What Are The Causes Boils

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What Do Boils Look Like

Boils… they start like innocent pimples, and before you know it, the little white dot is replaced by an unpleasant looking red protuberance that hurts. Almost as bad as having itchy skin rash that turns red and always needs scratching.

Despite its looks, it is easy to deal with them, but knowing the basics will be the difference between solving the problem or making it worse. First, we need to understand what boils are.

Most boils make their appearance in areas that hold hair follicles, or areas where skin meets skin. This is the kind of environment where boils grow and proliferate.

According to the information on the Mayo Clinic official website, a bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus is responsible for most boils on the body. Becoming infected with this bacteria is called a Staph Infection, which is a highly contagious disease that will cause boils to appear on your body.

This bacterium is harmless, for the most part. However, they are more than able to survive in areas that lack oxygen. That is why boils tend to appear in places like the armpits, behind the neck and the legs. Unlike itchy skin that appears where everyone can see it.

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What Is The Treatment For Boils

Since boils are a common occurrence, you can take care of the problem at home, just don’t squeeze as it was a normal pimple. That might end up spreading the infection. However, we still need to drain the boil, right?

Well, Beverly Bitterman, a live-long nurse working in Cardiac Intensive Care, explains we need to increase the temperature of the body where the boil is located to increment the blood flow, which will eventually drain it.

You can do so by getting in a tub full with hot water 15 to 20 minutes a day for a couple of days. If that is not an option, you can always put a clean towel under hot water and then put it where the boil is sitting. Just remember not to apply force on the boil. You don’t want it to spread.

What Are The Causes Of Boils

As we mentioned above, every single one of us can get them. It is a rather normal occurrence. However, there are situations that makes us more vulnerable to catching or getting boils:

  • Contact with someone that already has a staph infection
  • Diabetes. Which weakens the body’s ability to deal with infections
  • Any skin condition that compromises the protective barrier. Remember, boils happen when the bacteria gain access
  • Any disease that debilitates the immune system will make it easier for Staphylococcus aureus to affect us

When Should I Go To a Doctor?

In principle, a boil or pimple filled with pus doesn’t often require a doctor’s assistance. However, you need to seek a professional when:

  • It is bigger than a nickel
  • Causes a lot of pain
  • Gets worse by the hour
  • It’s still there after a couple of weeks
  • It pops up over and over again

According to Health Central, it is also recommend that you visit a doctor if the boil is in the middle of your face, which obviously makes sense. Ignoring these signals might end up in serious complications. It’s rare, but sometimes boils make it to the bloodstream causing serious internal infections like sepsis.

REFERENCES:

  1. Boils and Carbuncles.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 6 Mar. 2018,
  2. eHow. “Child Care & First Aid : How to Treat a BoilYouTube, YouTube, 17 Nov. 2008,
  3. “Treatment for Boils: A Dermatologist Provides Solutions – Skin Care | HealthCentral.”

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