BOILS: CAUSE AND TREATMENT

WHAT IS A BOIL?

Infection of the hair follicle in the skin is called folliculitis. In common language it’s called boil. When few adjacent folliculitis blends, it gives rise to a larger boil medically it’s called furuncle.

                                  Boils

 CAUSES OF BOIL

Through impaired skin barrier, a cut or an abrasion microorganism enters the skin. It proliferates in oil gland lying next to hair. Microorganism releases substances which give rise to swelling and pain.

Most common causative bacteria is: Staph Aureus. It’s a part of normal flora on skin. Though it’s majorly present around nasal nares and anus.

At times, fungus too can cause folliculitis. It mainly affects back. Then it’s called pityriasis folliculitis.

Though it can affect any part of body, butts, pubic region and axillae are commonly afflicted. People with low immunity, diabetics, malnourished, alcoholics etc. are more prone.

                            Folliculitis

WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR BOILS:

  1. Hot fomentation i.e. cotton swabs soaked in warm water placed over lesion several times a day.
  2. Topical antibiotics like soframucin, mupirocin etc. prescribed by doctor.
  3. Oral antibiotics may also be required at times.
  4. If boil is deep within skin, a surgical drainage is advised.
  5. Application of mupirocin ointment at nasal nares and anus region twice a day for first five days of every month for six months would eliminate the hidden source of Staph. Aureus infection. By doing so chances of recurrences are reduced.
  6. Maintain general hygiene, by changing clothes twice a day, bathing twice a day with antibiotic soaps containing triclosan eg: Soapex.
  7. In case, dermatologist suspects, folliculitis to be of fungal origin, a course of topical and oral antifungal is advised.
                          Carbuncle

If a boil is ignored, infection may penetrate deep into skin. It can also spread through blood to entire body causing septicemia.  Long lasting follicilitis and carbuncle may leave scars and marks too. Thus, it’s important to seek medical advice well on time.

 

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