Many people refer to all sorts of skin eruptions, rashes, and redness as "boils".
In truth, however, a boil is a very specific thing, generally has a specific cause, and, is responsive to various treatments for boils.
At its simplest, a boil is an infection of the skin.
A boil generally begins in a hair follicle or oil gland.
The skin will initially turn red in the immediate area of the infection. A tender lump develops, which, after 5 or 6 days will begin to turn white. The white color of a boil comes from the buildup of pus under the skin.
Boils can appear on many parts of the body. Generally, whether found on the face, neck, armpit, shoulder, or buttocks, the infection is referred to as simply a "boil". However, when on the eyelid, a boil is referred to as a "sty". Occasionally, a group of boils may appear together, and this is referred to as a "carbuncle".
Beginning as a painful, hard, red lump smaller than a inch, the boil begins to soften and a pocket of pus forms on its head with red, painful, warm, swollen skin surrounding it. Some new boils may begin in the area, and, in more extreme situations, a fever may occur and lymph nodes become swollen.
While a boil itself is not particularly dangerous to your health, in extreme cases the sufferer may begin to experience a fever, red streaks appear in the skin around the boil, pain becomes quite extreme, the boil cannot be drained, or a second boil appears. In these instances, or if the boil is experienced by a person with a heart murmur, diabetes, a weakened immune system, or using immune suppressing drugs, medical attention should be sought.
Treatment for Boils
In most cases, the boil is going to be little more than a nuisance. Commonly, warm compresses will help decrease pain, draw the pus to the surface, and help a head form, and, eventually, burst. Once the boil has burst, merely wash regularly with antibacterial soap and apply a medicated ointment. It is a good idea to protect the healing boil with a bandage.
Popping the boil is not a good idea as this can drive the infection more deeply into the body and increase its negative health effects and make it last longer.
Some people find that the use of various boil treatments are of some benefit. Most of these treatments, including one very popular treatment, Boilx, make use of natural ingredients, such as Wild Indigo, Echinacea Angustifolia, and/or homeopathic boil treatments such as Anthracinum, Mercurius corrosivus, Hepar Sulphur, and Pyrogenium.
Bottom line is that a boil heals in a certain time. You can make the time a little shorter, and the experience a little less painful with the right treatment for boils...and a little patience!
By Donovan Baldwin
Articles on Health and Beauty