Boils on the skin are caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, which thrives in the oil glands or hair follicles. They are red nodules that are hot, painful to the touch, itchy and pus-filled in the centre. Sometimes only one boil at a time will appear and other times, groups of boils may appear on affected areas of your body. Contributors to this problem include stress, fatigue, diet and friction caused by tight clothes. Boils usually pose no real health threat, but can be uncomfortable and, when scratched or "popped," may become infected. There are several methods to relieve and cure this condition.
Use over-the-counter topical creams, such as chlorhexidine cream and hydrocortisone cream, or antibiotic and antiseptic ointments that contain tea tree oil, to treat your boil. These are available in most chemist shops and can be applied to ease boil pain and help draw out the pus. It's best to cover the areas with gauze and a bandage afterwards, to keep you from inadvertently scratching or picking the boil.
Relieve your pain by applying hot compresses to the areas of your body where boils have erupted. This can also aid in drawing out the pus and eventually causing the boil to finally come to a head. When the pus drains out of the boil, make certain that you prevent the spread of staph bacteria by thoroughly washing your hands with antibacterial soap.
Get help in the shower. Letting warm water run over the affected areas can reduce pain and eliminate the risk of spreading boils to parts of your body that have not developed them. Make sure you wash any facecloths or towels you use.
Make a paste of turmeric and ginger powder, mixed with a small amount of water. Apply the paste to your boils with a cotton swab, cover it with gauze and let it sit for 35 to 40 minutes. This should make the boil come to a head and cause the pus to drain. You may have to repeat this treatment a few times before you see results.
Draw out pus from your boil by applying honey to it and then covering it with a gauze pad. While it may sting a little, it can help in healing your skin and making the boil come to a head.
Consider using a homoeopathic remedy to get rid of boils and pus. Some common homeopathic remedies for this problem include Calendula, Hepar sulphuris, Belladonna, Tarentula cubensis, Arsenicum album and Mercurius solubilis. Check with a homoeopathic practitioner to determine which remedy and dosage is best for your needs.
Always wash your hands after making contact with your boils.
If swollen lymph nodes and fever accompany your boils, see your GP.
Tips and warnings
- Always wash your hands after making contact with your boils.
- If swollen lymph nodes and fever accompany your boils, see your GP.