can occur anywhere on your skin, but appear mainly on your
face, neck, armpits, buttocks or thighs hair-bearing areas
where you're most likely to sweat or experience friction.
Signs and symptoms of a boil usually include:
painful, red bump that starts out about the size of a pea
swollen skin around the bump
increase in the size of the bump over a few days as it fills
with pus (can sometimes reach the size of a baseball)
of a yellow-white tip that eventually ruptures and allows the
pus to drain out
carbuncle is a cluster of boils that form a connected area of
infection. Carbuncles often occur on the back of the neck,
shoulders or thighs. Compared with single boils, carbuncles
cause a deeper and more severe infection and are more likely
to leave a scar. People who have a carbuncle often feel unwell
in general and may experience a fever and chills.
doctor will likely be able to diagnose a boil or carbuncle
simply by looking at it. He or she might suggest sending a
sample of the pus to a lab for testing. This may be useful if
you have recurring infections or an infection that hasn't
responded to standard treatment.
varieties of the bacteria that cause boils have become
resistant to certain types of antibiotics. So lab testing can
help determine what type of antibiotic would work best in your
AND HOME REMEDIES
small boils, these measures may help the infection heal more
quickly and prevent it from spreading
compresses. Apply a warm washcloth or compress to the affected
area several times a day. This helps the boil rupture and
drain more quickly.
Never squeeze or lance a boil yourself. This can spread the
Prevent contamination. Wash your hands thoroughly after
treating a boil. Also, launder clothing, towels or compresses
that have touched the infected area, especially if you have
recurrent boils or carbuncles.
larger boils and carbuncles, treatment may include:
Incision and drainage. Your doctor may drain a large boil or
carbuncle by making a small incision in the tip. Deep
infections that can't be completely drained may be packed with
sterile gauze to help soak up and remove additional pus.
Antibiotics. Sometimes your doctor may prescribe antibiotics
to help heal severe or recurrent infections.
SEE A DOCTOR
usually can care for a single, small boil yourself. But see
your doctor if you have more than one boil at a time or if a
Occurs on your face
Worsens rapidly or is extremely painful
Causes a fever
more than 2 inches (5 centimeters) across
Hasn't healed in two weeks