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                 BOILS

Intro
  • You start running a fever.
  • The skin around the boil turns red or red streaks appear.
  • The pain becomes severe.
  • The boil does not drain.
  • A second boil appears.

You have a heart  murmur, diabetes , any problem with your immune system, or are taking medications that suppress the immune system (for example, corticosteroids or chemotherapy for cancer  and you develop a boil.

Boils usually do not need immediate emergency attention. If you are in poor health and you develop high fever and chills along with the infection, a trip to a hospital's emergency department is needed.

Self-Care at Home

Apply warm compresses, and soak the boil in warm water. This will decrease the pain and help draw the pus to the surface. Once the boil comes to a head, it will burst with repeated soakings. This usually occurs within five to seven days of its appearance. You can make a warm compress by soaking a wash cloth in warm water and squeezing out the excess moisture.

When the boil starts draining, wash it with an antibacterial soap until all the pus is gone. Apply a medicated ointment and a bandage. Continue to wash the infected area two to three times a day and to use warm compresses until the wound heals.

Do not pop the boil with a needle. This usually results in making the infection worse.

Follow-up

Whether the boil is drained at home or is lanced by a doctor, you will need to clean the infected area two to three times a day until the wound is healed. Apply an antibiotic ointment after washing and cover with a bandage. If the area turns red or looks as if it is getting infected again, contact your doctor.

Prevention

Help prevent boils by following these guidelines:

  • Carefully wash clothes, bed linen, and towels of a family member who is infected with boils.
  • Clean and treat minor skin wounds.
  • Practice good personal hygiene.
  • Stay as healthy as possible.

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