How to Treat a Boil
Most boils burst within a week of starting, but if the infection goes very deep it may take two weeks for the boil to ‘come to a head’. It can be speeded up by applying hot cloths or magnesium-sulphate poultices to the boil. Take paracetamol or aspirin to relieve the pain.
DO NOT apply creams or antiseptics to the skin; they will not penetrate and so will not help to cure the boil.
When the boil bursts, cover it with a clean, dry dressing to prevent infection entering the wound. See your doctor if the boil hasn’t burst after two weeks.
WHY DO YOU GET BOILS?
Boils occur in hairy parts of the body and where friction takes place, such as the nostrils, armpits, back of the neck and between the legs. They are caused by infection from bacteria, particularly in people with low resistance due to exhaustion, poor nutrition, diabetes mellitus or a blood disorder. The bacteria create infection in the skin, often around a hair follicle. A severe boil, deep under the skin, is called a carbuncle.