Boils - Symptom, Causes & Treatment
Boils (furuncle, carbuncle) are painful swellings of the skin caused by deep skin infection with bacteria. A boil is a deep form of bacterial folliculitis. Boils usually start as red, tender lumps. The lumps quickly fill with pus, growing larger and more painful until they rupture and drain. Boils begin as red, tender swellings, which may later ooze pus.
Boils can occur anywhere on your skin, but appear mainly on your face, neck, armpits, buttocks or thighs — hair-bearing areas where you're most likely to sweat or experience friction. Causes fo boils are not known, but it is estimated that 10- 20% of the population are Staph. carriers.
Boils Treatment and Cure
- Treatment includes warm, wet compresses several times a day. Oral or topical antibiotics may be indicated in some cases.
- Apply a topical antiseptic such as povidone iodine or chlorhexidine cream to the boils and cover with a square of gauze.
- An antibiotic taken by mouth is usually required to eliminate the bacteria.
- Sometimes minor surgery is needed to open the boil and to drain the pus.
- If your boil does not improve after treatment, please return to the office. Sometimes the bacteria are resistant to the first antibiotic.
- Other members of the family with boils should also follow a skin cleansing regime. Your doctor may also advise the family to apply topical antibiotic to their nostrils in case they are Staph. aureus carriers as well.