Abscesses are pockets of pus that indicate the presence of an infection. If you have an abscess, you will know because it will likely be swollen, painful and appear yellowish because of the pus. You should consult a physician, since they can be indicative of a variety of bacterial infections and other health issues. Once you have resolved the question of why you have the abscess, however, you will definitely want to get rid of it. If the abscess is located under your arm, then you will have some difficulty with many popular methods, since this area is hard to reach. Fortunately, you can treat this abscess with Epsom salts, which pull bacteria out through the skin and can enable you to shrink the abscess without lancing it.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- 1/2 cup Epsom salts
- Hot water
- Plastic tub
- Hand towel
- Elastic bandage
Fill the tub with hot water. The plastic tub can be a foot tub or a little larger if you like. It is just for mixing. The water should be quite warm, but not so warm that it will burn your skin. Once you have nearly filled the plastic tub, add half a cup of Epsom salts. Stir the water and salt around with your hand until the salt has dissolved.
Soak the washcloth with the Epsom salt water. It should be completely saturated.
Hold the soaking washcloth on your underarm abscess. Use the hand towel to prevent a huge mess by placing the wash cloth on top of the hand towel, then holding the entire package under your arm.
Bind the wash cloth and hand towel into place. If you cannot hold the treatment in place for 10 to 15 minutes, then use the elastic bandage to firmly secure the poultice to your underarm. Just wrap the bandage around the washcloth and towel several times, then secure it with the metal pins that come with this type of bandage. It will create a bulky "package" that will prevent you from lowering your arm completely. Leave the treatment in place for 10 or 15 minutes.
Repeat the treatment up to four times each day. Each time you can leave the wet washcloth in place for up to 15 minutes.
Tips and warnings
- If you notice red streaks around the abscess then you should not treat it with hot water or Epsom salts.
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