My niece has developed a boil on her face. The area near her ear has swelled and become inflamed. Her mother took her to see the doctor who prescribed some medicine and scheduled an operation for next week. The pus inside the abscess has to be drained surgically.
Google turned up this excellent <a href="http://www.medicinenet.com/boils/article.htm.">site</a> where I’ve gleaned the following info :
What is a boil?
A boil, also referred to as a skin abscess, is a localized infection deep in the skin. A boil generally starts as a reddened, tender area. Over time, the area becomes firm and hard. Eventually, the center of the abscess softens and becomes filled with infection-fighting white blood cells that the body sends from the blood stream to eradicate the infection. This collection of white blood cells, bacteria, and proteins is known as pus. Finally, the pus "forms a head," which can be surgically opened or spontaneously drain out through the surface of the skin.
What causes boils?
Some boils can be caused by an ingrown hair. Others can form as the result of a splinter or other foreign material that has become lodged in the skin. Others boils, such as those of acne, are caused by plugged sweat glands that become infected.
Who is likely to develop boils?
Anyone can develop a boil. However, people with certain illnesses or medications that impair the the body's immune system are more likely to develop boils. Among the illnesses that can be associated with impaired immune systems are diabetes and kidney failure.
Most simple boils can be treated at home. Ideally, the treatment should begin as soon as a boil is noticed since early treatment may prevent later complications.
The primary treatment for most boils is heat application, usually with hot soaks or hot packs. Heat application increases the circulation to the area and allows the body to better fight off the infection by bringing antibodies and white blood cells to the site of infection.
As long as the boil is small and firm, opening the area and draining the boil is not helpful, even if the area is painful. However, once the boil becomes soft or "forms a head" (that is, a small pustule is noted in the boil), it can be ready to drain. Once drained, pain relief can be dramatic. Most small boils, such as those that form around hairs, drain on their own with soaking. On occasion, and especially with larger boils, the larger boil will need to be drained or "lanced" by a healthcare practitioner. Frequently, these larger boils contain several pockets of pus that must be opened and drained. Antibiotics are often used to eliminate the accompanying bacterial infection.
What can be done to prevent boils?
There are some measures that you can take to prevent boils from forming. The regular use of antibacterial soaps can help to prevent bacteria from building up on the skin. This can reduce the chance for the hair follicles to become infected and prevent the formation of boils. When the hair follicles on the back of the arms or around the thighs are continually inflamed, regular use of an abrasive brush (loufa brush) in the shower can be used break up oil plugs and build up around hair follicles.
Boils are a common occurrence. A few of my friends and my brother have been plagued by it. I think the best prevention is to keep our bodies clean and beef up our immune system. In the case of my niece, her vegetarian and sparse diet may have something to do with it. She’s not getting enough nutrition. Though we’ve tried repeatedly to ask her to include some meat in her diet, she has stubbornly resisted. Perhaps after this painful incident, she’d be persuaded.
My aunt, who is diabetic and has suffered from boils in the past, recommended a home remedy –a poultice made from mud of a wasp’s nest mixed with tea oil. I did a Google search and was surprised to find that this remedy was listed <a href="http://www.mothernature.com/Library/Bookshelf/Books/47/18.cfm">here</a>.
Amongst some of the alternative remedies are :
- A heated slice of tomato
- A raw onion slice
- Mashed garlic
- The outer leaves of cabbage
- A bag of black tea
My mum asked me if I can get some mud from wasp’s nest from my house. I checked the rafters in my wet kitchen. There were only a couple of small blobs. Then while bringing in the laundry, I noticed that the window grilles outside the utility room were choc-a-bloc full of mud nests. Two dozen!! Now, how to scrape off the mud without the wasps having a go at my skin?
P/S : can anyone tell me why my links sometimes appear with html code but can't link?