A boil, (also known as a furuncle), is an infection of a hair follicle caused by a bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). Approximately one third of us carry this germ in our noses. It is usually harmless, but it can cause a range of mild to severe infections, if it gains access to deeper tissues.
Certain areas of the body are more susceptible to boils. They include the face, throat, armpits, groin and buttocks. A boil on the eyelid is known as a sty. A collection or cluster of boils is called a carbuncle. Boils usually go away by themselves.
Sometime, though, they can be severe. If you develop a fever while you have a boil, or if they keep coming back frequently, you should visit your doctor. In these situations you may need to have the boil lanced (open by piercing) and drained. This is usually followed with sterile dressings and a course of antibiotics. If this happens be sure to also take a good probiotic every day while you are using antibiotics, and for an additional week after you stop.
Boils "grow" when the Staphylococcus Aureus bacteria get transferred under the skin. Here's the life cycle of a common boil;
- A small area of skin becomes inflamed and tender
- A painful lump appears
- After a few days, a white or yellow head forms
- The boil bursts
- The pus drains out
- The site heals
- A scar may form, depending on the severity of the boil.
Cuts, scrapes or scratches allow the bacteria to gain access to deeper tissues.
Who suffers from boils?
Home treatment for boils.