Boils are extremely uncomfortable to experience, but they’re actually more common than you might think. They may occur in hair follicles anywhere on the body but typically pop up in areas where hair and sweat coexist, such as the armpits.
Read on as our team at AFC Urgent Care Chattanooga provides further info on boils and what you can do about them below.
- What boils are: A boil is a painful, pus-filled bump that forms under the skin when bacteria infect and inflame one or more of your hair follicles. A carbuncle is a cluster of boils that form a connected area of infection under the skin.
- How they’re commonly caused: Most boils are caused by Staphylococcus aureus, a type of bacterium commonly found on the skin and inside the nose. Boils sometimes develop at sites where the skin has been broken by a small injury or an insect bite, which gives the bacteria easy entry.
- Here’s what to do if you get one: First off, don’t squeeze or try to drain a boil yourself. This can lead to a spread of the infection or possibly cause a secondary infection of the boil.
- What to do next: Make sure to keep the boil clean. Use antibacterial soap and warm water to wash the boil twice daily and gently pat the area dry. It’s a good idea to keep the towels and washcloths that come in contact with the boil separate from other towels.
- What to do after: Place a warm, wet washcloth on it throughout the day. Heat encourages the formation of pus and might help the boil break, drain and heal.
- If the boil doesn’t rupture on its own: Visit our AFC center for treatment. Typically, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to help clear up the infection.
- Action steps to take: Unfortunately, you can’t always prevent boils from occurring, but things like washing your hands frequently, keeping wounds covered until they heal and avoiding sharing personal items with others are some of the best prevention tactics.
- Doctor’s recommendations: If you are dealing with a boil, don’t hesitate to visit our AFC center for treatment. Boils can cause scarring and even sepsis in more severe and rare cases.
For treatment for boils and other skin conditions, don’t hesitate to visit our AFC Urgent Care Chattanoogateam today!