able to build it back up overnight. You have to be patient.
These are some vitamins that I have tried to help boost my own immune system to minimize the number and severity of my skin infections.
- Raw Thymus: Thymus supplements are made from the thymus gland of a cow. I am on a detox from meat at the moment, but I still take my thymus. Not all drug stores carry it due to the outbreaks of mad cow. However, you can buy thymus from New Zealand free range, organic cows with no history of mad cow. Thymus glands are associated with immune system functioning and essential for a healthy immune system (http://www.hepatitiscfree.com/Thymus-4-Immunity.htm).
- Oregano Oil: natural antibiotic with no side effects.
- Turmeric: spice, related to ginger, common in India and used as a main ingredient in curry, traditionally used for stomach aches and inflammation, said to help fight bacteria.
I take one of each every day. If I take more than one of each, I usually end up with a stomachache. As with any supplements, you have to research them to make sure they are safe for your body and that they don’t interfere with any other machine you are on.
Other supplements known to build up your immune system:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
You are not alone. Many people struggle with chronic skin infections. Think proactively about how to take care of your skin and body. Don't give up. Natural treatments take time to work, and you will find things that work for you to give you comfort and help heal your skin.