Boil on Skin

A boil is also known as a skin abscess is a group of pus which forms within the skin. These can have various causes with one of the more common ones being ingrown hairs. Most of the time, a boil will easily resolve itself over time or with the help of simple home remedies. If, however, you have a boil that is long-term, or a long-term illness that produces boils, you should contact your doctor immediately.

Overviews of Boil on Skin


image001It is possible to develop boils on any part of the body. Despite this they are most common in areas where there is hair that experiences friction or is exposed to sweat such as the thighs, buttocks, armpits, neck or face. Some symptoms and signs of boils include:

  • A pea-size bump that is red and painful
  • The kin around the bump is red and swollen
  • The bump will grow over the course of several days due to it filling with pus (in some cases the bump may grow as large as a baseball)
  • The bump will develop a yellow-white tip which ruptures over time, allowing the drainage of the pus


In most cases, a boil is due to Staphylococcus aureus which is bacteria that is common on the skin inside of the nose. Boils will frequently occur if any of the following conditions are present:

  • Ingrown hairs
  • Sweat glands are plugged and infected
  • Splinters or other foreign materials are lodged within the skin
  • A break in the skin’s surface such as a scrape or cut

Risk Factors

Although it is possible for anyone to develop a boil, certain people are at a higher risk. These people are those who are on certain medications or have certain illnesses, either of which affects the immune system.

  • Some of the illnesses that can increase the risk include hypogammaglobulinemia, kidney failure, anemia, obesity, blood disorders and diabetes.
  • Some of the medications that can increase the risk include certain treatments for cancer chemotherapy as well as prednisolone and cortisone medications.

Home Remedies for Boil on Skin

Most of the following home remedies are only designed for simply boils. It is best to do these treatments as soon as you notice the boil as this can help reduce the risk of later complications.

Apply Heat

The most common home remedy for boils is to apply heat. The easiest ways to do this is to soak in a hot tub or use a hot pack. This remedy works because it will increase the circulation in the affected area, bringing white blood cells and antibodies which can help fight off the problem infection.

Drain the Small Boils

A great way to get almost instant pain relief is to drain the boil. One important thing to remember, however, is that boils are only ready to drain if they are soft or have a “head” which is an area of pus or a small pustule. If the boil is firm and small, draining it will not have any affect. In most cases, you will not need to physically drain the boil as smaller ones (such as ones from ingrown hairs) will do this on their own during a hot soak. In some cases larger boils will need to be drained by a medical professional.

Use Antibiotics

Antibiotics can be used to treat a boil on skin but are not always necessary or helpful. They can help get rid of bacterial infections that accompany the boil. In cases where the boil created an abscess well, antibiotics may find it hard to penetrate the outer wall without draining the boil first.

Try Alternatives

Cornmeal. Although cornmeal isn’t necessarily medicinal, it is incredibly absorptive which is why it is such an effective home remedy. To use this treatment, boil half a cup of water in a pot and then add enough cornmeal to create a thick paste. Cover the boil in the cornmeal and then cover it with a cloth. You should keep repeating this process every hour or two until the boil begins to drain.


Jelly Jar. Another option is to use a jelly jar to “cup” a boil. To this you will apply suction using the jar. First boil the cup in water for several minutes (to sanitize and heat it up). Remove it with tongs and allow it to cool slightly. Don’t let it cool too much as the heat provides suction but wait long enough to avoid burning yourself. Place the cup over the boil and you will notice that as it cools, the suction from the cup will bring circulation and blood to the affected area. You can then simply wash and blot away the pus.


Bacon. Bacon is a surprising but effective home remedy due to its salt content. Simply roll salt bacon or pork in more salt then place it between two scraps of cloth. Place the cloth on the boil several times during the day until the boils begins to drain.


Milk. For this home remedy start with a cup of milk and slowly place 3 teaspoons of salt in it (be careful as going quickly may cause it to curdle). Let the milk simmer for around ten minutes then thicken it with flour or crumbled bread. Separate this into four poultices, applying one each half-hour.


Onion. Onions have antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. They also irritate the area which in turn draws “heat” and blood to the boil. For this remedy, simply slice a thick piece of onion and put it on the boil. Cover the area using a cloth, being sure to change the onion (and cloth) every 3 to 4 hours. Eventually the boil will drain.


Eggs. This home remedy uses the egg whites and has been around since the 19th century. Simply boil and peel the egg. Then get the white wet and place it directly on the boil. Cover it with a cloth and wait.


Here is a video to tell you some natural remedies for boil on skin.

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