Some people are just prone to boils and I am one of them. I find that clean eating helps tremendously in preventing boils. But it isn’t always possible to eat 100% clean or even 99%, especially during festive seasons. I have been indulging in quite a bit of unhealthy snacks during the recent Chinese New Year festival ~ butter and sugar laden cookies, fried snacks, jerkies, chocolates and the other culprit – lack of sleep. All these contributed to a huge and painful boil on my chin, OUCH! Thankfully I managed to tame the boil in under a week with my tried and tested home remedies.
A boil is a skin infection that starts in a hair follicle or oil gland. At first, the skin turns red in the area of the infection, and a tender lump develops. After four to seven days, the lump starts turning white as pus collects under the skin.
Boils are usually pea-sized, but can grow as large as a golf ball. Symptoms can include:
1. Swelling, redness, and pain
2. A white or yellow center or tip
3. Weeping, oozing, or crusting
Causes of Boils
Most boils are caused by a germ (staphylococcal bacteria). This germ enters the body through tiny nicks or cuts in the skin or can travel down the hair to the follicle.
These health problems make people more susceptible to skin infections:
- Problems with the immune system
- Poor nutrition
- Poor hygiene
- Exposure to harsh chemicals that irritate the skin
The most common places for boils to appear are on the face, neck, armpits, shoulders, and buttocks. When one forms on the eyelid, it is called a sty. If several boils appear in a group, this is a more serious type of infection called a carbuncle.
My tried and tested fast home remedies:
Your everyday white toothpaste is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is a well known home remedy for burns and allergies. I started using toothpaste for pimples and boils during my first pregnancy when I avoided commercial pimple creams known to contain harsh chemicals. It works very well for me and my youngest daughter who is also quite prone to having boils. Simply, apply white toothpaste on boil area and leave it for 30 minutes. Apply several times a day and by the second day, you’ll notice that the boil has shriveled and less painful.
Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon oil is a good remedy for restoring the luster of dull skin. It is an astringent and detoxifying in nature and rejuvenates sagging or tired-looking skin. Its antiseptic properties help in treating pimples, boils and various other skin disorders. Lemon is also recommended for reducing excessive oil on the skin. Just apply a drop of lemon essential oil neat on the boil 2-3 times a day.
Tea Tree Oil / Melaleuca Oil
Drop several drops of tea tree oil onto the boil, and gently rub the oil on the boil area with your fingers. Be sure to cover the entire head of the boil as well as a bit of the skin around the boil. Tea tree oil can be applied full strength. Wash your hands after touching the boil. Repeat this three times a day.
Apply warm compresses and soak the boil in warm/hot water. Soak some cotton balls with warm/hot water and apply on the boils. This will decrease the pain gradually and help draw the pus to the surface. Once the boil comes to a head, it will burst with repeated soakings. This usually occurs within a few days of its appearance.
When the boil starts draining, wash it with clean water until all the pus is gone and clean with an antiseptic solution. I normally apply tea tree oil. Continue to wash the infected area two to three times a day and to use warm compresses until the wound heals.
Follow these guidelines to prevent boils:
- Practice good personal hygiene.
- Stay as healthy as possible ~ eat clean and right, exercise and get enough sleep
- Drink lots of water to flush out toxins from the body.