What causes a boil on your back: Boils: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention
Boils: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention
A boil is a skin infection that starts in a hair follicle or oil gland. At first, the skin turns red in the area of the infection, and a tender lump develops. After four to seven days, the lump starts turning white as pus collects under the skin.
- The most common places for boils to appear are on the face, neck, armpits, shoulders, and buttocks. When one forms on the eyelid, it is called a sty.
- If several boils appear in a group, this is a more serious type of infection called a carbuncle.
Causes of Boils
Most boils are caused by a germ (staphylococcal bacteria). This germ enters the body through tiny nicks or cuts in the skin or can travel down the hair to the follicle.
These health problems make people more susceptible to skin infections:
- Problems with the immune system
- Poor nutrition
- Poor hygiene
- Exposure to harsh chemicals that irritate the skin
Symptoms of Boils
A boil starts as a hard, red, painful lump usually about half an inch in size. Over the next few days, the lump becomes softer, larger, and more painful. Soon a pocket of pus forms on the top of the boil. These are the signs of a severe infection:
- The skin around the boil becomes infected. It turns red, painful, warm, and swollen.
- More boils may appear around the original one.
- A fever may develop.
- Lymph nodes may become swollen.
When to Seek Medical Care
- You start running a fever.
- You have swollen lymph nodes.
- 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 use immune suppressing drugs (for example, corticosteroids or chemotherapy) and you develop a boil.
- Boils usually do not need immediate emergency attention. However, if you are in poor health and you develop high fever and chills along with the infection, a trip to a hospital’s emergency room is needed.
Exams and Tests
Your doctor can make the diagnosis with a physical exam. Many parts of the body may be affected by this skin infection, so some of the questions or exam may be about other parts of your body.
Boils Treatment — Home Remedies
- 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 10 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 and clean with rubbing alcohol. Apply a medicated ointment (topical antibiotic) 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 could make the infection worse.
Medical Treatment for Boils
If there are concerns about the seriousness of the infection, additional blood tests will be performed. The doctor may prescribe antibiotics if the infection is severe. If the boil is drained, a culture may be done to determine the type of bacteria causing the infection and to assess if an appropriate antibiotic was given.
Next Steps — 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.
Help prevent boils by following these guidelines:
- Carefully wash clothes, bedding, 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.
Most boils will disappear with simple home treatment.
Heart Murmurs: Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention
The “murmur” is the sound of blood flowing. It may be passing through an abnormal heart valve, for instance. Or it may be that a condition makes your heart beat faster and forces your heart to handle more blood quicker than normal.
Within the heart, there are four chambers separated by valves that regulate how much blood enters each chamber at any time. Healthy valves also help prevent blood from flowing in the wrong direction in your heart.
A healthy heart makes a “lub-dub” sound as it beats. The “lub” (systolic sound) happens when part of the heart contracts and the mitral and tricuspid valves close, and the “dub” (diastolic sound) occurs when part of the heart relaxes and the aortic and pulmonic valves close. A heart murmur is an extra sound in the heartbeat — such as a ”whooshing” — that is caused by turbulent blood flow through the heart valves.
Heart murmurs happen in many healthy children, who may outgrow them as adults. They may also happen during pregnancy. Such murmurs are called “innocent” heart murmurs. They are not linked with medical or heart conditions and do not need treatment or lifestyle changes.
But there are exceptions. Murmurs can be linked to a damaged or overworked heart valve. Some people are born with valve problems. Others get them as a part of aging or from other heart problems.
Common conditions can make your heart beat faster and lead to heart murmurs. They can happen if you’re pregnant, or if you have:
A murmur could also be a problem with a heart valve. The valves close and open to let blood flow through the heart’s two upper chambers — called the atria — and two lower chambers — the ventricles. Valve problems include:
Mitral valve prolapse: Normally, your mitral valve closes completely when the lower left chamber of your heart contracts. It stops blood from flowing back into your upper left chamber. If part of that valve balloons out so it doesn’t close properly, you have mitral valve prolapse. This causes a clicking sound as your heart beats. It’s fairly common and often not serious. But it can lead to the blood flowing backward through the valve, which your doctor may call regurgitation.
Mitral valve or aortic stenosis: Your mitral and aortic valves are on the left side of your heart. If they narrow, which doctors call stenosis, your heart has to work harder to pump blood to the rest of your body. If left untreated, it can wear out your heart and lead to heart failure. You might be born with this. It can also happen as part of aging, or because of scarring from infections such as rheumatic fever.
Aortic sclerosis and stenosis: One in three elderly people have a heart murmur because of the scarring, thickening, or stiffening of their aortic valve. That’s aortic sclerosis. It’s usually not dangerous, since the valve can work for years after the murmur starts. It’s sometimes seen in people who have heart disease. But the valve can narrow over time. This is called stenosis. It can lead to chest pain, shortness of breath, or you may pass out. Sometimes, the valve needs to be replaced.
Mitral or aortic regurgitation: In this case, regurgitation means the blood is going the wrong way through your mitral or aortic valve and back into your heart. To counteract it, your heart must work harder to force blood through the damaged valve. Over time, this can weaken or enlarge your heart and lead to heart failure.
Congenital heart defects: About 25,000 babies are born with heart defects each year. These problems include holes in heart walls or abnormal valves. Surgery can correct many of them.
Many people with heart murmurs have no symptoms. But some murmurs can happen along with these other symptoms:
- Chest pain
- Rapid heartbeat (palpitations)
- Bluish skin color or fingertips (sometimes seen in babies with congenital heart defects)
Usually, doctors find heart murmurs during a physical exam. Your doctor will be able to hear it when listening to your heart with a stethoscope.
Your doctor may order one or more of the following tests to see whether your heart murmur is innocent or if it is caused by acquired valve disease or a defect you were born with:
- Electrocardiogram (EKG), which measures the electrical activity of the heart
- Chest X-rays to see if the heart is enlarged due to heart or valve disease
- Echocardiography, which uses sound waves to map the heart’s structure
On further examination, your doctor may find that the heart murmur is innocent. If your heart murmur is related to more serious heart problems, your doctor may refer you to a cardiologist (heart specialist).
Medication or surgery may be recommended to treat the underlying problem. With a thorough physical examination and proper tests, your doctor should be able to tell what causes your heart murmur.
Many children and adults have harmless heart murmurs, which don’t need treatment.
If another condition, like high blood pressure, is causing yours, your doctor will treat the cause.
Some types of heart valve disease may require:
- Medicines to prevent blood clots, control irregular heartbeat or palpitations, and lower blood pressure
- Diuretics to get rid of excess salt and water from your body, making it easier for your heart to pump
- Surgery to correct heart defects you’re born with
- Surgery to correct certain types of heart valve disease
It’s not common, but doctors sometimes ask people to take antibiotics to help prevent heart infection before dental work or some kinds of surgery.
In most cases, you can’t prevent heart murmurs. The exception is that if you treat an underlying condition, such as high blood pressure, or you avoid heart valve infection, heart murmurs are stopped before they start.
When to Call Your Doctor
Get medical help if you feel:
- Chest pain
- Breathlessness, fatigue, or fainting for no obvious reason
- Heart palpitations
Boils on the buttocks: Causes, treatment, and symptoms
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.
A boil is a pus-filled skin infection that usually develops around a hair follicle. They can occur anywhere, but are common on the buttocks.
Boils are otherwise known as furuncles, and are usually caused by a bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus).
In this article, we look at the common causes of boils on the buttocks, and how to identify a boil. We also discuss treatment, home remedies, and when to see a doctor.
Boils are often caused by the bacteria S. aureus. This is commonly called a staph infection.
All humans have this bacteria living on their skin, where it is usually harmless. When a person develops boils on their buttocks or elsewhere, it is often due to bacteria under the skin.
Rapidly growing, severe, or recurrent boils may be caused by the bacteria MRSA, or methicillin resistant S. aureus. This is a specific type of S. aureus that is able to survive certain types of medication.
MRSA is immune to most types of antibiotics, so it remains on the skin and can be difficult to treat.
MRSA skin infections can lead to more serious complications, including life-threatening deep tissue infections and complicated pneumonia.
Other types of bacteria can also cause a boil if they get into a hair follicle or oil gland.
Several factors can make a person more susceptible to boils, including:
- Close contact with another person who has boils. MRSA and other resistant bacteria can be passed from person to person. This can become a problem in hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care facilities where many people are ill.
- Previously having boils. It is very common for boils to reappear. Recurrent boils are generally defined as 3 or more occurrences within 12 months. Recurrent boils are most commonly caused by MRSA.
- Eczema, psoriasis, or a significant skin irritation that allows bacteria to access deeper skin tissues.
Other medical conditions or lifestyle factors that make people more likely to get boils include:
- iron deficiency anemia
- previous antibiotic therapy
- poor personal hygiene
- HIV and other autoimmune conditions
Depending on the size, exact location on the buttocks, and other health concerns, warm compresses and close observation may be the first line of treatment.
In cases where the boil is getting larger, a procedure called incision and drainage is typically recommended. In many cases, this will allow the boil to heal without the need for antibiotics.
However, if infection is severe, rapidly growing, or spreading into the surrounding tissue, antibiotics may also be necessary.
It can be very difficult to remove MRSA from the body. Because of this, other members of the household may also undergo treatment to decrease the presence of the bacteria.
This is especially important if multiple family members are experiencing ongoing skin infections.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the following home remedy for any type of boil:
- Make a warm compress by soaking a clean cloth in hot water.
- Apply the compress to the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes, around 3 or 4 times a day, until it releases pus.
- Consider taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen if the boils are painful.
- Keep the area clean. Avoid touching or rubbing it.
- If the boil bursts, keep it covered with a bandage or gauze to prevent spread of bacteria.
Boils caused by MRSA may need more extensive or additional treatment.
People should also avoid picking, poking, squeezing, or trying to lance the boil at home, as this can cause it to become more inflamed and worsen the infection.
Some strategies for managing MRSA infections at home include:
- Bathing and washing regularly.
- Practicing good hand-washing techniques with soap and hot water.
- Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. These are available to buy in pharmacies, health stores, or online.
- Using commercial-grade disinfectants for surfaces at home.
- Washing clothing and bedding regularly.
- Not sharing personal items such as razors, towels, cosmetics, washcloths, or deodorant.
- Using pump and squeeze bottles of lotion or moisturizers, rather than pots or jars.
Share on PinterestBoils may also appear on the face, neck, and shoulders.
Image credit: MGA73bot2, 2012
A boil on the buttocks is a raised lump that may be:
- filled with pus
Boils will usually begin by resembling a small, firm bump around the size of a pea.
They may then grow in size and become softer, often with a yellow or white tip that leaks pus or clear liquid. A boil can grow to the size of a golf ball or even larger.
Diagnosing a boil on the buttocks is usually simple, as a healthcare professional may be able to identify it with only a visual examination. If it is draining, a sample can be collected to test for the presence of bacteria, particularly MRSA.
A doctor may also take urine and blood samples to test for underlying diabetes, systemic infection, or another health condition.
Nasal swabs may also be taken from the individual or close family members to see if they are carriers for the MRSA bacteria.
Share on PinterestRegular bathing and hand-washing may help to prevent the spread of boils.
The bacteria from boils is contagious, so steps should be taken to reduce the risk of them recurring or spreading.
Tips for prevention include:
- maintaining good personal hygiene, such as bathing regularly and washing hands with soap and water
- using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, particularly after touching the boil
- avoiding sharing personal items, such as towels, linen, or razors
- keeping surfaces clean, such as counters, door knobs, bath tubs, and toilet seats
Decolonization may be recommended for households with recurrent MRSA infections to help prevent future infections. This goal of this process is to reduce the amount of MRSA bacteria carried on the skin.
Doctors may prescribe a five-day treatment plan with an antibiotic ointment (mupirocin) in the nose and a medicated soap (chlohexadine).
If a boil on the buttocks does not improve with warm compresses after a few days, it may be helpful to consult a doctor.
A person should see their doctor sooner if the boil becomes more swollen or painful, if the redness spreads, or if a fever develops.
In some cases, boils can lead to a deeper infection known as an abscess. This will also need to be drained and may require other treatments done by a specialist.
For individuals with immune system problems, these infections can be particularly serious.
In most cases, small boils on the buttocks will heal on their own within 1 to 2 weeks. Home remedies may help speed up the recovery process.
Boils that are getting larger, not healing on their own, causing other symptoms, or are recurrent may require drainage or more extensive treatment.
Recurrence is one of the most common complications associated with boils on the buttocks.
They rarely lead to systemic infections or a fever unless they are related to another underlying condition. Boils caused by MRSA are more likely to cause serious complications.
Boils that are not caused by MRSA rarely have any long-term effects, but may cause scarring.
Boils & Carbuncles: Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention
What are boils and carbuncles
A boil (or furuncle) is a skin infection that is usually caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus (staph). Other bacteria or fungi can also cause boils.
A boil forms a lump that goes deep into the skin. It may have a central “head” filled with pus. Boils usually occur on the face, neck, armpits, buttocks, and thighs, but can appear anywhere on the body. They can be painful.
In most boils, the bacteria also infect hair follicles, the sacs that contain the roots of hair and oil glands. An infection of the hair follicles is called folliculitis. A boil can also develop from a cut in the skin.
A carbuncle is a group of boils located in one area of the body. Carbuncles may have more than one head that fills with pus. Some people can get boils or carbuncles over and over in one spot of the body.
People with certain illnesses like diabetes are more likely to get boils. Another risk factor is having another skin condition such as eczema, or conditions that reduce the skin’s ability to fight germs.
This skin infection can be spread to other people. On rare occasions, it can be serious, and cause infection of the bloodstream, infection of other body parts, or general infection of the body (sepsis). A serious infection with MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) can also occur.
Symptoms and Causes
What are the symptoms of a boil?
A boil may start out as a sore, raised area that is pinkish red in color. Over time, the boil may fill with clear liquid or pus, and grow in size.
Symptoms of a boil include the following:
- Swollen, red lump deep in the skin (Sometimes, a hair will grow from it.)
- Painful, especially when touched, and in certain places on the body (such as the nose or ear)
- Size can vary from pea to golf ball
- May develop a central, whitish-yellow “head” that may break and release pus
- May “weep” or ooze clear fluid, or develop a crust
- May spread to surrounding skin, creating a carbuncle
What are the symptoms of carbuncles?
Carbuncles cause a deeper and more serious infection than boils, so their symptoms may be more severe. In addition to the same symptoms as seen in boils, carbuncles may also:
- Cause fever and chills or other symptoms
- Heal more slowly
- Scar the skin
Management and Treatment
How is a boil or carbuncle treated?
A boil or carbuncle should never be squeezed or pricked with a pin or sharp object to release the pus and fluid. This can spread the infection to other parts of the skin.
If left alone, a boil will break and drain on its own over time. In certain cases, a doctor may need to cut into the skin to drain the pus. Once the fluid and pus drains from the boil or carbuncle, it will heal. The doctor may also prescribe antibiotics if there is a serious infection.
If you have a boil, you can do the following:
- Apply warm, moist compresses (such as a damp washcloth) several times a day. This can speed healing and relieve some of the pain and pressure caused by the boil. A separate washcloth (and towel) should be used.
- See a healthcare provider if the boil persists or comes back, or if it is located on the spine or on your face.
- If you have a fever or other serious symptoms with the boil, see your doctor. Patients who have diabetes or who have a condition that affects the immune system should see a doctor for the treatment of the boil.
How can I prevent a boil or carbuncle?
A boil or carbuncle can happen despite the best hygiene. However, you can prevent boils if you:
- Avoid close contact with someone who has a staph infection, boil, or carbuncle;
- Wash your hands frequently with antibacterial soaps and gels, which can help prevent the spread of bacteria;
- Bathe regularly with soap;
- Don’t share or re-use washcloths, towels, and sheets.
How can I keep my carbuncles from spreading to others?
If you have a carbuncle:
- Wash your hands often.
- Do not share washcloths and towels with family members.
- Don’t let others lie on your bed sheets.
- Use antibacterial soap, especially if you have touched your carbuncle.
- Do not squeeze or prick the head of your carbuncle.
- Do not hug or have close contact of your carbuncle with another person.
- Carefully bag and dispose of dressings and bandages that cover your carbuncle.
Folliculitis, Boils, and Carbuncles | Cedars-Sinai
Not what you’re looking for?
What are folliculitis, boils, and carbuncles?
Folliculitis, boils, and carbuncles are types of infections of 1
or more hair follicles. A hair follicle is the base or root of a hair. The
infections can occur anywhere on the skin where there is hair. They happen most
often where there may be rubbing and sweating. This includes the back of the neck,
face, armpits, waist, groin, thighs, or buttocks.
There are 3 different kinds of infections:
Folliculitis. This is the most
superficial type of inflammation of the hair follicles. This can appear on the
neck, breasts, buttocks, back, chest and face.
Boil. This is an infection of
the hair follicle that goes into the deeper layers of skin. A small pocket of
pus (abscess) forms. It’s also known as a furuncle. They often occur in the
waist area, groin, buttocks, and under the arms.
Carbuncle. This is a group of
infected hair follicles with pus. A carbuncle is larger and deeper than a boil.
Carbuncles are often found on the back of the neck or thigh.
What causes folliculitis, boils, and carbuncles?
Bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus (staph) are the most common
cause of these infections. But other kinds of bacteria can also cause them.
Who is at risk for folliculitis, boils, and
Anybody can develop folliculitis, boils, or carbuncles. A person
is more at risk if they:
- Have diabetes or a weak immune system
- Have other skin infections
- Have close contact with someone with a skin abscess, boil,
- Have skin injuries, such as scrapes, cuts, or insect
- Are getting IV(intravenous) medicine
- Have been in hot tub or spa water that isn’t correctly
What are the symptoms of folliculitis, boils, and
Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each person.
Symptoms for folliculitis may include:
- Irritated and red follicles
- Pus in the hair follicle
- Damaged hair
Symptoms for a boil may include:
- A warm, painful lump in the skin
- Pus in the center of the lump
- Whitish, bloody fluid leaking from the boil
Symptoms for a carbuncle may include:
- Pus in the center of a group of boils
- Whitish, bloody fluid leaking from the boils
- Pain in the area
The symptoms of folliculitis, boils, and carbuncles can be like
other health conditions. Make sure to see your healthcare provider for a
How are folliculitis, boils, and carbuncles diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and health
history. They will give you a physical exam. The physical exam will include a skin
exam. A sample of the pus from the infection may be sent to a lab. This is called
culture. It’s done to see what type of bacteria caused the infection. It can help
the healthcare provider decide the best antibiotic for treatment. You may need to
see a specialist to treat a moderate to severe boil or carbuncle.
How are folliculitis, boils, and carbuncles treated?
Treatment will depend on your symptoms, your age, and your general
health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Folliculitis and mild boils may go away with no treatment. Warm
cloths (compresses) may help easy symptoms and speed healing.
Moderate to severe boils and carbuncles are often treated by
draining. A healthcare provider cuts into the sore and drains the fluid (pus)
inside. This is called incision and drainage. You may also need to take antibiotic
medicine by mouth (oral) or by IV in a vein. You may also need to put antibiotic
ointment or cream on the area.
- Keep your skin clean.
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds before and after touching the
- Don’t reuse or share washcloths or towels.
- Change the bandages often. Place them in a bag that can be
closed and thrown out.
Talk with your healthcare providers about the risks, benefits, and
possible side effects of all treatments.
What are possible complications of folliculitis, boils, and
Possible complications include:
- Infection spreading to other parts of the body
- Return of the infection
- The infection spreads into the blood
Can folliculitis, boils, and carbuncles be prevented?
To help prevent these infections:
- Clean and protect any skin injuries.
- Wash your hands often.
- Keep your nails cut short.
- Keep your face clean, use clean razors, and bathe
- Use only well-maintained spas or hot tubs.
- Don’t have contact with others who have active skin sores.
When should I call my healthcare provider?
Call the healthcare provider if you have:
- Symptoms that don’t get better, or get worse
- Other new symptoms
- A sore nodule with pus that is getting bigger
Key points about folliculitis, boils, and carbuncles
- Folliculitis, boils, and carbuncles are types of infections
of 1 or more hair follicles.
- The infections can occur anywhere on the skin where there is
hair. They happen most often where there may be rubbing and sweating. This
includes the back of the neck, face, armpits, waist, groin, thighs, or
- Bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus (staph) are the most
common cause of these infections.
- Symptoms may include redness, pus, pain, and fluid leaking
from the sore.
- Folliculitis and mild boils may go away with no treatment.
Moderate to severe boils and carbuncles are often treated by draining. You may
also need to take antibiotic medicine by mouth (oral) or by IV in a vein.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare
- Know the reason for your visit and what you want to
- Before your visit, write down questions you want
- Bring someone with you to help you ask questions and
remember what your provider tells you.
- At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and
any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions
your provider gives you.
- Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed, and how
it will help you. Also know what the side effects are.
- Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways.
- Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the
results could mean.
- Know what to expect if you do not take the medicine or have
the test or procedure.
- If you have a follow-up appointment, write down the date,
time, and purpose for that visit.
- Know how you can contact your provider if you have
Medical Reviewer: Michael Lehrer MD
Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
© 2000-2021 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional’s instructions.
Not what you’re looking for?
Page Not Found
Page Not Found
UT University Health Services
The page you have requested cannot be found. It may have been moved, renamed, or retired.
University Health Services is committed to providing high-quality care to patients of all ages, races, ethnicities, physical abilities or attributes, religions, sexual orientations, or gender identities/expression.
Folliculitis, Boils and Carbuncles | Johns Hopkins Medicine
What are folliculitis, boils, and carbuncles?
Folliculitis is the inflammation of hair follicles due to an infection, injury, or irritation. It is characterized by tender, swollen areas that form around hair follicles, often on the neck, breasts, buttocks, and face. Boils (also referred to as furuncles) are pus-filled lesions that are painful and usually firm. Boils happen when infection around the hair follicles spreads deeper. They are usually located in the waist area, groin, buttocks, and under the arm. Carbuncles are clusters of boils that are usually found on the back of the neck or thigh. Staphylococcus aureus is the most common bacteria to cause these infections.
What are the symptoms of folliculitis, boils, and carbuncles?
The following are the most common symptoms of folliculitis, boils, and carbuncles. However, each person may experience symptoms differently.
Symptoms for folliculitis may include:
Symptoms for boils may include:
A painful lump in the skin
Pus in the center of the lump
Whitish, bloody discharge from the boil
Symptoms for carbuncles (clusters of boils) may include:
Pus in the center of the boils
Whitish, bloody discharge from the boils
Tenderness and pain at the site
The symptoms of folliculitis, boils, and carbuncles may resemble other skin conditions. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
How are folliculitis, boils, and carbuncles diagnosed?
Diagnosis of folliculitis, boils, and carbuncles are made by your healthcare provider after a thorough medical history and physical exam. After examining the lesions, your healthcare provider may culture the wounds (take a sample of the drainage of the wound, allow it to grow in the lab, and identify specific bacteria). He or she does this to help confirm the diagnosis and to help in selecting the best treatment.
Treatment for folliculitis, boils, and carbuncles
Specific treatment for folliculitis, boils, and carbuncles will be discussed with you by your healthcare provider based on:
Your age, overall health, and medical history
Extent of the condition
Your tolerance for specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
Expectations for the course of the condition
Your opinion or preference
Treatment may include:
Topical antibiotics (for folliculitis)
For carbuncles and boils, a warm compress may be used to help promote drainage of the lesion
Surgical incision (making an opening in the skin overlying the infection) and drainage of the pus
Oral or intravenous (IV) antibiotics (to treat the infection)
Cultures may be obtained to identify the bacteria causing the infection
Acetaminophen or other pain relievers
Keeping the skin clean helps to prevent these conditions from happening and is essential for healing. Scrub your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 to 30 seconds after touching a boil. Do not re-use or share washcloths or towels. Change the dressings often and place the dressings in a bag that can be tightly closed and thrown out.
90,000 What is a boil and carbuncle – blog of the ON Clinic medical center
Carbuncle treatment at home
The main rule in treating a carbuncle at home is to avoid damage or irritation, because this can lead to the formation of a deep scar and the spread of infection deep into the skin or to healthy areas.
To reduce painful sensations, to accelerate maturation, opening and healing of the carbuncle, you need to make warm compresses.The heat increases the flow of blood to the abscess, which means more of the infection-fighting white blood cells are sent to it. The carbuncle matures faster, the pus comes out and the wound clears up and begins to heal.
To reduce the risk of spreading infection, the following steps should be followed when applying the compress:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap, preferably antibacterial.
- Gently rinse the carbuncle with warm water.
- Apply to it with a clean cloth soaked in warm water and wrung out slightly.Leave on for 15-20 minutes. You can use a heating pad instead of a damp compress. Before that, you need to cover the abscess with a clean, dry cloth or sterile dressing. The procedure is recommended to be carried out 3-4 times a day.
The wrap cloth should be washed in hot water and dried at high temperature or ironed after each use. Hands should be thoroughly washed after each touch of the carbuncle. In order not to spread the infection, clothes, bed linen and towels in contact with the abscess must be washed immediately.
When the chirium is opened, a sterile bandage is applied to it, which is changed regularly. If, after several days of treatment at home, the carbuncle continues to grow and causes pain, then you need to go to the doctor in order to prevent the situation from worsening and the penetration of the infection into the blood. For the treatment of carbuncles, the following are usually prescribed:
- antibiotics in the form of ointments or tablets for oral administration;
- Pain relievers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol;
- Antibacterial external agents for daily treatment of carbuncle.
In some cases, minor surgery may be required. The doctor will open the carbuncle under local anesthesia, carefully remove all the pus and rinse its cavity with a sterile solution. This will help the chirium heal faster and reduce the risk of scarring. A sample of pus can be sent to a laboratory to identify the type of bacteria and determine their sensitivity to antibiotics. Antibacterial drugs are prescribed in the presence of:
- high temperature;
- drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus;
- Secondary infection of the soft tissues surrounding the carbuncle;
- weakened immunity;
- The infection spreads to other parts of the body.
If all the pus from the carbuncle is removed, then antibiotics are not prescribed, because in this case the wound itself heals well. Depending on the severity, most carbuncles heal within two to three weeks after treatment.
How to treat a boil so as not to get blood poisoning
The desire to pick out an unaesthetic boil cost the lives of many famous people. The same Joseph Ignace Guillotin, who is credited with the invention of the guillotine. Or the great Russian composer Alexander Scriabin.But let’s not talk about bad things ahead of time.
What is a boil
Boils or boils are called dense rounded abscesses, abscesses, sometimes swelling on the surface of the skin.
It looks unpleasant. Something like this (other sizes and degrees of reddening of the epidermis around are possible):
It feels even more unpleasant. Unlike a common pimple, which at first can be confused with a developing abscess, the boil hurts, and the skin next to it looks inflamed and often has a high temperature.And in general, this is logical if you understand where the muck came from.
Why do boils appear
Bacteria , more precisely staphylococci, are to blame for everything. They live on the skin of each of us and in most cases do not cause much trouble. However, under certain conditions, a violation of the peace treaty is possible.
In case of injury, mechanical damage (for example, constant friction) or a decrease in skin immunity (it is caused by a variety of reasons: from vitamin deficiency to diabetes), staphylococci can penetrate the skin.In particular, in the hair follicle – the sac from which the hairs grow.
Inflammation develops in the hair follicle, so there is always a hair in the center of the boil.
In response to aggression, the body sends leukocytes into the same sac – white blood cells, whose task is to absorb and digest insolent microbes. Destroying the infection, leukocytes die themselves – this is how pus is formed.
When they die, the defenders release substances that cause a local inflammatory reaction.Therefore, the skin around the battlefield swells, turns red, and becomes hot.
Redness and soreness persist until the boil is opened and emptied. The stages of this process look something like this:
Why the boil is dangerous
The hair follicle is closely connected with the blood vessels. If you inadvertently damage them (for example, trying to squeeze pus out of an immature boil, where leukocytes have not yet won a victory over microbes), bacteria can enter the bloodstream.And this is fraught with blood poisoning.
Together with the blood, microbes enter the internal organs, because of which they begin to malfunction.
Boils on the face, neck or scalp are especially dangerous in this regard. The infection quickly enters the brain and can lead to meningitis, cerebral vein thrombosis and other extremely unpleasant conditions.
How to treat a boil at home
Better – nothing. If you have a boil, the most thoughtful decision would be to go to a doctor – a therapist, dermatologist or surgeon.The specialist will examine the abscess, assess its location and size, analyze your health condition and, based on the results, give recommendations on how best to treat the boil specifically for you. These are the recommendations that will have to be diligently followed at home.
If you have not yet seen a doctor, home treatment can only be as follows :
- Use warm compresses. They will help reduce pain and speed up the maturation of the boil. Gently apply gauze soaked in warm water 3-4 times a day for 15 minutes.
- Apply antiseptic ointments with a pulling effect to the boil: ichthyol, heparin, synthomycin (which one to choose, it is better to consult a doctor)
Never open an abscess with a needle and do not squeeze out pus!
- If the boil has opened on its own, thoroughly wash the wound with antibacterial soap, then treat with any antiseptic – it can be alcohol-based. Apply a topical antibacterial ointment, such as levomekol or tetracycline, and apply a bandage.Rinse the wound with warm water 2-3 times a day and apply warm compresses until it heals.
When you need to see a doctor urgently
If, in addition to a boil, you have at least one of the following symptoms, seek immediate medical attention:
- Fever (rise in body temperature above 38.5 ° C).
- Swollen lymph nodes.
- The skin around the boil is distinctly red and hot, and the diameter of the inflammation exceeds 2–3 cm and grows.
- The pain becomes too much, you cannot forget about it.
- New boils appear.
These symptoms indicate that the infection has entered the bloodstream. To prevent the consequences from becoming dire, it is necessary to start taking antibiotics as soon as possible. Only a doctor can pick them up.
Also, special medical attention is required for people who develop a boil against the background of diabetes, problems with the cardiovascular system, iron deficiency anemia, any malfunctions in the immune system, or taking immunity-suppressing drugs.In this case, the body’s defenses may not be enough to defeat the infection on its own. Therefore, you will most likely need additional therapy.
Disease “with a core”
No one is immune from such a nuisance as a boil, it is, as the people say, a boil, an abscess. And from a medical point of view, this is an acute purulent inflammation of the hair follicle and surrounding tissues. Men get sick 10 times more often than women. At the same time, many do not even realize that this is a rather serious disease.Firstly, boils are not as easy to cure as it sometimes seems, and secondly, their frequent appearance can be a sign of various ailments – from diabetes mellitus and diseases of the cardiovascular system to any malfunctions in the immune system.
The root of the problem is bacteria, more precisely Staphylococcus aureus. They are natural inhabitants of the skin and in most cases are not a problem. Many people are asymptomatic carriers of this organism. However, under certain conditions – microtrauma, abrasions, constant skin irritation with chemically active substances, a decrease in general and local immunity – bacteria can penetrate into the deep layers of the dermis and cause inflammation.Active reproduction of microbes and development of the disease are also promoted by:
• increased sweating;
• increased secretion of the sebaceous glands;
• non-observance of hygiene rules.
Boils appear only in places where hair grows – on the face, in the back of the head, back of the neck, lower back, buttocks, arms or legs. Sometimes there is a purulent inflammation of several neighboring hair follicles at once, such an extensive focus is called a carbuncle.
At the very beginning of the disease, a dense, itchy and painful red nodule appears at the base of the hair, rising above the skin.After a few days, pus accumulates in the center, which may be accompanied by an increase in body temperature, chills and headache, which are inherent in any infectious and inflammatory process. Opening the abscess facilitates the condition, and in its place a greenish-black area is found – a rod, which after a while is rejected on its own.
A complete cycle of the disease rarely takes more than a week and ends with the formation of a barely noticeable scar. Of course, you should not wait passively, since the purulent-necrotic process can spread into deeper tissues and lead to the development of severe complications – sepsis, meningitis, thrombophlebitis, etc.Moreover, the localization of an abscess on the face, nose, in the external auditory canal, scalp, especially against the background of diabetes mellitus, is an absolute indication for hospitalization. In any case, the treatment must be carried out under the supervision of a doctor – surgeon, dermatologist or therapist.
In the early days, the skin is wiped with antiseptic solutions (for example, 5% alcohol solution of iodine, 70% ethanol solution) several times a day, dry heat, alcohol dressings (but not ointment compresses!), Ultraviolet irradiation, UHF can be used -therapy.When a purulent-necrotic core is formed, surgical treatment is indicated – opening and draining the focus. If the boil has opened itself, it is necessary to carefully remove the pus, carefully treat this place with an antiseptic solution and apply a dry bandage.
With regard to prevention, in addition to observing the elementary rules of personal, household and industrial hygiene, it is necessary:
• timely treat skin microtraumas;
• do not let endocrine and skin diseases drift;
• to treat chronic foci of inflammation (caries, tonsillitis).
Vladimir Khryshchanovich, Doctor of Medical Sciences
Furuncle: description of the disease, causes, symptoms, cost of treatment in Moscow
A boil, also called a boil, is a pustular skin disorder in which the hair follicle becomes inflamed and also affects the soft tissues and the sebaceous gland. It is accompanied by the formation of pus and necrotic masses. This problem is not as harmless as it might seem at first glance.She is capable of provoking serious complications that pose a threat to life. The problem is serious.
Furuncles are a fairly common problem, and about 17% of all patients in dermatological hospitals are treated precisely because of it. To date, there has been a significant increase in the number of patients suffering from boils that form in the nose and directly in the nasal cavity. Increases the risk of vasomotor rhinitis affecting the nose.
The disease more often affects adults, but the child can also encounter a boil. In men, boils are formed several times more often than in women. The peak of the incidence occurs in the autumn and spring periods, when the immune system weakens most strongly. Furunculosis symptoms and treatment is clear.
Causative agent of the disease
The appearance of suppuration of a boil occurs mainly due to the penetration of staphylococci into the hair follicle. Normally, they are present on the surface of the skin in the usual microflora and do not pose a danger.If staphylococci penetrate the hair follicle, then an inflammatory disease develops.
However, in order for the bacteria to do harm, there must be a decrease in the activity of the immune system. When the immune system cannot fully restrain the development and reproduction of pathogenic agents, they begin to rapidly increase in number, disrupt the normal microflora of the skin and penetrate the pores and hair follicles, provoking the appearance of suppuration.
The boil symptoms and treatment are characteristic due to the main causative agent of suppuration.
Features that increase the risk of developing boils
It is noticed that with a number of skin features or the wrong attitude towards it, the likelihood of developing boils increases significantly. People who have such properties need to pay special attention to their health and take measures to prevent a decrease in the activity of the immune system. The features that predispose to the appearance of boils are quite diverse.
1. Increased perspiration.Salts in its composition aggressively affect the skin and cause a violation of its protective properties, which creates favorable conditions for the causative agent of the disease.
2. The presence of skin diseases in which cracks or scratches are formed. Such injuries are the entrance gate for infection, allowing the pathogen to bypass several protective mechanisms in the body at once. The boil, the reasons for which are associated with this, are usually not single.
3. Persistent skin irritation with nasal or ear discharge if chronic rhinitis or otitis media occurs.At the same time, pathogenic bacteria constantly affect the tissues, ultimately leading to a decrease in protection.
4. Frequent scratches, abrasions and abrasions. In this case, staphylococcus easily penetrates through the damage into the area of the hair follicle and provokes the development of a boil.
5. The use of poor quality cosmetics.
6. Violation of the rules of personal hygiene. If the skin is not regularly cleansed, then in places of maximum friction (more often in the collar area) skin irritation appears, which creates favorable conditions for the causative agent of the disease.This creates ideal conditions for pathogenic bacteria to penetrate tissues.
7. Violation of the natural protection of the skin against the background of constant exposure to irritants due to professional activities. Exposure to lubricants and dust is especially dangerous.
In the presence of such prerequisites for the appearance of boils, special attention should be paid to the condition of the skin. It is important, when damage appears, to immediately treat them with an antiseptic and protect them with a bandage or adhesive tape.If an abscess begins to form, medical attention is needed.
Reasons for the appearance of boils
The main reasons for the appearance of boils are a drop in immunity and hormonal disorders in the body. Depending on which of them takes place, the tactics of treatment are also determined – with the use of hormonal drugs or without them.
Normally, the immune system is an insurmountable barrier for the causative agent of suppuration and can resist staphylococci, not allowing them to pass from the skin surface into tissues, including hair follicles.If the body’s defenses are violated, they cease to actively resist pathogenic agents, and sometimes they simply do not take them for danger and do not even make weak attempts to destroy staphylococcus. This usually happens if a person has recently suffered a severe viral disease, which led to a serious loss of strength in the body. Strong local or general hypothermia and the use of antidepressants for a long time also become the reason for the weakening of the immune system.
The hormonal factor can also cause boils.In such a situation, a boil is usually a complication of diabetes. Due to circulatory disorders, the tissues cease to receive sufficient nutrition, and their starvation occurs, which leads to the loss of the necessary activity of the skin’s natural defenses. As a result, the causative agent of the disease can penetrate into the hair follicle almost unhindered and cause inflammation.
The furuncle on the body, the reasons for which the treatment was determined by the doctor, can be completely eliminated.
Stages of formation
The boil has three stages of development.Seek medical help already at the first stage of the formation of an abscess.
1. Stage of infiltration. At this point, suppuration is just beginning to develop. The infiltrate is formed around the hair, the follicle of which is affected by staphylococcus. Tissue thickening and swelling appear. The area of redness in diameter has from 1 cm to 3 cm. Often the patient complains of a tingling sensation in the area of inflammation, which is greatly intensified at the moment of touching the infiltrate. The pain is moderate at first, gradually increasing.
2. Stage of the purulent-necrotic process. It develops 3-4 days after the onset of inflammation. In the center of the boil, a rod appears, which consists of dead cells and thick pus. The upper end of the rod is visible above the skin and looks like a white abscess. At the moment when the tension of the skin over the rod becomes too strong, it diverges, a drop of pus comes out and purulent-necrotic masses are discharged, after which the boil cavity is completely cleansed.
3.Healing stage. When the boil is small, no scars will form after the wound left over from it has healed. With a large abscess from the wound, there is a small, even scar that disappears over time.
Complications of the disease most often develop in its second stage, if purulent-necrotic masses for some reason cannot come out. An attempt to squeeze out a boil can also lead to extremely dangerous consequences.
Boil. He is Furunkul / News of the Society of Krasnoyarsk and Krasnoyarsk Territory / Newslab.Ru
Many people have encountered this disease – a painful pimple suddenly appears on the skin, which increases in size day by day, then opens, leaving behind an ulcerated surface and a scar.
Sometimes the process is accompanied by an increase in temperature. The people call this formation a boil, and doctors prefer the official name – a boil.
A furuncle is an inflammation of the hair follicle – a “pouch” immersed in the skin that contains the hair root and blood vessels that supply it.The disease is caused by bacterial flora penetrating into the thickness of the skin through microcracks on its surface.
Normally, the immune system provides protection against such an introduction (there are special antibodies on the skin surface, and the damaged epithelium is able to quickly recover). However, when immunity is weakened, bacteria can multiply at the mouth of the hair follicle, which leads to its inflammation with the formation of a large amount of pus. As a result, redness appears on the skin, then a painful cone-shaped tubercle, which increases in size over several days.
After a while, the tubercle is opened and on the damaged area you can see a rejected hair shaft surrounded by pus – fragments of the normal contents of the follicle. The boil is emptied and a small scar remains at the site of the healed ulcer.
Do not confuse a boil with the manifestations of acne: acne is an inflammation of the sebaceous glands, into the ducts of which dirt from the skin surface gets into. This process is typical for adolescence, when, due to increased production of sebum and insufficient skin cleansing, pores are clogged.Acne, as you know, disappears without a trace and does not cause significant pain. A boil can appear in people of any age, and its treatment often requires medical attention.
Furuncles are formed not only on the face, but also on the neck, back of the head, shoulders, back and buttocks. Theoretically, any area of the skin where there is hair (and there are no hairs only on the palms and soles of the feet) can be affected by them. A condition in which a person has several boils at the same time is called furunculosis.This is a sign of serious problems in the immune system and a reason to consult a doctor without fail: both to treat the disease itself and to diagnose the cause that caused it. So in adulthood, people with a sudden onset of furunculosis are most often diagnosed with latent diabetes mellitus.
How to treat a boil
What to do if a boil appears on the skin? You can try to heal it yourself, unless it sits on the skin above your upper lip.With such a localization, it is worth fearing the spread of infection through the anterior facial vein and the cavernous sinus into the cranial cavity, which can lead to the development of meningitis or thrombosis of the cavernous sinus. Such a development of the situation is not uncommon, even deaths are known after an attempt to squeeze out a “pimple” in this area.
Remember – inflammatory formations on the skin of the face are not always harmless!
Even acne is recommended to be treated by wiping the face with alcoholic lotions, without squeezing out their contents (micro-traumas of the skin resulting from “mechanical cleaning” are a sure way to spread infection and the emergence of new inflammation).
As for boils localized in the area of the nasolabial triangle, they need to be treated only in a hospital under the constant supervision of a doctor: this will allow you to notice the deterioration of the patient’s well-being in time and take all the necessary measures to prevent complications. And while waiting for hospitalization (I repeat, this is a necessity!), You should avoid unnecessary contractions of the facial muscles and muscles of the lower jaw (to reduce blood circulation in the affected area) – and, therefore, talk less and eat liquid food.
Treatment of an uncomplicated boil consists in treating the affected area of the skin with a 70% solution of ethyl alcohol, a 2% alcohol solution of salicylic acid or a solution of brilliant green. When treating boils in a hospital, injecting the affected area with solutions of antibiotics with novocaine or electrophoresis of antibiotics is used.
In severe cases, under local anesthesia, the furuncle is opened, followed by the removal of purulent-necrotic masses. Then the wound is treated with antiseptic solutions and a bandage is applied with an antibacterial ointment (tetracycline, erythromycin, gentamicin, synthomycin).
After cleansing the wound from pus, the patient is prescribed physiotherapeutic procedures: UV irradiation, UHF therapy and others. General measures to improve immunity are also recommended: treatment of chronic diseases, introducing more vitamins into the diet, reducing physical activity and healthy sleep. Keep in mind that the presence of a boil is a reasonable excuse to take sick leave and spend a few days at home, away from drafts and stress associated with overstraining at work.
90,000 Furuncle: what is it and how to deal with it?
In autumn and spring, during the transition periods, a large number of people have decreased immunity, very often this occurs against the background of colds.And with reduced immunity, diseases such as furunculosis are often manifested.
Furuncle (popularly “boil”) – acute purulent inflammation of the hair follicle (follicle) and the associated sebaceous gland with the surrounding fiber, caused by staphylococcus. Sudden hypothermia or overheating, prolonged physical or nervous fatigue can serve as the reason for the unexpected occurrence of “boil”.
The further development of the boil is facilitated by constant contamination of the skin and friction with clothing, irritation of the skin with chemicals, abrasions, scratching and other microtraumas, as well as increased activity of the sweat and sebaceous glands of the skin, vitamin deficiency, metabolic disorders.
Most often, a furuncle is localized on the neck (in the back of the head), face, back of the hands, on the lower back, buttocks.
The first prerequisites for “boil” are itching, painful redness, the appearance of a small red bump on the skin. Approximately 4 days after the onset of inflammation, a white dot appears in the center of the tubercle – an abscess. After a few days, the abscess opens, as the pus is released, the pain subsides, the swelling and redness in the boil area decreases. After about 7-10 days, the skin is completely restored.
The danger of a boil lies, first of all, in the likelihood of the spread of inflammation to other parts of the body and infection of the blood. That is why boils in the head and neck area are especially dangerous.
With a severely weakened immunity, the development of furunculosis is possible, i.e. the appearance of not a single, but multiple boils, in this situation there is a deterioration in the general condition of the patient: fever may appear, the patient will complain of general weakness, headaches.
In any situation, at the beginning of the development of the disease, you must consult a doctor.It is especially important for the emergence and development of a boil not to miss the moment when surgical intervention is necessary, because delayed treatment can also lead to blood poisoning. Surgical treatment of a boil is performed under local anesthesia. During the procedure, the surgeon opens the boil, removes pus, and locally injects antibiotics. If you did not delay the treatment, you applied for all the necessary procedures and manipulations on time, then in a couple of days you will already forget about the unpleasant ailment that spoiled your life so much!
When the first signs of a boil appear, you can contact the Mira Medical Center!
More details about the service on this issue can be found here
90,000 Abscess on the gum.What to do?
An abscess on the gum indicates inflammation of the tooth itself or the tissues surrounding it. This can be not only painful, but also extremely dangerous! As a result of inflammatory processes, the soft tissue of the gums “melts”, the resulting internal cavities are filled with pus, and a purulent sac is often visible outside. If you start the process, pus from the abscess either gradually begins to seep out (this is already a chronic form) or, (which is much worse!) Bursting inside the body, causes blood poisoning.
Gum abscess. Causes and treatment
Often an abscess on the gums occurs due to mechanical damage. For example, while eating, you accidentally injected with a fish bone, and a small fragment of the bone sometimes remains in the gum tissue. The next day, the gums are swollen. What to do in this situation? Of course, visit your dentist and spare yourself further trouble.
Insufficient oral hygiene can be both an independent cause of an abscess on the gums and aggravate the situation with mechanical damage.Since staphylococci and streptococci from a poorly cleaned oral cavity will immediately rush into a small wound. With proper hygiene, the chances of bacteria getting into the wound are small due to their reduced number. The first symptoms of this problem are a slight increase in body temperature and toothache. Usually it is not a specific tooth that hurts, but the entire jaw at once. This makes it difficult to locate the source of the infection. Malaise, chills, and swelling of the cheeks may also occur. At the first stage, it is better to rinse your mouth with any antiseptic solution and try to relieve the pain (which is sometimes unbearable) with painkillers, for example, ketans.Treatment for an abscess on the gums can be different. The doctor usually opens the abscess and removes any accumulated pus from it. Never cut a sore gum yourself! It is necessary to contact a specialist.
Only a “ripe” abscess is opened, otherwise the pus remaining deeper in the tissues will continue to poison the body. Sometimes, in order to remove it all, it is required to remove the damaged tooth in this place. To enhance blood circulation in the area of suppuration, various compresses and lotions are used.In severe cases, the dentist uses ultrasound. After the procedure, you must strictly follow the doctor’s recommendations and take the medications prescribed by him.