What is a Boil?
Boil or skin abscess is primarily an infection of the skin. Boils are large and hard pimples with pus filled in centre. How does a boil forms? Well, the formation of boil begins with tenderness and redness on the skin. Gradually, white blood cells, protein, and bacteria get filled in the centre of the boil and forms pus. They are tender-to-touch and painful. They are found in various forms, like cystic acne, pilonidal cyst, Hidradenitis suppurativa, and carbuncle or furuncles. Boils may appear at various places, like breast, scalp, back, head, face, groin, underarms, back, and buttocks. They are highly contagious.
We all know how a boil looks like. But, we usually remain uncertain about the type of boil. However, its appearance depends on the skin conditions and dietetic factors of a person. Here are some warning signs of a boil:
- Boil develops with a red nodule or head on any part of the body.
- Boil gets bigger with the passage of time.
- It gets filled with pus, which gives it whitish appearance.
- Around the boil, skin becomes hard and painful.
- Sometimes, boils are very itchy.
- Boil can appear either single or collectively on the skin.
- Lymph gets swelled during the development of a boil.
The above mentioned warning signs may be accompanied with the following symptoms:
- High fever (especially in children)
- Even after several days, the boil does not drain out.
- Red streaks on skin
- Severe pain
- Diabetes or heart disorders
- Change in appetite
Boils are caused by bacteria, named Staphylococcus aureus. These bacteria enter into the body through the hair follicle or small cuts on the skin. Boils are also caused due to blocked sweat glands. Some other reasons of this skin infection are:
- Poor hygiene
- Poor immune system
- Friction from tight clothing
- Poor nutrition
- Exposure to harsh chemicals
Home Remedies for Healing Boils
How to treat a boil? Boils can be treated naturally. Because of its ugly look, we always try to find multiple solutions to get rid of it fast. To cure a boil, antibiotics can be a solution. But, for every problem, we can’t just rely on antibiotics. Apart from it, most of people try to lance a boil, apply some boil removing cream, apply a boil ointment, or wait for its automatic bursting out process. Now the question is what to do for a boil? It is simple; instead of damaging your skin, try some home remedies to cure boils instantly. Here are some natural home remedies for the treatment of boils.
- Warm Compress
Some people use boil drawing salves to pull out pus. Instead of this, you can treat a boil with a warm washcloth compress. You are required to dip a clean cloth in warm water. For more effective results, you can add salt to the warm water. Place this warm and wet cloth on the boil for 10-12 minutes. To get quick relief, practice this process for six times a day.
Turmeric is considered to be a natural blood purifier. It has anti-inflammatory properties, which are helpful for the treatment of boils. In a glass of warm milk or water, stir one spoon of turmeric. Drink this herbal mix three times a day.
Turmeric can also be used with fresh ginger. Make a paste of fresh ginger and turmeric, and apply it directly on the boil.
- Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is one of the preferable antiseptics, which is used for healing all types of skin problems. To heal the boil, apply one drop of tea tree oil directly on the boil.
Note: Do not consume tea tree oil internally.
- Castor Oil
Castor oil is considered as an antiseptic for treatment of a boil. Put some drops of castor oil on a cotton ball. Put the cotton ball on the boil, directly. This will draw out the poison right out of the boil.
Milk is an ancient remedy for the treatment of boils. Heat one cup of milk and add three teaspoons of salt in it. Stir the mixture thoroughly. To make the mixture thick, add some bread crumbles or flour in it. Apply the thick mixture directly on the boil. For quick results, repeat the process for several times in a day.
Milk cream can also be used to heal a boil. Add vinegar and turmeric powder in a teaspoon of milk cream and apply the mixture directly on the boil.
Onion has antimicrobial as well as antiseptic properties that are effective for the treatment of boils. You are required to take a thick slice of onion and place it directly on the boil. Wrap the onion with a cloth so that the heat of the onion reaches inside the skin. If the process is practised 3-4 times a day, the boil will surely drain out.
Egg white is used for curing boils. Take one egg. Boil it and peel it. Wet the white of the egg and apply directly on the boil. Cover it with a clean cloth.
Take some salt pork or bacon and roll it in salt. Now, place it in between the two pieces of cloth. Put the cloth directly on the boil. Though, the process is untidy, but, if practised many times in a day, it will surely drain out the pus from the boil.
- Corn Meal
Cornmeal is a natural absorbent and very effective for healing boils. Boil half cup of water and put some cornmeal in it to make a thick paste. Apply the paste directly on the boil and cover it with a clean cloth. Until the pus drains out, repeat the process multiple times a day.
- Jelly Jar
Take a vessel and boil a cup in it for a few minutes. With the help of tongs, take out the cup. Before it gets cool, place it directly on the boil. This will increase blood pressure in the affected area and pus will come. Wipe out the pus and wash the area.
- Cumin Seeds
Take some cumin seeds. Grind them and make a paste, adding some water. Apply it directly to the infected area. You will surely notice effective results.
- Parsley Leaves
Boil some parsley leaves in water. After warming, wrap the leaves in a thin clean cloth. Use it as a bandage on the boil. This will help boil to burst out fast, without any infection.
- Black Seed (Kalonji)
Black seeds possess medicinal properties, which help in curing skin diseases. Make a paste of black seeds by grinding them. Apply the paste directly on the boil.
Black seed oil is also effective to cure boil. Mix ½ tsp of black seed oil in a cold or hot drink. Drink the mixture two times a day.
- Indian Lilac (Neem)
Lilac is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties. It is effective for treating boils and providing relief in the pain. Make a paste of a handful of neem leaves. Apply the paste directly on the boil.
Boil some neem leaves in the water until the water evaporates to one-third. Use the boiled water to rinse the infected area.
- Bread Poultice
Bread is an easily available ingredient in home. Bread poultice or bandage is helpful in healing boils. You are required to soak a slice of bread in warm water or milk. Place the soaked bread directly on the boil. On repeating the process twice a day, the boil will disappear naturally.
Garlic is also used in treating boils. Prepare a paste of fresh garlic cloves. Apply it directly on the boil.
Alternatively, heat 1 garlic clove and put it directly on the boil. Leave it for 10-15 minutes. For better results, repeat the procedure for several times in a day.
Instead of making paste or heating the garlic clove, one can have 2-3 garlic cloves daily to get rid of boils and other skin diseases.
- Nutmeg (Jaiphal)
Nutmeg is known for stimulating blood circulation in the body. Mix half teaspoon of nutmeg powder in 1 hot cup of milk or water. Drink the mixture to prevent bacterial infection in the boil.
- Echinacea, Pasque Flower and Poke Root Tea
Prepare tea by adding two parts of wild indigo and one part of Echinacea, poke root, and pasque flower. Drink the tea thrice a day for fast healing.
The tea can also be applied directly on the boil.
- Eucalyptus Oil
Prepare a mixture of 3 drops of eucalyptus oil and 25 grams of powdered slippery elm. Add boiling water to make a thick paste. Apply directly onto the boil. Until the pus drains out, repeat the process many times.
To draw out pus, use a marshmallow leaf or figwort as a bandage on the boil.
- Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is very effective remedy for various health and skin problems. Fill your bath tub with warm water and Epsom salt to it. Take a bath. It will alleviate the boils.
- Asafoetida (Hing) and Basil Leaves (Tulsi)
Extract the juice of basil leaves. Crush a piece of ginger to make a paste. Now, mix the paste and juice properly. Add asafoetida to it. Use this mixture on the affected area to heal the problem fast.
Antibiotic Treatment for Boils
Some people try to pop a boil, which may be little messy and painful. There are several antibiotics available in the market for the treatment of boils. Instead of popping a boil, try some of the common antibiotics, like:
Apply Neosporin directly on the boil and its surrounding area. This will help boil to heal faster. Repeat the process for several days to get better results.
- Ichthammol Ointment
It is known for healing several problems, like treatment of poison ivy, insect bites, removing splinter, and for treatment of boils.
Homeopathic Remedies for Boils
Mercurius solubilise, Arsenicum album, Belladonna, Silica, Calendula, and Hepar sulphuris are some of the homeopathic medicines that you can take for boils. But, all these medicines don’t work similarly on all persons. Before taking them, check out your symptoms and consult the doctor for proper dosage.
Preventive Measures for Boils
- Wash your hands to prevent bacteria from infecting the skin.
- Practice hygiene.
- Use antibacterial soap for bathing.
- Keep your towels, clothes, etc. dirt-free and clean.
- Never squeeze a boil; otherwise, it may cause pain and spread the infection.
- Exfoliate your skin on the regular basis to prevent sweat ducts from blockage.
- Avoid fat and sugar rich foods, like white bread, cakes and chocolates.
- Caffeine products may worsen the condition of boils. So, avoid them.
- Include Vitamin A, C and E rich foods in your diet.