Skin Care

What are boils? The basics...

What are boils?

Boils are small skin infections that occur in the hair follicle. They result from being infected by staphylococci bacteria that are present on the skin normally. They range in size, but are commonly very small although the skin surrounding the boil may be inflamed. They are often tender in its early stages, but eventually become firm. At this stage the pus can be seen in the center of the boil.

What are the main visual characteristics of a boil?

  • Bumpy and red initially
  • Quite often warmer than other parts of the body
  • Painful
  • Can vary from pea sized to as large as a ping pong ball
  • When severe, other symptoms such as fever, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes can be see

What treatments are necessary?

In most cases, treatment is unnecessary, and boils are relatively common occurrences. We recommend that you do not touch the boils in its early stage. Heating the area with hot packs can help increase circulation and help the body fight the infection. Only when the boils are exceptionally large, do we recommend tampering with the boil or trying to drain the pus. In these cases, we strongly recommend that you visit a medical practitioner to have them drain the boil. The doctor will often recommend an antibiotic.

© 2012   |   Member of the Skin Care network.