Boil is a localized collection of pus surrounded by inflamed tissue in the skin. It starts off as reddened tender area and over a period of time, the area around it becomes firm and hard. The center of the boil full of pus is soft and is filled with infection fighting white blood cells, bacteria and proteins that eradicate the infection. Finally the pus forms a head, which can be surgically opened or drained out through the surface of the skin.
One can not pinpoint the reason for the occurrence of boils. They can be caused by ingrown hair, any splinter or foreign object lodged in the skin or clogged sweat glands that become infected to name a few. Boils can happen to young and old alike. It is one of the common skin infections ranging from the severity of a pimple to an abscess. Boils can be treated either with home remedies or medications. Any painful boil that is not rapidly improving should be seen by the healthcare practitioner.
The primary treatment for boils is heat application in form of hot soaks or hot packs. Application of hot compress increases the circulation to the area, allowing the body to fight off the infection. 10 – 15 minutes of hot compress four to fives times a day will help to bring the boil to a head and encourage easy drainage.
If you skin often breaks into boils, start cleaning your skin with an antiseptic soap. This could lessen frequent appearance of boils.
Regular use of antibacterial soaps helps prevent bacteria from building up on the skin. This can reduce the chance for the hair follicles to become infected and prevent the formation of boils.
If hair follicles on the back of arms or in and around the thighs continue to be inflamed, regular use of a loofah can break up oil plugs and build up around the follicles.
Cysts often turn into boils. Cysts can be prevented by avoiding direct pressure or irritation on the buttock area when the hair follicle becomes inflamed. Regular soap and hot water cleaning and drying is helpful.
Some of the home remedies for boils
Juice of garlic or onion applied externally on boils helps to ripen them, break them and drain out the pus.
A cupful of fresh bitter gourd juice mixed with a tsp of lime juice taken on an empty stomach daily treats this condition.
Mix 1 tsp of milk cream mixed with 1/2 tsp of vinegar and a pinch of turmeric powder to form a paste. When applied, it helps ripening the blood boils and heals them without becoming septic.
Gently warm a betal leaf till it becomes soft. Coat it with a layer of castor oil and put it over the inflamed part. Replace the leaf every few hours. Few applications of the castor oil coated betal leaf will rupture and drain out the boil.
Ground cumin seeds in water forming a paste. Apply the paste to the boils with beneficial results.
Steep parsley in boiled water till it is soft and juicy. When hot, wrap it clean muslin or linen cloth and apply it on the boils.
Application of turmeric powder on the boils enables to ripen it and burst.