Medical Definition of Boil

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/4/2018

Boil: A skin abscess that forms at a hair follicle infected with pus-forming bacteria. The main treatments include hot packs and draining (lancing) the boil when it is soft. Antibiotics are usually not very helpful in treating boils. A person who has a fever or long-term illness, such as cancer or diabetes, or is taking medications that suppress the immune system should contact a health care practitioner on developing a boil. Also known as furuncle.

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Reviewed on 12/4/2018