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)?
Quick GuideBoils: Causes, Symptoms, and Home Remedies
What is a boil? What are boil symptoms and signs?
A boil is a localized infection in the skin that begins as a reddened, tender area. Over time, the area becomes firm, hard, and increasingly tender. Eventually, the center of the boil softens and becomes filled with infection-fighting white blood cells from the bloodstream to eradicate the infection. This collection of white blood cells, bacteria, and proteins is known as pus. Finally, the pus "forms a head," which can be surgically opened or may spontaneously drain out through the surface of the skin. Pus enclosed within tissue is referred to as an abscess. A boil is also referred to as a skin abscess. Boils can occur anywhere on the body, including the trunk, extremities, buttocks, groin, or other areas.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
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.