Have you ever wondered what that outrageously painful spot that suddenly popped on your body out of nowhere is? You might probably think of it as just a really awful pimple or perhaps something that’s even worse.
That glaring red and raised swelling that you suddenly find on your skin is actually known as a boil.
What’s a boil?
A boil is a kind of infection on the skin that begins in the hair glands or follicles. A boil is often coined as a skin abscess as it is a localized infection that is embedded deep inside the skin.
Generally, a boil would start as a small, reddish and tender lump on the skin. Later, the swelling would develop and become firm. As the infected area becomes more prominent, the center would soften, and white blood cells would fill in to counter the invading bacteria. The group of white blood cells, protein, and bacteria that gathers in the center are known as pus.
Boils are commonly seen in areas of the body like the face, neck, shoulders, armpits, and even buttocks. When a boil develops on the eyelid, it is known as a sty.
What causes a boil to appear?
There are a lot of factors that causes boils. However, the bacteria that is responsible for the appearance of boils is called Staph or Staphylococcus. Staph can fall on any normal skin and goes through the body through tiny cracks on the skin or by passing to the follicle from the hair.
There are also cases where boils appear caused by ingrown hair. Generally, individuals with medical problems are more prone to skin infections that develop into boils. These conditions include:
– Weak immune system
– Poor diet and lack of nutrition
– Constantly exposed to toxic chemicals and irritate the skin
– Poor hygiene
What are the signs when a boil appears?
When a boil appears on the skin, it looks almost as similar to a pimple but bigger in size. It begins with a painful lump that is sensitive to the slightest touch. The boil will eventually grow bigger and become more painful in the following days until whitish-yellow pus appears in the center. Once the skin surrounding the boil becomes infected, it turns red, sore, and even swollen.
Often, more than one boil will surface on the skin following the original lump and may sometimes experience a slight fever. Moreover, the lymph nodes will also swell following the appearance of a boil. When these things happen, it is a clear symptom that you have a boil.
Boils and their types
There are also many varieties of boils. Another name for a boil is a furuncle. The types of boils include:
This happens when more than one hair follicle becomes infected by the Staph bacteria. Carbuncles usually appear to have more than one opening on the skin and can even lead to chills and fevers.
- Pilonidal Cyst
This type of boil occurs when it surfaces inside or upon the skin of the buttocks. Pilonidal cyst starts when there is an inflammation at the base area of the skin where there is hair. When pressure on the inflammation is extended, it causes irritation and swells into a painful, firm and tender lump. Pilonidal cyst usually happens when there it involves long periods of sitting.
- Cystic acne
This type of boil happens when the oil ducts on the skin become clogged. Once it is clogged, it will inflame causing reddish, painful acne. This usually appears on the face and commonly happens to individuals in their teens.
This is a type of boil that occurs in areas like the armpits and groin. They usually appear in several abscesses on the skin when the hair follicles become inflamed. This type of boil would usually need to be treated surgically to eliminate the hair follicles surrounding the infections.
- Sty (Stye)
This type boil usually occurs under or inside the eyelids or at the base of an eyelash. It is a reddish, painful, and tender swelling resulting from inflammation on the hair follicles around the eyes. A sty would appear when the oil glands become clogged and inflamed.
What are the ways to treat or get rid of boils?
A boil is not usually a serious infection and can happen to anyone. However, for individuals with normal immune systems, a boil would drain out in two weeks or less. The best way to eliminate the boil is to leave it alone. However, it is still important to take note that boils should disappear from the body and follow necessary measures to do so. If it remains on the body for a longer time, it would indicate something serious.
Here are five natural ways to help get rid of a boil quickly.
- Always sanitize and wash your hands with mild soap and water
Hands are usually agents of germs. It is essential to wash your hands completely after handling dirty things like using the bathroom. Clean with mild soap and rinse thoroughly with water.
- Clean and treat wounds properly
Make sure to treat minor open wounds or scratches on the body. When they are not handled properly, it is likely bacteria may enter through the gaping cracks and cause an infection.
- Limit or control excessive sugar intake
A proper and healthy diet is important when it comes to the development of a boil and the recovery. When there is excess sugar in your body, the healing will take much longer to take place. Cutting it out or limiting intake can help prevent the formation of boils.
- Use a warm compress and apply gently to affected area
Warm compresses can lessen the pain of a boil as well make it easier for the pus to rupture. Simply immerse a cloth in warm water and apply it on the boil gently.
- Apply tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is also a good remedy to help reduce inflammation and heal boils. It is because tea tree oil contains plenty of antiseptic and antibacterial properties. However, to use this, tea tree oil should not be directly applied to the skin, as it can burn the skin. Instead, mix a few drops of the oil with milder versions like olive or coconut oil. Once it is diluted, soak a cotton swab with the mixture and apply it on the affected area at least three times a day. Repeat the process until the boil is gone.
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