Boils are infection of the skin that develops on a hair follicle or an oil gland. The affected area becomes red and eventually small bumps will develop. In a few days the bump becomes white due to pus that builds up under the skin.
Boils can develop anywhere in the body but usually the common affected areas include the arms, face, axilla, chest, back thigh, shoulders, neck, buttocks and areas around the vagina. A boil that develops on the eyelid is called a sty. Boils that develops in groups is called as a carbuncle and usually develop on the back of the neck, thigh and on the back. A carbuncle ranges in size of 10 cm or 4 inches and contains pus.
Causes of boils
- Ingrown hair can cause clogging of the pores and result to accumulation of sebum that traps the staphylococcus bacteria and cause recurring episodes of boils.
- Conditions that cause weakening of the immune system such as diabetes or kidney failure and even AIDS.
- Deficiency in vitamin A, C and vitamin B6.
- Foreign objects that are stuck in the skin such as a splinter can cause a bacterial infection and can develop into a boil overnight.
- Lack of proper body hygiene is a good breeding place for bacteria and result to the development of boils.
- Exposure of the body to harsh chemicals can cause allergic reaction in the form of boils.
- Development of a painful and red bump about ½ inch
- In a few days, the bumps become enlarged, soft and sometimes causes pain
- The tip of the bump becomes white due to the formation of pus
- If the boils develop into a carbuncle, the lymph nodes are swelling, experiencing fever and the boils starts showing signs of infection, there is a need to seek medical help immediately.
- Increase the intake of Vitamin A and E to maintain a healthy epidermis and eliminate the boil. Good sources of vitamin A include grapefruit, cantaloupe, pumpkin, winter squash, broccoli and spinach. Other foods rich in Vitamin E include parsley, avocado, papaya, olives, almonds and hazelnuts.
- Castor oil is also good for boils. Place a few drops of castor oil on a cotton swab and apply it on the boil several times throughout the day to eliminate the boils.
- Mix turmeric powder with a few drops of water. Mix well to create a paste. Apply this paste on the affected area and leave it on for at least 30 minutes. Use turmeric paste on the boil several times everyday. This causes the ripening of the boil and eventually pop on its own in a few days. Another alternative is adding milk cream and organic apple cider vinegar for fast healing of the condition.
- Epsom salt can eliminate the pus caused by boils since it has an antibacterial property that protects the area from secondary infections. In 2 cups filled with warm water, add ¼ cup of epsom salt and use this solution as a warm compress.