Boil is a sort of skin disorder that occurs when the bacterium staphylococcus infects the hair follicle or oil gland. The bacterium enters the body through minor cuts or breaks in the skin. Initially the skin gets reddened and forms a tender lump that may be quite painful. Gradually the lump hardens in to a crusty mound, the centre of which is filled with infection-fighting white blood cells and proteins. These white blood cells and proteins become watery and are collectively referred to as ‘pus’. The infection may often affect the deeper tissues, resulting in the formation of an abscess. Our eyelids, face, neck, shoulders, armpits and buttocks are regions more prone to boils. There may be several types of boils. The types may be discussed as follows.
1. Furuncle or carbuncle is a severe form of boil with multiple openings. It occurs when a cluster of hair follicles get infected. This type may be associated with chills or fever.
2. Cystic acne occurs mostly in teenage due to the infection of congested oil ducts.
3. Hidradenitis suppirativa occurs when sweat glands get inflamed and take the form of multiple abscesses. It usually occurs in the armpits or groin, and requires surgical removal.
4. Pilonidal cyst usually occurs in the crease of buttocks. Initially it is simply an inflamed hair follicle which worsens due to the pressure exerted while one sits for a prolonged period.
Causes of Boils
1. An ingrown hair may cause boils
2. Lodging of foreign materials in the skin
3. Skin irritation due to the effect of harsh chemicals.
4. Infection of plugged sweat glands
5. Poor hygiene
6. Poor nutrition
7. Impaired immune system due to diseases like diabetes, renal failure, hypogammaglobulinemia.
8. Under the impact of medications like cortisones, and those used for cancer and chemotherapy.
Home Remedies for Boils
1. One may apply a solution of onion and garlic juice on the boil. This will allow the boil to burst open and will cause the pus to drain out.
2. It is good for a person suffering from boil to take a cup of bitter gourd juice along with half teaspoon lemon juice. This helps to destroy the bacteria.
3. Application of cool sandalwood paste on boil soothes the irritation.
4. A paste made out of milk cream, a pinch of turmeric, and half teaspoon vinegar may be applied on boils. This softens the skin and enables easy draining of pus.
5. Turmeric powder has antiseptic properties, and may be applied on boils.
6. Application of a paste of soaked, grounded cumin seeds would also heal boils.
7. Washing boils with coconut water and cucumber juice gives relief from irritation and pain.
8. One may soak betel leaves in warm water until it softens, then coat the leaf with castor oil and apply on the boil. The leaf is to be replaced after every one hour. This will cause the boil to rupture and will bring out the pus.
9. A piece of bread soaked in warm milk may be applied directly on the boil. This too helps to cure boils.
10. One may soak 15 margosa leaves in 500 ml of water and boil. Once the leaves become spongy, they may be applied on boils. This is an effective home remedy.
11. One may soak half teaspoon carom seeds, few crushed garlic in 2 tablespoon heated mustard oil. One has to leave it for 10 minutes and wait till the oil turns red. Then one can filter the oil and apply it on the boil.
12. Intake of spicy food has to be reduced.