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How To Treat, Soothe & Bring Boils To A Head

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 [1] 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):

Old Wives Remedies:

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.


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