Table of Contents
- Boils facts
- What is a boil? What are boil symptoms and signs?
- What is a boil? What are boil symptoms and signs? (Part 2)
- What is a boil? What are boil symptoms and signs? (Part 3)
- What causes boils to form?
- What are risk factors for boils?
- How are boils diagnosed?
- What are boil treatments and home remedies?
- When should someone seek medical attention for a boil?
- What is the prognosis (outcome) for a boil?
- What kinds of specialists treat boils?
- What can be done to prevent boils (abscesses)?
Causes of Boils (Skin Abscesses)
Individuals who have ingrown hairs may experience a painful acne-like eruption after shaving. The upper skin layers may have some dilation of the small superficial blood vessels, which gives the skin a red or flushed appearance. Pustules and rare abscesses may form on the ingrown hair sites due to the infection with common skin bacteria, such as Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas.
Quick GuideBoils: Causes, Symptoms, and Home Remedies
- A boil, or skin abscess, is a collection of pus that forms in the skin.
- Boils symptoms and signs include:
- a firm reddened bump,
- tender, swollen skin surrounding the bump,
- the bump may increase in size,
- pus-filled head on the bump, which may spontaneously drain, weep, or ooze.
- Antibiotics alone can be inadequate in treating abscesses. The primary treatments for boils include hot packs and draining ("lancing") the abscess but only when it is soft and ready to drain. Most boils resolve on their own or with home remedies.
- If the individual has a fever or long-term illness, such as cancer or diabetes, or is taking medications that suppress the immune system, he or she should contact a health-care professional if a boil (abscess) develops.
- There are a number of ways to reduce the likelihood of developing some forms of boils, but boils are not completely preventable.
- Boils themselves are not contagious, but the bacteria that cause boils are. Continue Reading
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Satter, Elizabeth Kline. "Folliculitis." Medscape.com. Dec. 11, 2013. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1070456-overview>.
Singhal, Hemant. "Skin and Soft Tissue Infections - Incision, Drainage, and Debridement." Medscape.com. May 8, 2012. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1830144-overview>.
2. Peggy Firth and Susan Gilbert for WebMD
3. "Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas & Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology"; Klaus Wolff, Richard Allen Johnson, Dick Suurmond; Copyright 2005, 2001, 1997, 1993 by The McGraw-Hill Companies. All Rights reserved.
5. Getty Images
9. iStock/Getty IMages
10. Getty Images
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