Boils Pictures, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Boils Pictures, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


What Is a Boil?

A boil is a skin infection that starts in a hair follicle or oil gland. Also referred to as a skin abscess, it is a localized infection deep in the skin. A boil generally starts as a reddened, tender area. Over time, the area becomes firm and hard. Eventually, the center of the abscess softens and becomes filled with infection-fighting white blood cells that the body sends via the bloodstream to eradicate the infection. This collection of white blood cells, bacteria, and proteins is known as pus. Finally, the pus "forms a head," which can be surgically opened or spontaneously drain out through the surface of the skin.

 

 

Boil Type: Pilonidal Cyst

A pilonidal cyst is a unique kind of abscess that occurs in or above the crease of the buttocks. Pilonidal cysts often begin as tiny areas of infection in the base of the area of skin from which hair grows (the hair follicle). With irritation from direct pressure, over time the inflamed area enlarges to become a firm, painful, tender nodule making it difficult to sit without discomfort. These frequently form after long trips that involve prolonged sitting.

Boil Type: Sty

A sty (sometimes spelled stye) is a tender, painful red bump located at the base of an eyelash or under or inside the eyelid. A sty results from a localized infection of the glands or a hair follicle of the eyelid. A sty is sometimes confused with a chalazion, a lump of the upper or lower eyelid, but a chalazion is usually painless and caused by obstruction and inflammation of an oil gland, not an infection.

What Is the Treatment for a Boil?

Most simple boils can be treated at home. Ideally, the treatment should begin as soon as a boil is noticed since early treatment may prevent later complications. The primary treatment for most boils is heat application, usually with hot soaks or hot packs. Heat application increases the circulation to the area and allows the body to better fight off the infection by bringing antibodies and white blood cells to the site of infection. Do not pop the boil with a needle. This usually results in making the infection worse.

What Can Be Done to Prevent Boils (Abscesses)?

Good hygiene and the regular use of antibacterial soaps can help to prevent bacteria from building up on the skin. This can reduce the chance for hair follicles to become infected and prevent the formation of boils. Your health-care practitioner may recommend special cleansers such as pHisoderm to further reduce the bacteria on the skin. When hair follicles on the back of the arms or around the thighs are continually inflamed, regular use of an abrasive brush (loofah brush) in the shower can be used to break up oil plugs and other buildup around hair follicles.

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