There is nothing much more painful than a boil. First, an area will feel sore and it will be red. Then over the period of a few days, you will see swelling and a “bump,” or a small white spot will form in the middle of the reddened area.
There is no one reason why a boil forms. An ingrown hair can initiate a boil, and so can a clogged sweat gland. When any foreign object is under the skin, the body forms a protective coating around the object (called a “head”), and a boil will form as the body sends infection-fighting white blood cells, proteins, and even “good” bacteria” to the site of the invasion.
The forming of a boil means that something has invaded the body, and the boil is the result of the body fighting off the invasion. So, in a sense, a boil is a good thing, in that it means that the body’s defense system is working well. But boils are painful, and so the idea is to eliminate them sooner rather than later.
Home Remedies for Boils
These home remedies can help reduce the pain of a boil, but if the boil doesn’t improve significantly in a few days, you should see a health care professional.
- Hot compresses applied to the boil several times a day will help to increase blood circulation in the area and will help to bring the boil to a head so that it can drain.
- A slice of raw potato bandaged onto the boil will draw the boil to a head so that drainage will take place. The potato helps to “draw” out the pus and, eventually, the head.
- Use antibacterial soap on a daily basis all over your body if you are prone to boil outbreaks.
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if boils appear on the face or spine, come back again, do not heal with home treatment within one week and/or occur along with a fever, red streaks coming out from the sore, large fluid collections around the boil, or other symptoms.