Boils - Effective Treatments

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

What kinds of treatments have been effective for your boils?

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver


* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!


I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the white square:

What is the treatment for a boil?

Home treatment is an option for most simple boils. Ideally, treatment should begin as soon as a boil is noticed since early treatment may prevent later complications.

The primary home remedy for most boils is heat application, usually with hot soaks or hot packs. Heat application increases the circulation to the area and allows the body to better fight off the infection by bringing antibodies and white blood cells to the site of infection.

As long as the boil is small and firm, opening the area and draining the boil is not helpful, even if the area is painful. However, once the boil becomes soft or "forms a head" (that is, a small pustule or area of pus is noted in the boil), it can be ready to drain. Once drained, pain relief can be dramatic. Most small boils, such as those that form around hairs, drain on their own with hot soaks. On occasion, and especially with larger boils, medical treatment is required. In this situation, the boil will need to be drained or "lanced" by a health care professional. Frequently, these larger boils contain several pockets of pus that must be opened and drained.

Antibiotics are often used to eliminate any accompanying bacterial infection, especially if there is an infection of the surrounding skin. However, antibiotics are not needed in every situation. In fact, antibiotics have difficulty penetrating the outer wall of an abscess well and often will not cure an abscess without additional surgical drainage.

Return to Boils

See what others are saying

Comment from: Pearl, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 26

After reading many of your stories I wanted to put in my two cents. When I was thirty-five my daughter came home from preschool with a boil on her leg. I thought I had done everything to make sure I didn"t catch her staph infection. Alas, I did not wear gloves when I washed her. I then became infected and felt I had the plague. After reading everything I could, I started taking acidophilus (probiotic) everyday as a preventative to staph. Now I am sixty-three and have my first boil after about twenty-five years. Staph lays dormant and does not go away until something triggers it. Stress in my case after taking care of my mother who has Alzheimer"s I believe is the culprit. I am now going to double my dosage of acidophilus along with antibiotics. I have never stopped taking my acidophilus and will always continue as a course of preventive medicine.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Tiredofboils, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 26

While shaving I have gotten many boils no matter what I do. I recently had a boil the size of a silver dollar on the inside of my thigh. Tired of getting lectures about my immune system being bad due to diabetes I asked my sister for advice. Her advice was to use Smile"s PRID (homeopathic salve 18 GM). I found it at Walmart and spread it on a bandage and covered the boil, for me it worked. It has been less than a week and the boil has drained, is smaller than a quarter and no longer hurts. Thank you sis.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

STAY INFORMED

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!