Both boils and carbuncles can be treated at home, though very large lesions should be treated by a medical doctor. The main goal when treating an infection of this type is to drain puss from the infected area. Thus, most remedies include some type of topical cleanser or other ingredient that will cause a boil or carbuncle to drain quickly.
Boils and carbuncles are caused by bacterial infections. When an oil gland becomes blocked, the bacteria inside of that gland causes the skin to form a reddish bump. After a couple of days, a small bump may turn into a large bump topped by a hard exterior. Once a tip forms on the top of an infection, the infection usually erupts. The best way to treat this type of infection is to apply a strong astringent or salve in order to prevent the infected area from becoming enlarged.
Applying tea tree oil is a popular way to treat boils or carbuncles. Tea tree oil is a type of natural astringent that is particularly strong. To use tea tree oil to clear up these lesions, apply this oil to the infected area with a cotton swab. Another popular home treatment is hydrotherapy.
When a clean washcloth has been dipped in a solution of warm water and salt, this cloth can then be applied to the infected area. For best results, hold the washcloth on the infected area for up to fifteen minutes. This type of hydrotherapy should be conducted at least twice per day. If a home remedy proves insufficient, it is a wise idea to seek medical attention.
Some boils and carbuncles are too large to treat at home. When these large infections occur, the only way to treat them is to visit with your doctor. By draining the infected area with a needle, a medical doctor will be able to get rid of an infection right away. If an infection is buried well beneath the skin, a small incision may have to be made in order to drain pus from the area. Following this type of medical procedure, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics in order to prevent further infections from occurring.
Generally, these lesions are not extremely painful, although they can cause a slight amount of pain. If a small red bump appears on any part of your body, it is best to seek medical attention. Left unattended, the lesions can become the size of golf balls, and the infections are often difficult to contain.