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Boils - A Quick Read

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Are you breaking out in firm reddened bump on your skin?
Is the bump tender on the bump and around the swelling?

What is a boil?
  • is an abscess or collection of pus formed in the skin
  • There are different types of boils
    • furuncle - boil within a hair follicle
    • carbuncle - consists of group of hair follicles and usually larger in area that furuncle
    • Cystic acne - happens when oil ducts clogs
    • Hidradenitis supprativa - abscess that forms under arm pit or in the groin area due to inflammation of the sweat glands.
    • Pilonidal cyst - happens in the crease of the butt 
    • Stye - boil on the eyelid

Appearance and Symptoms
  • red bump and maybe firm to touch
  • the bump and the  skin around the bump maybe tender and painful
  • the pus filled inside may ooze or weep from the "head" that forms on the bump
  • fever maybe associated with it
  • there may be swollen lymph nodes nearby the boil

When and why does it occur
Happens for many reasons
  • ingrown hair
  • foreign material embedded into the skin
  • obstructed sweat glands
  • breaks in the skin from cuts or scrapes

How does it start
  • contagious and may affect people around patients who have boils
  • the infection spreads with contact from the fluid that oozes from the boil

Trigger and risk Factors
  • weakened immune system
  • immune suppression from medications
  • chemotherapy patients
  • Diabetic patients
  • poor hygiene
  • improper nutrition
  • chemical exposure to skin
  • breaks on the skin from cuts, scrapes , shaving, ingrown hair or insect bites
  • IV drug use 
  • public foot-baths
  • exposure to patients with boils

Lifestyle Adaptations
  • Avoid shaving if the boil is a result of shaving
  • Practice good hygiene 
  • Antibacterial wash products may help in preventing the build up of infectious bacteria that causes boils
  • Use warm compress and soak
  • Do not probe or poke into the boils
  • Exercising regularly

Treatment Options
  • Antibiotics
  • Hot packs and compression
  • Pain relievers
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Antibiotic creams and ointments
  • Tea-tree oil
  • uncontrolled fever with the boil
  • skin reddening either around the boil or in streaks
  • severe pain
  • multiple boils


All these and more are available at Health First pharmacy...visit us for all your health needs first...talk to us first!!!