By definition a boil is a localized infection deep in the skin. Normally it begins as simply a reddened, tender area on the skin which eventually becomes firm and hard yet still tender. The center of this eventually becomes filled with pus (white blood cells mixed with bacteria and protein). The pus then forms a head which can then be surgically opened or drained. But what if I can’t afford to do the surgery you may ask. Then there are in fact a few steps you may take to treat your boil on your own.
- Warm Compress
Steps to Take
- First of all you will need to locate your boil. These are normally bumps or sacs red in color and very irritated looking. Be careful not to break or burst it as this will cause the infection to spread to healthy hair follicles.
- Begin taking more showers than baths. When you take baths your body is soaked into the germs and bacteria while in a shower they are washed away. Also avoid any vigorous activity that may cause the body to sweat excessively. It is also not recommended that persons with boils(with visible lesions) engage in any sporting activities that evolve person to person contact as this may spread the bacteria.
- Warm compresses three or four times a day for about twenty minutes may be used to relieve pain. You may use a single washcloth and hold directly over the infected area. Be careful as moving your cloth around may also spread the infection also remember to wash your hands after touching a boil.
- Store your personal items such as clothing and towels in a separate compartment from others to prevent spreading your infection. Instead of using a washcloths or towels for your compress try using disposable paper towels so as to ensure that no one else uses that same towel.
- Under no circumstance are you to use any non-prescription ointments as it is highly recommended that you only use antibiotics and other medication prescribed by a physician. If you do choose to use medication for relief of discomfort or to treat mild fevers avoid anything with acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- Dealing with a health condition on your own can be a difficult task but ensure that you do so carefully so as to prevent the spread of bacteria. Also contact your doctor immediately if you realize that you have seen no improvement with two to three days or if the condition gets worse.