How To Treat, Soothe & Bring Boils To A Head

Comments 80 Comments   Print Print    Email This Tip Email

Boils are skin abscesses that can develop for a number of reasons but common culprits are an ingrown hair and plugged sweat glands (armpits and groin area especially). They start out somewhat sore when touched but if allowed to flourish, they will continue to swell in size and become extremely painful…some can grow to the size of an egg!

ExamplesAt first glance you might mistake it for a pimple but until it comes to a head, you’ll find it very, very painful to touch and no matter how much you squeeze it (if you can tolerate the pain), very little (if any) pus will expel.

The best way to get rid of one is to start treatment as soon as you notice it forming (can feel like a tender, sore lump when first developing). If they become extremely large, soft and ready to expel, they’re better tackled by a doctor who will lance it, drain it, pack it and send you on your way with a prescription for penicillin or antibacterial cream.

Side Note: You might recall scenes in historical based movies of nuns heating small glass globes or jars then applying them to a poor soul’s body. This actually was something done for boils, the heat inside the glass would create a vacuum when openings were stuck on the skin which would then draw out the infection. Imagine how painful that was! The good news is, it’s pretty easy to take care of things yourself with a lot less fuss.

To begin:

Help fight the infection by soaking in a hot bath with Epsom salts (keeping the afflicted part under water). You can also apply warm packs or cloths. The heat increases circulation and encourages your body to focus on that spot and attack the infection. Do this a couple times a day and you should see results quickly. Keep it up until the boil has completely gone. If handled promptly, there will be no pus to drain since your body will take care of it.

If things are too far gone and you want to bring it to a head (ripen it) so it will soften and erupt, here’s what you can do (continue heat treatments as directed above):

  • Saturate a bandaid pad with a few drops of tea tree oil then cover abscess.
  • Regularly soak in lavender water (scroll down page for recipes). Can also use as a compress.
  • Slather honey over the spot.
  • Apply a fresh sliced tomato or tomato paste on top of it. The acid from the fruit will help soothe and ripen quicker.
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice, drizzle over top or soak a cotton ball with it and bandage in place. Same idea as above.
  • Poultice: 1 TBS alum + 2 oz fresh tomato juice. Mix together then apply, covering completely. Wrap with cheesecloth, remove after 15 minutes and wash off.
  • Regularly slather on garlic oil (instructions found on bottom of page) to hasten things along.

Old Wives Remedies:

  • Completely cover it with a piece of fatty bacon (raw), bandage in place and leave on overnight.
  • The crusty heel from a stale loaf of bread is soaked in hot milk then placed on the abscess and bandaged in place. Do several times a day until ripened.

It will be ready to open up with little pressure when the top softens and you see a yellow pus dot in the center (just like with a pimple). Once it opens up to drain, the relief will be instant and almost overwhelming. There will be a lot of fluid draining…you’ll be surprised at the amount! Keep the surrounding skin as clean as possible and disinfect regularly. Cover wound with a sterilized bandage.


  • If you notice reddening or red streaking around the boil or patient is feverish or experiences chills (before or after eruption), seek professional medical care.
  • People with diabetes and weakened immune systems should have a doctor handle this.
  • Remember that you’re dealing with a bacterial infection (staph), wash hands well before and after treatment. Once draining starts, wearing latex gloves while cleaning it up is a good idea.
  • If you have a cluster of them, these are called carbuncles and should be looked at by a doctor.

Please Note: These are simply notes I have collected, they are not professional medical advice.

Print Print    Email Email

Published: September 12, 2012

What Readers Are Saying:
80 Comments to “How To Treat, Soothe & Bring Boils To A Head”
  1. Mom of 4 says:

    Had a boil that turned into two side by side. tried the warm compress, but it did not help. Went to the doctor who told me that she had to cut it open to get the stuff out. Then proceeded to stick a needle in the center of the boil to numb the area. She did not numb the area with anything before sticking the needle in. Boils are very painful, but a needle stuck in it is HORRIBLE. Not only that but the numbing did not take the first time so she had to stick the needle in each one a second time. I will try some of these other things like the tomato or lemon juice if I ever get another one. (which I hope I never do.)

    • Tipnut says:

      I’m about ready to pass out just reading what you went through!

    • Cathy says:

      That is awful. I used to get boils a lot and a lump of bread in very hot water then on to the boil does it for me every time. I keep applying until my little bowl of water is not longer hot. It can take a couple of days treating the boil 3 times a day. I have found if the doctor intervenes the boils come back in the same spot.

      • Abby says:

        Hi ive been getting this boils 5 times now , 2 months ago i drained it at the hospital , i dont have money to pay it again. Please if u maybe have something that can help. I have a boil on my bottocks i cant walk , sleep or sit without hurting myself. Any ideas will help. I tried the onion it doesnt work.

        • Desi says:

          I have had one on my buttocks as well .. I got a piece of bread. I pored some
          Milk on it. Then I placed it on the boil wth a plastic bag covering it . I taped it on.
          I left it on for about an hour or longer till it dries and it came to a head. I also laid in
          A hot bath for as long as I could 30min and they came to a head.

      • Antoinette Robinson says:

        What about in your scalp

  2. Cathlin says:

    There is an ointment called Ichthammol Ointment available at pharmacies, usually behind the counter (but no prescription is required) that will bring boils to a head. It is relatively inexpensive (I know I paid less than $10 for a 1 oz tube). It smells like tar but it is effective.

    • Deb says:

      I remember my mom using on me when I was little and had got 2 in different times. We also called Black Salve. I still use it on little infections, etc. I had got a boil a few years back and a friend had some to give me from a pharmacy she worked at. Worked great but the boil came back in the exact same spot. I then took some antibiotics with it this time and never saw another!!

  3. Donna says:

    The Ichthammol Ointment has been around for years and in the past was called drawing suave. It is the best and works for many things. If you have a splinter just put a dab on band-aid it up and overnight, wa-la not splinter. Very good stuff!

  4. Jeepinls says:

    I have never heard of Ichthammol Ointment. Maybe it is a regional only brand, I will look for it before needing it. The salve I am most familiar is called Prid, it is also behind the counter most of the time.It is rather thick and gooey, dark brown in color, works great. It is not especially expensive, less than $5. I suspect the stores prefer you go to the doctor, so you will have an expensive prescription to fill….=)

    • Gwen says:

      Prid is the same thing as Ichthammol Ointment….I have tired both….I think my boils are resistant to them, lol….I have a prescription I got from the doctor, expensive, but very effective. I get boils at least once a month along with my menstrual cycle 🙁

    • Janie says:

      It is also called black salve. Used on cow teets when sore its mentholated. I’m from the U.S.

    • Carol says:

      I recently had a boil on my waistline & used Prid & warm/hot compresses. After several days it did come to a head & drain. Seemed to work well for me.

  5. Genoveva Barbosa says:

    My husband used to get these quite frequently when we first married (3-4 a year). We were told to apply Aloe Vera. Take the leaf place on a skillet to heat and get the juice flowing(low heat, turning frequently). Apply to boil cover with a bandage. After using this the next two times he had a boil we have never had to use again. And I’m talking about a 20 yr. time period.

    • Genoveva Barbosa says:

      I’m sorry I forgot to say…. After heating cut a slit down the side/length of the leaf, then apply to boil and cover with a bandage.

    • Tipnut says:

      Excellent tip Genoveva, thanks for sharing that! I have something about aloe in my notes too by couldn’t find it. That’s why I have this blog, get everything online on one page and have it searchable…I’m too disorganized with my notes offline! lol

  6. Kate says:

    I have been plagued by these my whole life! My Naturopath told me to regularly take a garlic product to keep them at bay; studies show it will kill staph. Just had about five in a row pop up and took more concentrated “AlliUltra” (instead of AlliMax) and they are almost gone, with no drainage after 5 days. Research shows you need 1080 mg of allicin, the active ingredient daily to combat and destroy the staph.

    • Tipnut says:

      I think that’s good advice Kate. One thing I didn’t get into above was why some people are prone to getting them. It seems there’s a deficiency of some sort (nutrients). I’ve read over and over again to eat lots of garlic (the garlic oil I linked to above is also recommended to take daily).

  7. mylady says:

    I have been there and thought I would never make it. I had to go into emergency room because it was on my breast over a weekend. But I have since found if you get one as I do (dr said hair growing back into itself) like once ever few years place VICKS on it and the heat from it will draw, and make it to a head and then heat up a glass pop bottle and it will pull it right out. Heal up and leave no scar!

  8. chris says:

    Castor oil and a warm compress.

    • carol says:

      Definitley the castor oil and compresses has helped me more than anything, I’m now beginning an antibiotic. I’m 55 and this is my first ever boil!! This is horrible and so painful. cried many tears this miserable.

  9. Adri says:

    I have a boil on my foot and it friggin hurts so badly.. I can’t even walk because I would have to step on it. boils are sooo painful.. I had it for a week now and it is so big (so nasty). I have it under my foot and the skin is thick there so its under my skin and I can’t squeeze it out since its under.. I went to the doctor this thursday and when he pressed it I thought I was going to die.. I bought this cream that he recomended and advil so the pain wouldn’t be that bad. I apply the cream 3 times a day and put my foot in water and salt for 20 minutes 2/3 times a day. Its not going away and I want it to go away. 🙁 IT IS SOOO PAINFUL

    • Angel says:

      sounds more like a wart which are very painful. Apply ACV after a hot foot wash and soak a cotton ball in ACV and apply with a bandaid or duct tape and leave on overnight and clean wll in the am. Now I won’t lie. This will feel like someone is stabbing you in the foot the first night or two but mine were gone in 3 days.

  10. Karen Meates says:

    My doctor was gobsmacked when I told him that I take Silica tablets when I first feel a boil forming. Take one tablet 3 times a day. If you get on top of it early enough you only need to take the tabs for 1-3 days. My Doc reckons if it works, use it. It has always worked for me.

  11. leandra says:

    Can Boils Be Hereditary?

    • Sugarpie80 says:

      Yes, my mom gets them, my brother gets them and right now I am fighting them! Usually I use a soap called “Yardleys”.. but i only use the almond kind, it helps dry them up and if they are really bad it will bring them to a head so you can drain them.

  12. jennifer says:

    I keep getting boils on my scalp. This latest one is pushing on a nerve rather than my dr lancing it to releive the pressure she gave me pain pills which are no help. what is the fastest way to get relief? I have tried almost everything including prid’s and boil ease

  13. chris says:

    Tea tree oil works well had to little bumps on thigh that turned to boil applying mediacated body powder they went away but 2 weeks later they were back big and painful now after applied tea tree oil NP pain they r getting smaller already

  14. rob p says:

    The spice Tumeric is incredibly effective on boils and all sorts of skin infections, in addition to a vast array of well documented and researched positive effects on the body. Google “tumeric Health Benefits” and see. I take 800mg twice a day and have been amazed at its impact on my health.

  15. vicki says:

    I’ve just tried the aloe vera treatment mentioned above. Had the plant (gel part) on boil covered with a plaster overnight. Just took it off now, and cleaned off with antiseptic bath, and amazingly it all came out – no pain whatsoever. Thanks for the advice 🙂

  16. Michelle says:

    Can I use regular aloe vera from a bottle? I get these horrible boils all the time and the one I have now is the size of a softball but there are no red streaks so I am trying to avoid that and get this taken care of the easy way. I have had a couple lanced and that hurts so bad I don’t want to do it again! Please help!

  17. Taylor says:

    I am 17 now but have struggled with boils for almost a year and a half, I have atleast 3 a month. Doctors have given me every anti-biotic they can and I’ve been to a herbalist to try the natural route. Its perhaps the most painfull thing I have every experienced… I really hope these tips work, will start trying them imediately (have 3 boils at the moment)….

    • julia says:

      I suffered with boils and it sounds like you may have hydradanitis supparativa. It can be treated with a long term low dose antibiotic like the ones used for acne, also a topical lotion and an antibacterial soap. It can take a while to take effect but it is well worth it when it does. I have my life back. There is not a cure but this helps manage it. It s worth asking your doctor or looking it up on internet. Hope this helps. 🙂

      • Cindy says:

        M my mother has hydrodanitis sup. And she always gets these terrible boils.. antibiotics don’t do much breaks my heart to see her in that amount of pain

    • Kathy says:

      My daughter also tried tumaric, which is a spice you can buy in any supermarket, or you can also buy it in capsules, which is a little pricey. It took them away in a couple days, and she has not had a problem since. Works like a charm!

      • John says:

        What an excellent example of how superstitions get formed! Since boils go away in a couple days on their own, anything your daughter bought would have “workes like a charm”, including nothing at all!

  18. Nicole says:

    I get boils on my face monthly. This month I got three. I appreciate the advice and am really excited to try some of the above ideas. Also the daily vitamins to see if they help not get them to begin with. It’s hard to do any treatment on my face numerous times a day, and I have to wear makeup to cover them because I work with the public and they aren’t attractive. I hope that this information is helpful. Will report back. I have also had to have a couple lanced open at a doctors office and it is the most painful thing I have ever experienced. Hoping to never have to do that again.

  19. Rak says:

    When i was in primary school i often get boils one after the other through out the year…i assumed this must be due to my diet. I used to eat alot of meat and drink less water. I became a vegeterian in class 5 and magically got no more boils. I guess change in diet must have made the difference especially with more greens and fruits. Now i have completed university and am working as a biology teacher. I began eating fish. For the past few weeks stress in work has affect my eating pattern… my diet consisted of fried fish (high protein) and less fruits/greens and even less water. No time to prepare a good healthy meal. Guess what? I got another boil 6 days ago since primary school. The boil on my chin was very painful causing fever. I took antibiotics for two days and had to stop because it was healing the boil making it harder instead of become soft so pus can be drawn out quickly for healing to take place. So i quit antibiotics and went to pharmacy and bought Ichthammol Ointment 25%. Applying it on my boil helped draw out part of the pus in the boil where its soft…its now 6th day and yet the other part of the boil is still hard.. though less painful. Need advice to soften the boil to speed up drawing of the pus so i can go back to class. Shall i continue applying the Ointment? I am thinking of using aloe vera as one suggested. Any advice on how to soften the boil so i could apply the Ointment to complete drawing the pus.

    • robin says:

      Take baths as hot as you can stand the water a few times a day. Sometimes if its already hardened into a ball you may have to put an ice cube on it to help numb the area and just squeeze it until it pops through.

  20. Jennifer Mansoori says:

    I got this one big lump on my inner thigh 3 days ago….. It was terrible as it hurts real bad. Took antibiotics from the doctor and also a craem lobate. It did help a little, since the progress was slow. The lump turned black in two days as well as bigger in size. Was unable to stand, sit or walk
    . My mom did not say a word when left from home on the third day and returned with a few leaves from tue hibiscus plant. She smashed the leaves adding a pinch of rock salt until it was sticky. I applied it myself, covering it with cotton and a tied it with a cloth. Left it on tus whole night. The next morning. ….. surprisingly the abscess was so delicate and soft a ever. It broke out and all the pus began draining. Unfortunately the skin also ruptured. It was bad luck that the seed didn’t come out. So had to apply this miracle paste again. … hut this time it was very sore since the wound was open. Left it for 8 hours now and im about to try pressing it again. Once done im gonna apply some neosporin powder. Take care people.

  21. Weegie says:

    Hi, my name is Weegie. I have dealt with boils for months and months. Trying to figure out the most possible way of getting rid of them and nothing has worked until my doctor suggested that I use B12. I use 1mg once a day and it has gotten rid of the boil and I haven’t gotten it back. It is an easy remedy and it works great. It’s not a cure but it helps.

  22. Sheryl says:

    I just cut a leaf from my aloe vera plant, warmed it and placed it behind my ear (where my boil is) and covered it with a large bandage. I’ll check back in tomorrow morning and let you all know if it worked for me. I’ve had this thing behind my ear for a week. At 1st it was hard and painful. I used boil ease and it is now soft but is not advancing in any way. Hopefully this Aloe will help it along. Thanks for the advise ! FINGERS CROSSED !!

  23. lyn says:

    I had two boils on 1 under arm u can imagine it was a week of hell went to the doctor he gave me an injection and antiniotics after 4 days one popped than the following day the last one popped but than my let side was so sore my breast and arm I was so swollen I also used warm salt water I pray no one goes thru this

  24. Jamie says:

    I have suffered with boils my whole life!!! (I’m 30) Above leandra asked if they can be hereditary and I believe the answer is YES…my father has also suffered with them his whole life and a few other family members on his side of the family get them as well. I have scars all over my body from them, mostly on my upper thighs and underwear line…the friction from my underwear caused reoccuring boils in the same spots. It got to the point that I had to stop wearing underwear just so that I wouldn’t get them as often. I once got one on my knee the size of an apple that turned into Staph. I found that hot baths as well as moist very hot compresses brought the most relief. I used to end up in the emergency room in tears they would get so bad and so very very painful…I have kicked many doctors after having a needle stuck into them over and over and over!! The packing always annoyed me to the piont that id have anxiety attacks if i didn’t take it out…I always had at least one but usually 3 or 4 at a time…I recently lost 60 pounds and since then I’ve only had 2 boils and I would love to know if my weight loss has anything to do with it. I can’t say that I am eating healthier, I was actually put on medication that caused me to have no appetite so that’s why I lost the weight….if anyone knows if people that are overweight are more likely to get them than others I’m very curious to know…also does anyone know if theres anything that can be done to prevent them? BOILS are horrible and can I relate to all of your stories:(

    • Sugarpie80 says:

      For the past few years I have been fighting boils left and right IN THE SAME SPOT YOU ARE!! My upper inner legs AND THEY HURT! I have done some research and have found that tea tree oil will help them go away. I have not tried this myself but best believe I’m getting ready to head to the local pharmacy to pick some up! I have boils that will just pop up out of no where if I use a certain kind of soap in that area, but I have found that I can use “Yardleys” soap, but only the Almond kind. I dont know if there is something in the “almond” that helps, but I have found that it will dry the boil up and if it is bad enough it will bring it to a head so you can drain it. I went to the hospital one time and had it lanced, WORST PAIN EVER!!! I am so sick of these little demons popping up on my inner legs. Right now I have one that is swollen and is about the size of an egg and has me walking like a penguin! I wish you and everyone else that has a boil the best of luck,,, these suckers are NO joke!

  25. J Bolick says:

    I have had a couple of these, and they are horrible…both on my back. I had to have the last one cut open and drained. My nurse said infected tissue can’t be numbed, and she was so right! Even though my doctor stuck a needle into it anyway. I have started scrubbing with a nylon scrubbie on my back with antibacterial body wash at the first sign of a new one, then scrubbed the sore before it comes to a head with blackhead and acne wash that teens use. Finish off with tea tree oil on a bandage square. No cure, but it helps.

  26. Shatara says:

    I have an extremely painful boil on my breast and it keeps coming back sometimes more than once a month. I am a diabetic and I wonder can that be causing it? Are there any fast painless treatments?? Help please

  27. so-very-sore says:

    I have suffered for 15 years with these re-ocurring painful scarring boils. I am 30 and I am so scarred that i refuse to wear a tank top or short skirt. Now they have not only spread from under the arms, between the legs and bum but now i get them on my sides and on my forearms.

    I feel for you all, its the most painful thing ever, i currently have two under my left arm and one under my right arm. I cant even go to the toilet without suffering emense pain and crying because it hurts to wipe.

    There just doesnt seem to be a remedy to cure this horrible horrible infection. I get up to 7 a month and they flare up a few days before my mentrual cycle.

    Somone for heavens sake help me!!!!

  28. Jai says:

    Unfortunately I deal with these all the time. I currently have 4 but the worst one is under my arm. This is the biggest boil I’ve ever had & it hurts like hell! I get them sometimes b4 I start my cycle. I can’t shave bcuz Lord knows if I do I’m in trouble. I’ve been trying ever thing I can think of to bring the one under my arm to a head bcuz it hurts so bad, I can’t put my arm down or lift it over my head. So for the past week I’ve been walking around with a pillow under my arm. My doc says it has a lot to do with my weight, eating habit, & my vitamin intake! I will keep your tips in mind. I wouldn’t wish this on anybody!!

  29. ugh88 says:

    Yes, Jamie, it is a problem with overweight people and can be a sign of type 2 diabetes or even as a warning sign that you are on your way to becoming one. But, even healthy weight people get them, so you should have at least one of your boils tested for MRSA. If it isn’t, then most likely it is just staph and could be an ingrown hair or as I stated, a sign that one should go and get tested for type 2 diabetes. I’d also suggest that if the test come back negative, that lifestyle change should begin in order to halt these changes that the body is trying to warn us about. Losing some weight will most definitely help put these boils at bay as well as controlling the stress in our lives. Boils are sometimes described as looking very ‘angry’ and so controlling our own emotions will help too. How we feel inside most certainly affects our physical lives and boils remind me of one ‘holding’ in anger that will eventually ‘burst’ out in order to relieve itself if we are somehow ‘biting our tongues’ or holding any sort of anger or hurt feelings. Find other ways or working these feelings out. Beginning some form of physical exercise may help and simple walking may be the perfect way to begin that is easiest on the body and joints. Good luck and stay HAPPY!!!

  30. Thomas says:

    I get these boils from time to time usually between my legs up near the top on the inner side near my groin, and in the past I was successful in removing them by just letting them go away and keeping the area clean as possible. I sweat a lot and especially between my legs. I have been thinking of buying boxer shorts to see if that will help me keep them at bay. But this time I have a boil that first started out as usual and then it started to grow and get very very painful. Now it is to the point it has grown bigger and gotten harder and it has been the most painful thing I have ever had experienced. I had developed a fever and I thought I had contracted someone’s virus like the flu or something I ran a temperature and felt miserable. Makes it even worse when I have to sit and go to the bathroom or even dread thinking about going to the bathroom. I am a 53 year old male and gotten them for life and dealt with them and was never this bad before. I had thought about going to the walk in clinic or emergency room but am embarrassed to do so because of the area in question especially if it is a female doctor no offence please intended here just very shy and embarrassed, I don’t care how many times they tell you I have seen it all, not me they haven’t. So anyway I went to my local pharmacy and asked them their advise. She had referred me to buy 3 things to help my pain as well as some over the counter pain meds. First thing she said was to buy some Benzocaine for the pain it is a salve kind of thick and apply it generously to the area. Then she said to buy some Ichthammol Ointment, Then Epson salt. Said for me to take a hot bath as I could stand and soak in it to soften the area…
    Well the over the counter medication didn’t ease the pain nor did the Benzocaine, so I had some pain killers my dentist gave me that helped somewhat, it still hurt but was able to deal with pain as it deadened it somewhat. So now I am going to take a hot bath and hopefully brings this to a head and relieve the pain by hopefully get it open and treat with Ichthammol Ointment afterwards, she had said I must get it opened first for that to work it wouldn’t draw it out by itself unless you had it popped…
    I remembered in the past the puss and blood was very messy but was also very relieving once it had been drained somewhat of the pressure, this time I don’t care how messy it will be just so I can get this darn thing gone once and for all….
    I appreciate all the comments listed in this article and will consider changing my diet as well as making sure I have these other ideas close at hand if I should ever get another boil. I just want the pain to go away and be able to walk and sit again and not be in pain…
    I will keep you all posted as to my condition as I go. Thanks again everyone its nice to see it just isn’t me that gets these darn things in the areas…..

  31. cherie says:

    Two weeks ago I had a knot come up in my armpit. It was painful but I thought it was a swollen lymphnode and it would go away soon. It started to get red and the swelling didn’t go down so I began to think it was an ingrown hair so I messed with it a little with tweezers looking for the hair which I never found but I squeezed it and a little pus came out. It was extremely painful and for the past week I’ve left it alone hoping it would came to a head I showed it to a nurse at my doctors office and she called it a hair bump but didn’t do an up close inspection or feel it. Two days ago(the day after showing the nurse) it doubled in size, became excrutiatingly painful and got more inflamed, since then it is steadily getting bigger and even more painful(from the size of a dime to bigger than a golf ball) and the pain goes up into my shoulderblade and neck! I’m going to the doc. but have no idea how the lancing process works. Do they deaden? Will they give me something stronger than ibuprofen after cutting my arm open? Could someone give me a step by step rundown of their personal experience so I can have some sort of idea what to expect!? Thanks in advance!!!

  32. Thomas says:

    I just wanted to follow up to my last post and inform of my latest results. I applied the Benzocaine as directed for 4 days and during these 4 days the pain was almost out of this world, but this morning I had woke up early and noticed that there was this strange nasty odor and felt this wetness and happened to check this area and noticed that my boil had finally popped and was draining like a faucet and the pain was diminishing somewhat and started to feel a lot better so I took a hot shower and cleansed the area as much as possible and had packed gauze in the area, and took some extra gauze with me to work so I can change it. The problem I had was that this boil had grown so large I had thought about naming it, but seriously the relief I had was so great and thankful, but it was draining something crazy like and had to leave work early because of this. So I came home and took another hot shower and immediately put all my clothes in the washer because they had the infection all over them. Then I applied Ichthammol Ointment afterwards to draw out the last of the infection, and hopefully be the last I see of this darn thing and would never wish anyone to go through the pain and suffering I had gone through. So I would say this to anyone suffering from these conditions patience is a virtue and the pain can and will be great, but keep in mind when it pops and drains you will feel like a million bucks and ready to tackle the world again. Good luck everyone and thank you all for your support and ideas and help. God Bless

  33. Jay says:

    Hi have had boils come up after i turned 35 n have had many small ops to remove them n also lanced but mine this week i think i have them back cause of stress n my boyfriend put some of the litch cream on last night it stung really bad but thanks for this info everyone just need to know how many times a day as to sore with this one to move to even get it lanced n how long dose it take before it starts to draw to heal

  34. Neicee says:

    So glad to find this page. I have been getting boils in my private area for the last two years, at least one a month, sometimes more. Right now I have 4 in 4 different areas down there. My gyn gave me meds but they didn’t stop. She told me to wash with anti bacterial soap, that hasn’t helped. Really glad to see that if I add Garlic to my daily intake that might help get rid of them. I will definitely be trying some of your suggestions. I have one that is extremely big and painful right now that I am really going to work on. Thanks to all who have shared their your experiences and advise.

  35. Ladetra says:

    I have one and mines was big all I did was. Left a bandage on. It an then it opened up then I started squeezing it and then when it go small starting outing a got rag on it then put neosporin on it and bandage it

  36. Massey says:

    I have a medium sized boil on my forehead, been to the doctors and he says I have to live with it or get it removed, I can be very painful at times but I am so bad with any kind of injections or treatment please help:(

  37. Amelia says:

    Hi, This is the first time i every get a boil. I got it on my nose. 🙁 i started feeling pain and tenderness around nose. Then the next day it appeared and just grew and grew, Horrible and so painful. First Dr (had no idea) thought it was a cold sore and told me to use zovirax, second doctor told me to take antibiotics. oral and intravenously. its been 10 days, the doctor lanced it today and drew some blood and pus out. Really want to know how long till it completely heals and if there is anything to speed up the process.

  38. Shirlene VEMMA Lady 777 says:

    First time I’ve had a boil on my back in years and it is very stubborn. Won’t come to a head and hurts a lot. Doubling up on my liquid nutritional supplement and using it topically to see how it works. Will let you know how it works.

  39. Sim says:

    I can relate to each of your stories. Having recurrent boils is a curse. I have one right now on my left underarm (which is where I have had umpteen number of them)! I am truly fed up of boils and am hoping that this one goes away soon. I will be using PRID for the first time. Just hoping it works for me. Please pray folks! You know what I am talking about! 🙁

  40. stace says:

    I get these constantly, and they are so painful I sometimes feel like I’m going crazy because the pain is so intense. I was prescribed “fucidin ointment” (not cream)… put that on a bandaid or gauze pad 2-3 times a day… and usually within a few days it causes it to open and have all that crap drain out. I’m gonna try some of these tips too. I’d like to know how to completely prevent them! I end up with more than one at a time. It’s so horrible!

  41. May Leichty says:

    I just started getting boils 10 months ago. All have been on my face
    and neck (hell , pure hell) well this current one is huge and behind my knee. At Which point should I go get medical treatment?? Its getting closer to skin..but still way worried
    bc the skin behind knee is so tight its also pressing against something and pain is shooting up my leg..Man..this suckssss :(” i feel all of yr pain..

  42. KC says:

    I have been plagued with boils and have had to have several lanced under my arms before and filled with packing. It was HORRIBLE. I have found that with my most recent and most painful ever one which was right on the crease where my thigh meets my privates, epsom salt and warm damp rags kept it draining and this one is finally almost gone. However, now i have one on my face that is about the size of an egg and I am TERRIFIED to go get it drained at the hospital after reading everyone else’s stories about how badly they hurt. This one is definitely soft, and I am ready to get rid of it. I think I am going to go try some VICKS and if that doesn’t work, I might just have to try something else to soothe and burst it. Thanks for all of the posts!

  43. samantha says:

    I have been getting boils for a few years now, and like u guys i hate it! Im so sick of being told
    by doctors to deal with it because im diabetic! i have a bad one under my arm and the other
    day i had it lanced. id never had one lanced before so i didnt know what to expect….
    Omg i have never felt such pain….not even having kids! I was screaming and crying like a baby
    and must have looked like a right idiot!…its been 2 days and its started to come back and i dont know why… scared to go back to the doctors….its depressing…

    • Angel says:

      Hi, I had my first ever boil June 19, 2010. It started on my inner thigh. I went to use the bathroom that morning and when I sat down I felt a slight sore spot. It started off as a super tiny pimple, and I didn’t think anything of it. By the afternoon, it was the size of a dime. By the evening, it was the size of a quarter and it was killing me! It kept growing rapidly, and it was so painful that I could barely walk. I was embarrassed but wa finally in so much pain that I got up at 430am on June 20, woke up my grandmother and showed her where it was. By then it was bigger than a 50 cent piece. Because she’d seen me limping around she took to me to the ER where I had it lanced, drained, and packed. I had to have the packing replaced once a week. And let me tell you, I gave birth to my daughter on June 4, 2010. I remembered labor very well, and I will take giving birth any day and time over getting these damn things just to have them lanced. As I saw them happen more and more I took my lancets and popped them as they were forming. I’d much rather deal with that than get it lanced. But eventually I knew I’d run out of those. I’d read somewhere to soak a cotton ball in vinegar and leave it overnight. I figured what do I have to lose? Nothing. So, I tried it and by morning it was a quarter of the size it originally was. I repeated the step and it was practically gone. I was so grateful. Now, when I feel it forming, as long as you get to it early and soak a cotton ball with vinegar and bandage it overnight, it’ll take care of itself almost painlessly.

      • Genie says:

        Everyone PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE TAKE THIS ADVICE AND GOD BLESS YOU ANGEL THANK YOU SO VERY VERRRY MUCH ABOUT THE APPLE CIDER VINEGAR TIP!!! I WILL NEVER FORGET THIS YOU ARE A SAVIOR! SENDING MANY MANY MANY THANKS AND BLESSINGS YOUR WAY. I used Bragg’s apple cider vinegar and if you cannot find that look for any brand of raw unfiltered unpasteurized apple cider vinegar it should have some stuff on the bottom of the bottle shake well good luck?

  44. marriage is half of faith says:

    What if the boil is by your ear? Face area…

  45. kim says:

    I also had to go to the hospital to have a boil taken care of. I’d had it under my arm and it hurt so horribly to even breathe. The er Dr. injected the site but did not let it numb enough. He then proceeded to lance it, causing me to scream in pain in the er. I was not happy needless to say. Now I have one I side my ear and it is also unbelievably painful. I love the ideas for relief but they are difficult for the current location.

  46. issabee says:

    I had horrible boils under my arm when I was pregnant so the doctor couldn’t use any kind of anesthetic that actually worked so I had to lay on the table while he lanced it without any pain killers it was terrible

  47. Barb U says:

    I have had this one spot between my breasts for many years…more than I can remember. It would get hard and then I would squeeze it and get this yellowish pus out of it. It also smelled. Recently it came back but much larger. I couldn’t get anything out of it this time. I have done hot compresses the last few days and put a salve on it, but still nothing. Last night after reading these suggestions I tried the honey. First I did the hot compresses then I put honey on a large band-aid and put it on the spot. Last night it hurt so bad that I almost packed it during the night…but I didn’t for fear of waking my husband. This morning when I took the band-aid off the whole rounded top was white with pus underneath the skin. I pushed around the sides and POP…oh what a relief it was. It still is hard, but I have soaked it and put another honey-soaked band-aid on. I hope it draws more pus out. I was truly amazed. I recommend trying this one! Thanks for the suggestion.

  48. Mrs.L says:

    This site is so helpful! I’ve had a boil this past week that was bringing me to tears couldn’t walk nothing! Vicks worked for me and the boil just ‘erupted’ on its own this morning definitely a huge relief. But not all of the puss and stuff is completely out yet? Was thinking of getting in a hot shower or bath and trying to squeeze on it again? Or should will it drain on its own if I put some gauze on it and leave it there? And was wondering about what other care I should take with it now that it’s draining?

  49. JEANETTE says:

    Homeopathic remedy I use is to take turmeric internally and apply it topically. I have experienced the boil opening and draining within a few hours. Make a salve by mixing honey with turmeric and apply it onto the boil. Also, eat 1- 3 Tablespoons of the honey and turmeric mixture. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and is good for arthritis too. But, I don’t take it daily, only when I’m in pain due to severe inflammation. Google turmeric and boils to read more.

  50. Debra says:

    Does anyone know the best way to fade the scars these boils leave?

  51. Jacqui says:

    I’ve seen a lot of people using aloe how long do you heat it up for

  52. Mary says:

    If you bath in a hot tub add baking soda to your hot bath. Like 2-3 cups to a full tub. It helps kill bacteria on your skin and in the water which can cause boils and other eruptions. This can also help women who get bladder infections easily.

  53. Tabitha says:

    I have been getting boils now for a few year’s. My dad an both my brothers have been getting them there whole life..up until 2 years ago I didn’t have one but now I get a boil the size of an egg in between my legs at least once a week!! It’s sooooooo PAINFUL THAT I CAN NOT WALK AN HAVE MISSED TOO DAYS OF WORK!! I Can’t get it to come to a I’ve been in the tub but it’s hard an extremely PAINFUL to move.but my little brother has been chopping onions an using minced garlic an putting it on the boil an he says it helps him. I would like to know if that’s safe to do? BECAUSE I’M WILLING TO TRY ANYTHING I’M IN SO MUCH PAIN THAT I’VE ACTUALLY BEEN THROWING UP FROM THE EXCRUCIATING PAIN…PLEASE HELP

  54. kenny says:

    I have been a constant victim of boils ever since college. I usually get them in my armpit (mostly the right one), granted I’ve had about 5 boils in both at the same time before (total nightmare). I normally wait till they run their course but once decided to treat myself. So I took ampiclox by beecham (ampicilline+cloxacillin) every 6 hours for five days and that did the trick. Presently I have a boil in my ear and a few under my right armpit which is excruciating. I guess some of us are just more prone to it than others. Remember that apart from ingrowing hair and plugged sweat pores, boils can be caused by staph infection so using antibiotics can treat them. Felt good reading from you all

  55. AMP says:

    All these comments are good. Thanks to all. I have a boil right now and will try the Prid to draw it out since it is deep in the pore and draining. One thing everyone should do is wash their hands really well to stop the spread of infection as the drainage is contagious.

  56. jillian says:

    What about boil ease. Its over the counter.