Boils - Experience

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Boils facts

  • 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.
Picture of a Boil (Skin Abscess)
Picture: What does a boil look like?
  • 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.
Return to Boils (Skin Abscesses)

See what others are saying

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 15

I'll share with you my experience. I suffered with boils all over my body in 2013 for over six months, treated with strong antibiotics each month. I went to a dentist and asked for an x-ray. It showed infection in my tooth (with crown on it). After the extraction of the tooth all the boils have gone and my very painful and long experience with boils have finished.

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Comment from: RedCheckGingam, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 01

I got my first boil at age 18. I am now 40 and up till 3 years ago I got them all the time. One of the best things is garlic taken internally every day; the real thing and not the soft gels, works the best. Second, a bath /soak in Epsom salt, as much as you can, or make a paste; but the soak works best. Third, after the soak Prid salve, or even baking soda, need something that draws, and a Band-Aid if in a location that you can, otherwise skip this step. If it is in the groin area it can be hard to do this. I can't stress enough that garlic works, try it!

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