Boils, otherwise known as furuncles by medical physicians are pus-filled nodules that appear on the skin that are a result of a Staphylococcus aureaus bacterial infection. Deep in the portion of a hair follicle the infection begins. It can also begin in the sebaceous gland and work its way up to the skin’s surface.
Causes of boils include poor nutrition, illness that has rendered immune function impaired, poor hygiene, diabetes mellitus, and/or the use of immunosuppressive drugs. Children and adolescents are the most common sufferers of boils. The nodules most often appear on the scalp, face, underarms or buttocks. They are usually tender and red, painful and can appear fairly suddenly.
Symptoms that a boil may be on its way include itchiness and mild pain along with localized swelling in a particular area. Within twenty-four hours, the boil has become filled with pus and red. Fever and swelling of the lymph nodes around the affected area may also take place.
Although generally only a mild irritant, boils are contagious. The pus that drains from a boil can contaminate nearby skin. This can cause new boils or can enter the bloodstream and even spread to other body parts. A carbuncle is a cluster of boils that occurs in such cases. The formation of a carbuncle may be an indication of impaired immune function.
Without any treatment boils will usually heal on their own. They will come to a head, open and drain in between ten to twenty-five days. With treatment symptoms are less sever and new boils should not form.
The best natural remedies for treating boils include colloidal silver, which functions as a natural antibiotic and disinfectant as well as garlic. Garlic is likewise a natural antibiotic that has the potential to boost immune function. Vitamin A, E, C and zinc are likewise important for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities.
Onion poultices have been found to be good for boils. Propolis is also a natural antibiotic and may be take in a tincture form. Tea tree oil compresses are great antiseptics. Soak a clean cloth with the warm liquid made from 9 drops of teatree oil and one quart of warm water and apply to the affected area.
Applying moisture and heat three times a day will help bring the boil to a head faster. Make sure to apply a sterile gauze or pad so as not to spread the infection. Keep the skin clean and wash the infected are several times a day with antiseptic. You might also want to apply honey directly to the boil.
Boils may on occasion be symptomatic of more serious underlying illnesses. If boils occur frequently be sure to consult your health care provider and to rule out any underlying conditions. Antibiotics may be prescribed for more serious infections, however these drugs have side effects. It is always best to try to treat the infection with natural remedies first if possible.
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