Medical Illustrations

Picture of Boil

Picture of a Boil
  • PREV
  • Next Image: Picture of Pilonidal Cyst
  • NEXT

A boil, also referred to as a skin abscess, is a localized infection deep in the skin. A boil generally starts as a reddened, tender area. Over time, the area becomes firm and hard. Eventually, the center of the abscess softens and becomes filled with infection-fighting white blood cells that the body sends via 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 spontaneously drain out through the surface of the skin.

    Reviewed by Melissa Conrad Stoppler, MD on August 11, 2008

    Image Source: MedicineNet - Boils

    Text: "Boils", MedicineNet

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors