Boils are nearly always painful, especially when located on the buttocks, because they can make it difficult for you to sit down. Treatment of the boil can speed healing, and early treatment may prevent later complications that could require a trip to the doctor.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Hot water or hot water bottle
- Sterilized needle (optional)
- Antibacterial soap
Apply heat to the boil. You can sit in a hot bath, taking care not to sit directly on the boil. On the other hand, you can place a hot water bottle on the boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Heat brings white blood cells and antibodies to the infection.
Drain the pustule once it forms if you want. You will know this has occurred when a head forms on the boil, making it look like a large whitehead. To do this, make a small hole in the head with a sterilized needle. You can sterilize a needle by dipping it in rubbing alcohol or by boiling it. This step may be unnecessary, as the boil may begin to drain on its own.
Heat the area again to speed draining. You can apply very light pressure around the head of the boil to help the fluids escape, but don't lance the boil, squeeze it or pinch it, because this can further irritate it.
Boils can spread, and someone who comes in contact with the pus that drains from your boil can then develop one as well. Clean draining boils frequently, discard cloths used, or boil them to decrease your chances of spreading the infection to other parts of your body or to other people.
Visit the doctor if your boil doesn't begin to show improvement in a few days, especially if the boil is located in the crack between your buttocks. Boils in this location usually require treatment by a medical professional. You should also visit a doctor if you have a fever.
Tips and warnings
- Use an antibacterial soap to clean the area several times daily.
- Don't sit or put pressure on the boil whenever possible, as this will slow drainage and healing.