Use a clean towel every time you wash to avoid spreading bacteria.
Boils are pus-filled bumps that form under the surface of the skin when bacteria cause an infection or inflammation of your hair follicles, according to the Mayo Clinic. Boils are often uncomfortable or painful for sufferers, and because they are fairly large and red, they can be embarrassing, too. You usually can care for boils with simple home remedies, but not everything works. If you have a boil that is causing a great deal of pain, is accompanied by a fever or hasn’t gone away in two weeks, consult your doctor.
Heat is the primary home remedy for most boils, according to the Medicine Net health information website. Applying a hot compress or hot pack increases circulation in the area around the boil helps to bring white blood cells and helpful antibodies to the area to fight the infection. Applying heat may relieve pain and help the boil drain. Use a hot compress or heat pack on the boil for about 10 minutes every few hours, and always use a new compress or heat pack to avoid spreading bacteria.
Don’t try to lance or drain a boil at home. However, some boils that swell and form a head similar to a pimple may drain on their own your apply a hot compress or heat pack. If a boil starts to drain, don’t try to stop the process – draining the boil of pus helps reduce inflammation and starts the healing process. After a boil drains, wash your skin and use a clean towel to pat the area dry. Launder the towel before using it again.
Home Care Basics
Along with using home remedies like hot compresses, avoid touching, picking, squeezing or poking a boil with a sharp object, which could spread the infection. Wash clothing, towels and compresses after they have touched the infected area and before you use or wear them again, and always wash your hands after treating a boil with a hot compress or heat pack. This is particularly important if you have recurrent boils, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Essential oils may be able to help clear up a boil and speed up the healing process when used along with a hot compress, according to Barbara Close, author of “Pure Skin: Organic Beauty Basics.” Close recommends adding a small amount of lavender or tea tree essential oil to hot water used to make a compress – approximately one part essential oil to 10 parts water. Apply the warm compress to the affected area for 10 minutes every two to three hours.