How do I Choose the Best Boil Treatment?

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  • Written By: C. Webb
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 06 October 2019
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A boil is a painful, infected hair follicle in the skin caused by bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus. Treatment of the boil depends on the severity of the infection. There are several different home remedies for boil treatment, including letting air flow to the wound. Antibiotics and medical lancing may be needed. For most, the best thing to do is to get a physician to evaluate and monitor the process.

Boils are contagious. This should be remembered anytime a boil is being touched for any reason, including treatment. The Staphylococcus aureus that fills a boil can spread to other parts of your body or to someone else. Keeping hands clean before and after handling the infection is recommended. This will help prevent it from getting worse or multiplying into several infections.

Using a hot compress to soften the skin is the most common boil treatment. This can be done several different ways. A warm, sterile cloth or a betel leaf applied to the infection site for 15 minutes three to four times a day should clear it up. Castor oil and alcohol, while painful, can also aid in the softening or drying of the boil.

After the boil has opened, certain topical antibiotic creams can be applied. Bacitracin or Neosporin® are two examples of products that are available. When choosing a medication for boil treatment after the wound has been opened, make sure it can be applied to an open sore.


Boil treatment can be very painful, and can be treated with over the counter pain medication. Motrin® and Tylenol® are two examples of mild analgesics. They can be found at most drug stores or neighborhood markets. If this doesn't make the pain manageable, consult a doctor for a prescription pain medication.

It is always a good idea to get the supervision and advice of a doctor in any medical situation, especially when an infection is involved. The safest and most sure way to know you are getting proper treatment for your boil is to see a doctor. Anytime the boil's inflammation increases, or a fever develops, medical care should be sought. A physician can put you on antibiotics and even lance it if needed. Taking the medication as prescribed is important, as is following the physician's care advice.


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Post 2

A guy I know had this huge boil in the middle of his back. He said he put ointment on it and hoped it would go away, but it got worse.

He called his mom to come look at it, and she really freaked out and said he needed to go to the ER. He went and the doctor had everything set up to lance a boil, but when he looked at my friend's back, he said the place would need surgery and he was admitting him. He had the surgery that night.

The doctor told my friend that he had never seen such a huge boil, and that he was lucky he didn't get blood poisoning.

Post 1

Hot compresses and antibiotic ointment are probably the safest courses of action for treating boils. And I'd put that ointment on with a cotton swab to keep from touching it. No use spreading the bacteria anywhere else!

Definitely go see the doctor if you get a fever, because a fever can mean the infection is getting worse. It can even get in your bloodstream if you let it go long enough. Then, not only do you have a boil, but also the beginnings of septicemia, which takes a lot more than just getting the boil lanced to get it to clear up.

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