If you ever wondered how to get rid of a boil, you are in the right place. For those who do not know what it is, a boil is a hard pimple that is usually full of pus. A skin abscess, as it is also known, is primarily an infection of the skin.
At the beginning of a boil’s formation, the skin becomes red and tender. As its growth continues, bacteria, protein, and white blood cells come together at the center to form pus. Eventually, a boil becomes large and very painful.
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Boils are of different forms. For instance, a boil may be in the form of a pilonidal cyst, cystic acne, or carbuncle. You may find them growing on different parts of your body, for example, scalp, breast, face, head, and on the underarm.
What Causes Boils?
Boils result from the infection of bacteria known as Staphylococcus aureus. The bacteria has access into the body through the broken skin as arising from an injury, or through the hair follicles. A blockage in the sweat glands may also cause boils. Other factors that make boils thrive include:
- Weak immune system
- Damaged hair follicles
- Wearing tight clothes
- Alcohol abuse
- Infected sweat glands
- Being in contact with harsh chemicals
- Ingrown hair
Symptoms of Boils
Nearly everyone knows the look of a boil. The only doubt, however, is the type of boil. In the initial stages of a boil’s development, you will observe the following:
- Development of a painful red bump on the skin
- After a few days, the pain worsens as the bump grows bigger and softer
- Pus is seen at the top of the bump after about four days
In a case of severe infection, these symptoms are observed:
- Development of more boils around the initial boil, forming a carbuncle
- Swollen lymph nodes
- The skin swells and becomes red, indicating the presence of an infection.
Staphylococcus aureus is a contagious bacteria. Hence, it is critical to note that this makes boils contagious too. If you have a boil that has not healed completely, take precautions necessary to avoid spreading of boils to other people. To accomplish this, avoid skin contact with uninfected individuals and avoid sharing personal items since this increases the chances of boil transmission.
Popping a Boil
Many people get rid of boils through popping. Poping serves to remove the pus build up inside the boil which is usually responsible for the constant pain. The method is, however, not for the faint-hearted as it could be very painful. For those who have the guts to brave the pain, popping could perhaps be the easiest way to get rid of a boil fast. We will now take a look at the procedure of how to pop a boil. Before you proceed to pop the boil, take the following precautions:
- Use a heat pack to treat the affected area. Heating the affected area dilates the blood vessels underneath the skin. The dilated vessels, consequently, can deliver more nutrients, oxygen, and antibodies to the boil. All these assist in fighting the infection causing the boil. As a result, pus forms more quickly and the skin becomes soft. Eventually, the boil becomes ‘ripe’ to pop.
- Only pop the boil when it has grown fully and softened. When you consider popping as a way of getting rid of a boil, you must be acutely aware that you risk secondary infections. If you start the heat treatment immediately, the chances are that the boil will drain from the inside thereby eliminating the need to pop it. Pop a boil only when the skin has become soft, and its head (a pustule) has grown significantly.
How to pop a boil
Repeated heat treatment, otherwise known as a warm compress, involves immersing a clean washcloth in hot water and then pressing gently on and around the boil. In the process, the boil could drain internally or pop out on its own.
If the boil grows to have a significant pustule and does not pop out on its own, apply some pressure on the boil’s edges until it opens up releasing the pus.
Post pop out care
After you have successfully popped out the boil, you risk entry of more infections because you have an open skin. To prevent this, observe these safeguards:
- Drain as much pus as you possibly can until you see blood coming out of the boil. If you continue to squeeze even after you have noticed blood, you are likely to get a permanent scar.
- Do not discontinue the heat treatment after the boil has popped. If you do, you will cut the supply of nutrients and antibodies. Consequently, this will expose you to secondary infections.
- Apply a lotion of povidone iodine and, if you have any, coat the lotion with some turmeric powder. To dress the open wound, cover it with gauze and reinforce with a medical tape. Replace the dressing a few times in a day for several days until the wound is completely healed.
How to treat a boil at home
A boil is something you can get rid of at home. It is possible to come up with a long list of home remedies for boils. Some of these home remedies are solutions to how to get rid of a boil fast without having to visit a dermatologist or any other medical practitioner. We shall now discuss several home remedies for boils.
Home remedies for boils and how to go about them
Many home remedies for boils are readily available, and you may not have to buy them. Also, some offer complete treatment of boils without having to visit a hospital. We all know how embarrassing it could be to undress in front of a doctor for them to treat a boil on your buttocks. Here are several home remedies that will assist you on how to get rid of skin boils. Much to anyone’s surprise, some of these home remedies for boils are solutions to how to get rid of a boil overnight.
Turmeric has both antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. These are extremely critical elements in the treatment of a boil. Collectively, these features help the boils to heal fast. Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, offers the much needed relief from the incessant pain experienced.
- Prepare a thick paste from turmeric powder mixed with water. Alternatively, you could mix the turmeric powder with milk and vinegar. Apply the paste to the boil sparingly.
- Leave the paste on the boil for a maximum of half an hour and then rinse it off.
- Repeat the steps several times in a day until the boil bursts.
- Likewise, you could also add a half or a full teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of milk after which you boil and drink the mixture. Repeat this twice every day. Doing this will relieve you from pain and minimize the inflammation.
- Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil has strong anti-microbial properties. For this reason, tea tree oil is essential in the healing process of a boil whereby it helps to prevent secondary infections. However, it should be mixed with a carrier oil as using it in its pure form could be harsh to the skin. For those who have never used tea tree oil before, apply it on any part of your skin and see whether you will experience any allergic reactions. If you experience a constant burning sensation, consider using an alternative treatment.
- Soak a cotton swab in diluted tea tree oil and hold it against the affected area of the skin. Repeat this several times in a day until the boil heals.
- Alternatively, mix some drops of tea tree oil in warm water. Soak a clean washcloth in the tea tree oil solution and press against the boil for a maximum of 10 minutes. Do this several times every day until the boil heals.
Onions are a simple natural solution to get rid of a boil overnight. They possess natural antiseptic properties that help in the treatment of boils. Juice from an onion acts both as an irritant and an antimicrobial agent. The onion juice can draw heat from the boil thereby promoting the eruption of the boil and palliate the pain.
- Slice an onion into thick pieces.
- Place slices on the boil and cover with a clean piece of cloth
- Change the slices every 2 hours all night until the boil erupts and drains the pus.
- Boil 3 onions in a pan with water. Let the onions boil in the water until only a third of water is left in the pan. Cool the water to a lukewarm temperature. Wash the skin abscess several times during the day. Repeat this until the boil erupts and drains.
Neem is also known as Indian Lilac. It is also an effective solution to get rid of a skin boil. Research has proved that neem has excellent antibacterial properties.
- Wash a handful of neem leaves and place them in a mortar. Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder and a tablespoon of water to the leaves. Grind the mixture into a fine paste using a pestle. Apply the paste to the affected skin and rinse the paste after about half an hour. Repeat the same several times during the day until the boil has healed.
- Boil neem leaves in a pan with water until only a third of the water is left. Let the liquid cool to room temperature. Strain the liquid and apply it like you would apply a topical lotion using a cotton ball. Repeat the process until the boil is fully treated.
- Epson Salt
Epson is another remedy to get rid of a boil fast. As an astringent, Epsom salt has the ability to draw pus from a boil and other impurities from the skin. Additionally, it has antibacterial properties that help the wound from an erupted boil remain free of infections. Below is a procedure of how to treat a boil using Epson salt.
- Add a quarter cupful of Epson salt to a basin and add 2 cups of water to the basin. Wet a very clean washcloth in the solution. Now place the cloth on the boil. Leave the cloth on the boil for up to 15 minutes. Repeat several times each day until the boil has started to drain. This method is a recommendable way to get rid of a boil on buttocks.
- As an alternative, add Epsom salt to a sitz bath with warm water. Take a bath in the sitz bath for about 20 minutes. Repeat twice or thrice daily for a few days.
- Milk cream
Cream obtained from milk is an excellent poultice. It softens the boil making it easy for the boil’s head to break and drain the pus. Also, the cream lowers risks of infection.
- Apply fresh milk cream on the boil. Hold in place for 30 minutes. Repeat daily until you achieve a positive outcome.
- Also, you could mix a teaspoonful of milk cream with white vinegar and turmeric powder. Apply the paste to the boil and rinse the paste after 20 minutes. Repeat several times each day until the boil is healed.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV is a natural antiseptic with antimicrobial properties. These two properties make apple cider vinegar an excellent home remedy for boils.
- Mix honey with an equal amount of apple cider vinegar. Dilute the mixture with water.
- Apply, with a cotton pad, the solution of ACV to the boil for around 20 minutes. Do this twice daily until the boil has been removed.
How to prevent boils
It is, at times, within your power to prevent boils. Try these measures and, most probably, you will not have to go through the pain of a boil.
- Observe proper hygiene
- Use antibacterial soaps when bathing
- Try as much as you can to resist the temptation of squeezing a boil as this may spread the infection
- Have Vitamins A, C and E foods in your regular diet
- Avoid fat foods as well as foods with a lot of sugar
There are many home remedies for boils. Therefore, you do not need to endure the pain and discomfort that comes along with boils without doing anything about it. Try one of the above methods on how to get rid of boils at home.