Patient Comments: Boils - Effective Treatments

Question:

What kinds of treatments have been effective for your boils? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Tlyna, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 30

I do the same things for boils, whiteheads and blackheads, and have for decades. Despite what doctors tell you I have never had a spreading infection from one. I do this the moment I notice them. They always dry up immediately and have left no scarring. I sterilize a needle in alcohol and let it air dry. I then lance the boil or whatever with it and drain the spot as much as possible. I then pour a small amount of hydrogen peroxide on it let it bubble for a minute or so and then repeat several times over until the bubbling slows then let it air dry. I do not touch it with anything until it has sealed itself. Most of the pain (caused by the pressure) is gone and by the next day the redness is gone and within a few days it looks normal. I do the same with fire ant bites and have no problems with them, no pain, no itching and no scarring and they are gone in no time.

Comment from: sushicam, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 19

I have had a chronic staph infection for 14 years. I got it in hospital. For about 6 months, I've been using a blue light treatment (designed to kill acne bacteria) on the boil-prone areas with great success. As they usually appear on my face and leave deep scars, I am glad to be able to use the blue light at the first sign of a lesion, which is usually a painful swelling under the skin. They are so deep that I usually cannot drain them. However, persistent use with the blue and red light (blue for bacteria, red to reduce inflammation) seem to quiet them down very quickly. I use a Baby Quasar Clear Rayz for intensive treatment, but I use Neutrogena's inexpensive light therapy mask daily. I wish I'd learned about these sooner.

Comment from: Dr Levinstein, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 12

I used a heating pad in high, and the boil erupted in less than a half hour.

Comment from: 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: April 13

An over the counter remedy called Boil Ease relieves boils. It causes it to drain.

Comment from: Lars, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 02

I have had a boil in the same spot reoccurring over the years. I have finally realized that it is only when I eat a diet of no processed foods, breads, or pasta it clears up instantly, like 3 to 4 days. I do eat sprouted grain bread, protein, vegetables, and fruit but nothing processed. I swear they are diet related. That's my two cents!

Comment from: verybadpatient, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 02

I am using an Indian healing clay as treatment after boil has begun to drain, hope it is not harmful.

Comment from: farmerpatient, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: March 12

I have been suffering from boils for about 6 years now, mostly on my legs and groin area, but a couple of times in the armpit area and a little bit on my chest too. The only thing that has worked for me is Boil Gone which stings a little bit but it is worth it and works better when I use it when the boil is first forming under the skin. Hope that helps someone.

Comment from: lll, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 03

I get boils when I wear pantyhose and have been getting them for years. My mother-in-law told me to eat raisins. I hate raisins but when I started eating them (2 tablespoons per day) I quit having boils.

Comment from: Sonia, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 29

For chronic recurring boils also known as HS (hidradenitis suppurativa) - must read 'Hidden Plague' by Tara Grant. These boils are autoimmune related, if you get them you know it's linked to your stress, immune system, hormones, all of the above. This book has put my painful boil/HS into remission; all just by cutting out my trigger foods!

Comment from: MR B, 19-24 Male (Caregiver) Published: September 17

The most effective way I found to deal with boils was to sweat regularly. Letting the body purify the skin by sweating all the impurities out of the body. Work out regularly, stop being lazy, and get some sweat pouring and dripping. Your skin will look better and better the more you sweat.

Comment from: Tom, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: July 14

I had chronic painful armpit boils most of the time. I tried various lotions, special soaps, talked to doctor, and nothing worked. Finally I found a method that prevents them totally for me. I have not had one boil in 6 months. When washing my armpits, 1. Use ivory soap. 2. Wash with warm water, not hot or cold. 3. Wash with hands only, do not rub with washcloth! 4. Rinse in shower, rub armpits with hands only to remove all soap. 5. Pat armpits to dry, do not rub with towel.

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Comment from: loshon40, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 12

I've been dealing with boils since childhood. I was born with a small hole just in front of my ear. I'm sick of taking antibiotics. However, I wanted to thank the person who talked about 'Smile's Prid'. I currently have a boil, and I applied Prid and it's working like a charm. You saved me from an office visit and prescription copay. Thank you 'Tiredofboils'.

Comment from: judithn, Female (Patient) Published: June 12

I'm on steroids and repeatedly develop boils in the genital and anus areas. When one starts, I put a blob of Neosporin or other triple acting generic antibiotic on a really waterproof Band-Aid and cover the boil. I must use the ointment, not the cream, as the base of the ointment seems less water soluble and keeps the boil areas covered by the medicine. I now also wash with antibacterial soap and it cuts down on boils and any skin problems. I rub the soap directly on the skin in the problem areas.

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.

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.

Comment from: Helpful, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: March 04

I used to suffer from chronic boils so badly in the armpits that they had developed sinus passages to move the infection from place to place. I had surgery to have them removed, 48 stitches in the left and 60 in the right and they still came back, though much better than before. I ended up changing my diet to gluten free for 6 months and during that time I had no boils. When eating gluten again they came back in 2 weeks. After switching back to a gluten free (mostly) diet I have been boil/cyst free for 2 years.

Comment from: Larsy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 26

I mentioned to my doctor I suffered from boils, almost like cluster boils; deep, fairly large boils. She said to take 500mg of vitamin C daily. I was on vitamin C for a year, and they went away. Amazing. I ran out, and they came back. Needless to say, I"m back on vitamin C.

Comment from: Orami, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: October 31

I had one on my side about a year back. It kept draining blood/pus and would soak bandages all the way through. I ended up going to the doctor that put me on oral antibiotics and gave me a shot of antibiotics. After that it got better. I recently had another one, this time on my lower mid back that got large and then shrunk on its own, although there is still a hole there (I can feel it). All I did this time is put TAO (troleandomycin) on it, used hydrogen peroxide/tea tree oil on the area, washed it twice a day in the shower and I also drained it as much as I could. Eventually a Q-tip sized black thing came out of the center and it started to get better rapidly.

Comment from: penny, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 24

I was plagued by boils. I do have kidney problems and diabetes is prevalent in my family. Heat does help to draw out. To prevent boils, I use mouthwash every day on any areas where boils usually occur (especially my face and now that I am old with looser skin, my sitting area) and I rub a light coat of Neosporin on the area almost every day. I have been doing that since I have been about 35 years old. My skin looks clear and healthy. Mouthwash does not dry out my face; it does the opposite as you may think. My daughter who is plagued with acne uses this treatment also with success. Side benefits for me: This treatment helps with wrinkles, my skin is very clear and I am told I look 10 years younger than I am.

Comment from: Ravenfire, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 26

I suffer from recurring boils, usually on the inner thigh and underarms. Mine tend not to get to the 'soft' stage, where they are able to drain; instead they just stay large and hard, and then eventually go back down again. Very frustrating and sore, especially since I am allergic to the 'glues' on most Band-Aids and adhesive strips. Doctors have been hopeless in helping with the treatment. I use a medicated soap, showering twice a day, and keep the areas as clean as possible, but living in a hot and humid climate, I tend to sweat which is a large part of the problem, I think. I'm currently starting a weight loss regime in the hope that will help, as nothing else seems to be working.

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Comment from: arniethek, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 26

I am a 64-year old male who has inexplicably developed a series of large, unsightly, and at times painful boils all over my buttocks that are spreading like wildfire to my thighs and chest. The dermatologist has put me a two-week course of Doxycycline 100 mg twice daily plus the probiotic Align. I was instructed to take the antibiotic with breakfast and dinner. He also performed a nasal culture and a culture of one cyst to identify the culprit bacteria. We"ll wait and see what happens. So far, after two doses, I have experienced no gastric distress.

Comment from: Mjane, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 24

At 65 I developed many tiny boils under both arms. I have never ever had boils before. Though the doctor prescribed doxycycline I instead took turmeric 1000 mg and 2 droppers full of colloidal silver and 2 droppers full dandelion tincture per day for 1 month. I also used Neosporin ointment and a heating lamp. The boils dried up and one small one burst. One must drink lots of water, minimum of 1 gallon per day and also take vitamin supplements.

Published: July 15

My daughter is 20 mos old and she just got another boil/abscess. This will be her 3rd one. The first two were on her butt and this new one is on her belly, she been getting them since she was 9mos. they start out small, like a bug bite. or pimple. and within days it will get bigger and redder. To drain them I found that (this part hurts the most) taking a warm/hot cloth and some fresh ginger seems to help pull the puss out. Then we take a trip to the doctors as well.

Published: June 24

Since I was a teenager, I have gotten boils at least once a month on my inner thighs. I have found the best way to deal with them is hot compresses, gauze, and a good anti-bacterial soap and topical cream. I recently had a rather large one (the size of a golf ball, maybe slightly larger) and had to go to the local ER to have it lanced. The doctor lanced it, wrapped it in non adhesive gauze and told me to take a lukewarm sitz bath three times a day, wash it with antibacterial soap. He gave me two prescriptions for antibiotics (Keflex and Bactrim) along with a mild painkiller. I've never had a boil this large or this painful before, so we shall see.

Comment from: 40_suffer, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 23

I've had infected boils for almost 6 years now. No matter what type of medicine I'm put on or how many I'm told to take at a time, they never go away. I've seen many doctors about this and I still suffer at 40 years of age.

Comment from: Andie, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 06

I am 22 years old and had a boil in my abdomen and now I have one in my upper right breast. I'm really worried since it's in my breast. I've tried fresh ginger and it didn't grow big but still it's not yet healed.

Comment from: Papabear, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: August 13

My husband has had many boils on his back. They would appear often. First he was told he needed iron pills. After being diagnosed as anemic and needing blood transfusions, we haven't seen anymore.

Comment from: Boil gone, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 28

I have had four boils/cellulitis in the past seven years. I tried almost every homeopathic remedy and some do help – especially using drawing salve with tea and oregano oil. However, they last a lot longer, so if you don't have significant improvement within a week, go see a doctor. Three out of four times I end up needing Bactrim or Keflex, and within three days the infection is gone. I've had boils on my bikini line and one on my inner thigh – that one had to be lanced. The antibiotics definitely speed up the healing. When I went homeopathic, it took over two weeks and cost more than my doctor visit and meds. I hate meds, but the quick healing is worth it. I always ask for yeast infection pills – just in case. i

Comment from: ruccus16, Male (Patient) Published: May 06

I had suffered from many boils from ages 25 to 30 years. I am now 37, and in the past seven years I have not had one. I have been taking a mega-B multivitamin daily and this has been a big breakthrough for me. Drinking 1 to 3 liters of water daily is of benefit too. Years of taking antidepressant medication had disrupted the balance of my system. Being tired, run down, and stressed also contributed to these boils. Antibiotics did nothing for me to treat these boils. Heat, warm salty water, and continual bandaging tend to increase healing. Draining the boil increases healing, but always keep hands and effected areas clean, as the chance for reinfection is high. Lancing was the quickest way for the boils to heal. Stuffing the open pit/wound with gauze and continually flushing with saline water is also very helpful. Not enjoyable, in fact excruciating, but very effective in healing. Everyone is different in how they will respond to treatment, but I hope this helps.

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Comment from: scared, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: April 25

I am 24 and got my first boil two weeks ago on my top left buttocks area. I got it after flying to another country. It got big and painful, so I had to go to a doctor. It was drained and I was cured. I was so happy for two weeks, since it vanished so fast. But two days ago I found a small boil on my waist. Today I got another on my left thigh. I'm not sure what to do. I'm a student, but I can't study anymore with a peaceful mind because of this.

Comment from: Mvelmont, 3-6 Female (Caregiver) Published: February 13

I recall our whole family having a bout with boils when I was in third grade. We used bag balm with a bandage that would help draw out the infection. No troubles since. Now I think my three year old has one. She has had a bout of folliculitis a few weeks ago which required antibiotics and bleach baths. My 8 year old had MRSA after getting a rug burn at a bouncy house. It got infected and it spread. Bleach baths and topical antibiotic cream did the trick. Now I believe this boil is a result of my 3 year olds trouble with folliculitis. Putting bag balm and a bandage resulted in it draining within a few hours. Changing the bandage and putting more bag balm keeps it draining...it hurts her and affects her walking. We have an appointment with the doctor if it doesn't get better in two days. Doing a bleach bath now and will do antibiotic topical cream and bag balm.

Published: July 21

I am 37 years old and just got my first boil. The first two days, it was a small. Then it grew to the size of a quarter and hurt like crazy any time it rubbed against my sleeve or breast. I didn't know what it was at first, so I left it alone. By the fifth day, it grew to the size of a 50 cent piece and deep. I applied hot towels soaked in vinegar and wrapped them like some lady told me to do. I sealed it with tape over night. In the morning, it came to the surface, and I did the same process again. It was painful, and I couldn't walk or lift my arms. I went to bed and it burned so bad because it had started to drain. It burned before but this was a stinging, painful burn. After some fluid was released, it felt better and I could walk and move again, but it hurt still. It slowly keeps draining. It has been six days now. I keep it clean and bandage it. Here's my process: 1). I clean it with a soft damp towel, soap and water. 2). I put on peroxide. 3.) I put medicine on the fabric bandage called Boil Ease that I bought at my local drugstore. Tonight, I will apply heated towels over the bandage and clean it again. I must do the bandaging three times a day if it is draining, sometimes more. It is still huge. Somehow it is just keeps releasing fluid, but a friend told me I might have to lance it at the doctor's since it is so big.

Published: July 17

I have been experiencing boils for over a year now. I have been using Goldline Ichthammol Ointment 20% this stuff works miracles. These are so painful but with this it takes it away much faster. Heating pads and hot presses also works. You will need to ask for the stuff at the pharmacy since they do not have it on the shelves.

Published: July 16

I have gotten boils since I was nine years old, right as I hit puberty. They were under my arms, one under my breast, one at the bikini line, and in the groin area. I am now 46 and still get them. This led to Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) because of my immune system. Hot compresses, I found, were the only thing that helped.

Published: July 10

I have had butt acne since I was a kid. This problem has gotten worse. Doctors tell me that it is not curable. I been test for MRSA and it's not that now they have me taking solodyn 135mg for maybe the rest of my life. I still get boils. I have been using an anti bacterial soap body wash that seemed to be working great and the next thing I knew I got a huge boil in the inside of my butt cheek. It is very painful and I get very embarrassed because I'm a woman and I have this very ugly problem that I hide.

Published: June 30

I have a 16-year-old daughter and approximately three months ago, she got a boil. I took her to the doctor and they gave her antibiotics I thought that this would be a one-time occurrence, but since then, she has had several appear. They continue to get higher and higher up her body. They started at the base of her bottom and have gradually moved up her buttocks and now she has one on her side.

Published: June 24

My 17-year-old daughter just suffered through the pain of a boil on her buttock. She refused to let the doctor drain it, so the doctor sent her home with an antibiotic and told her to do three sitz baths. Within 24 hours the boil did burst on its own and the redness and soreness is going away.

Published: June 20

My son is a year old now and at the age of 11 months he developed a boil that covered his thigh. He was in so much pain it broke my heart. He has had many small ones around his but and stomach since he had the other one surgically lanced and drained with tubes. My doctor acts as if it's not that serious. But I have recommended she refer me to a pediatric dermatologist. I hope this helps because I am becoming very frustrated.

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Published: June 19

I take a cotton ball and dab it in egg white and place it directly over the tender area twice a day for a couple of days. To speed things up, I use the tip end of a wash cloth to dip in very hot water and dab it over the boil. It should be ready to squeeze on second the day.

Published: June 18

I'm 34 and have suffered with boils ever since I was about 3 yrs old. When I was younger my mother would put hot wet bread on them and although this works it is very painful. Now all I do is put magnesium paste on the boil and cover it with a Melanin patch. It draws the pus out within 2-3 days and is less painful.

Published: June 18

I have had several boils over the years. All on my chest area. I grew up on a farm and someone in the family was always getting one. My mother would make a "MILK POLIS" and apply overnight. A piece of bread crust soaked in some heated milk, PLENTY HOT and taped down, usually with an end of an old cotton sock.

Published: June 16

Going in the steam room long as possible when they are hot I can squeeze or pop them. Then I fill it with antiseptic cream then it goes down. Keeping it aired helps too.

Published: June 13

I am overweight and have notices I get boils more and more that have worsened in pain. I only get them between my thighs, and under my arms. I now shower twice a day and use a good soap, not a body liquid. They don't seem to wash away well enough. I have had 2 lanced by the doctor and although extremely embarrassing, it gives instant relief. It is painful to have them drained, but well worth it. Also I have learned that if you sit in a tub of hot water, it relieves the pain and allows you to "pop" the head when forms. Also, I've learned to KEEP THEM COVERED! Jeans, pants rub and causes irritation. Also, once drained, keep covered with a bandage to decrease spread from more drainage or infection! Once drained, you'll notice a dramatic difference within 24 hours.

Published: June 12

I recently discovered that using preparation H on a boil that is very firm and painful and not ready gives an instant relief of the pain and will loosen the firm area giving comfort to the area.

Published: June 09

My daughter is 4 and she is on her 2nd boil. I am now trying Goldline it seems to be working.

Published: June 09

I turned 50 and voila! I have this dreaded disease. I had one in my cleavage area that was surgically removed. I had one large cyst that tunneled under the right arm and had surgery there also. The smaller ones my Primary care MD lances. Due to the fact they are on sweat glands it is impossible to heal in a timely fashion. Antibiotics are useless, washing with antibacterial soap good old fashion dial helps. I am taking tumeric, zinc gluconate, and Bach's Rescue remedy hoping that this will at least ward them off. My belief is excess weight, stress, hormonal and poor dietary intake. If any of the above works after a 6 month or longer period I will be back with my findings.

Published: June 06

Several years ago I had bilateral axillary surgery for hidradenitis suppurative where over 200 knots were removed. It was very painful, but worth it. Now, I have 7 "boils" on bilateral outer labia in the last 4-5 months, at times 3-4 at times. I have 3 rounds of Doxycycline and Sulfatrim BID x 10days each time. This current outbreak has presented with a fever for the last 4 days. I have never had fever with any outbreak and I have diabetes so I take insulin.

Published: June 03

I have a birthmark in the form of a dimple with hair follicle growing on the lower part of my waist, almost on the butt. Last year it became itchy and I scratched it too hard. It got infected and became a boil. I've tried several doses amoxicillin antibiotic. Took it for almost six months. I had a recurring boil. The only antibiotic that worked for me was Levaquin. I am allergic to tetracycline. I am allergic to latex bandages. I developed rashes after using surgical tape to secure the gauze to cover my boil. The nexcare clear waterproof abrasion bandage is the only one that worked for me after the boil has erupted. I use it to make the wound heal.

Published: May 29

I'm currently in the process of treating a boil that came about a few days or so ago. I've been using a heating pad right before I go to sleep and a little throughout the day. I've also found that the most effective way bringing a boil to a head is to soak a washcloth in hot water and place it over the center of the boil while applying mild pressure to it. This somewhat softens it up and sometimes even drains it. I hope that this is helpful.

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Published: May 23

I have been dealing with boils for over 20 years now (so I am a pro at getting rid of them) NexCare Waterproof Band-Aids work wonderfully! At the onset of a boil, put on the NexCare waterproof Band-Aid. I leave it on for a few days (until the Band-Aid itches) make sure you have a kleenex when you remove the Band-Aid because your boil will burst very easily. Squeeze out the puss and cover with a clean bandage and change it once a day until the boil heals (so the boil doesn't spread and grow somewhere else) If you have a stubborn boil that will not come to a head, put a drop of Ben Gay on it then cover with the bandage (do not apply to a broken boil) Nexcare Band-Aids are the only brand that work for me, I have tried all brands. If a boil looks close to popping, do not force it, buy lancets and use them to pop boils, you do not want to pop a boil on the inside because you will spread the infection. Using a lancet assures that the puss will depart on the top of the skin.

Published: July 24

I'm 26 and I have recently got my first abscess on my butt. It got so big that I had to go to the hospital to get it lanced. My last appointment for the abscess was an 8am appointment, by the end of the day I had a new one on my leg. This one was ten times worse. I had to go back to the hospital and have it lanced too. I now think this will lead me to surgery because the hole is way too big to close on its own. Now I fear I will get another.

Published: July 24

I am only 13 years old and I have had 3 boils in the past month or two. The first one was like between my butt and my leg kind of like on my panty line and it hurt so bad every time I walked. The next one was in the middle of my butt. This last one is on the top of my butt. They keep on getting higher and higher. At first I thought they were just pimples until my mom told me they were boils. My last one was the worst because as I was trying to pop it, it squirted on my arm and wall. I was so scared when that happened.

Published: July 10

I have suffered from boils for as long as I can remember, long through my teenage years, and I'm now 26. I cannot find a specific way to keep them under control, but I'm finding I may need to switch deodorants and soaps until they subside. I had a bad one today under my arms (always in the armpit) that had me in tears.

Published: July 03

A friend's 3-year-old daughter was getting boils. After the family practitioner could not explain why, they were sent to an infectious disease specialist. She tested positive for MRSA and that is why she kept getting boils. My friend's daughter hasn't had a boil since she was treated two years ago.

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