A boil (skin abscess) represents a localized infection which occurs deep in the skin. The affected skin is in the beginning red and tender and as the infection progresses a boil becomes firm and more painful. Eventually pus forms inside the boil and after a few days it drains.
Some people are prone to boils. They have to deal with recurrent skin abscesses which do not have to affect the same areas of the skin but can migrate from one body part to another.
What Causes Boils?
Boils are very common in people with poor health and weak immune system. They simply cannot control multiplication of bacteria responsible for the skin infection.
If a person is older than 40 and is suffering from recurrent boils it is highly likely he/ she is also suffering from undiagnosed diabetes. In diabetes the immune system is weakened. This means that resistance to infections (including boils) is not adequate as well.
People with extremely poor hygiene are also susceptible to boils. The infection in this case affects sebaceous glands in the regions such as armpits and clefts of the buttocks.
In people suffering from certain skin infections such as acne, eczema or scabies boils may occur as secondary infection of the already damaged skin.
Boils may also affect obese people and are associated with intake of certain medications. And finally, there is a connection between improper elimination of waste products from the body and the occurrence of boils.
Treatment for Boils
Acceleration of pus formation inside the boils can be achieved with a hot pack. If a hot pack is pressed onto the affected area it efficiently increases blood circulation and allows specific blood cells to reach the area of inflammation. These cells kill the bacteria responsible for the inflammation and the puss is the terminal product of their activity. Additional help is obtained from antibiotics. Pus from the boils can drain spontaneously. If this is not the case draining can be induced by a small cut make by a surgeon. It is essential for pus to be eliminated because if it stays inside the skin it may spread into deeper tissues and cause cellulitis. Draining of the accumulated pus also alleviates pain.
Once the pus has drained the skin must be kept clean. This is a perfect way to prevent additional boils from forming.
People suffering from recurrent boils should try to increase the strength of their immune system with proper diet or vitamin supplements. This way the recurrence of boils can be brought under control.