A boil is an infection of the skin, originating in the oil gland or hair follicle, resulting in painful swelling, reddening of the skin and lump formation. Mostly appearing on the face, back, armpits, buttock, shoulder, and neck, boils mainly occur because of the Staphylococcus or staph bacteria. The swollen area gradually turns white when pus starts accumulating under the skin as the white blood cells begin to fight infections. Certain home remedies can be used to provide relief from boils in its initial stage.
How to get rid of a boil at home
Natural remedies to treat a boil
Turmeric: Known for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric acts as an effective home remedy for boils particularly on the face, chin, and forehead. A paste of turmeric, mixed with vinegar and milk cream or honey can be applied using a gauze, bandaged around the affected area. Keeping it for about 30 minutes, two to three times a day helps the boil to mature and burst fast.
A mixture made of turmeric powder, olive oil, wheat flour and crushed onion is a useful vaginal boil treatment. Having blood purifying properties, a spoonful of turmeric added to a glass of milk reduces the chances of boil formation.
Making a mixture of turmeric paste along with curd, putting it on the areas prone to boils after bathing and washing it with a mild soap is a useful remedy to get rid of recurring boils.
Tea tree oil: When applied gently using a cotton ball, this oil acts as a useful remedy for treating boils because of its antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial properties.
A warm mixture of tea tree and lavender oil, when compressed over your boil, with a clean washcloth will give you relief. Massaging your skin with tea tree oil is also a good way to get rid of boils or bumps formed after waxing. But, avoid using this remedy if your skin is prone to allergies.
Onion: Being a strong antimicrobial agent, onion juice helps in lessening inflammation. You can also apply a poultice of freshly cut onions to your boils.
Castor oil: It is usually applied directly on a boil using a cotton swab. Its antibacterial properties help in drawing out the infection from the eruption thus lessening pain and speeding the healing process. A mixture of turmeric paste and castor oil can be applied to get relieve from nose boils.
Cornmeal: A thick paste of this natural absorbent mixed with warm water can be applied to the affected area and covered with a clean washcloth.
Neem: A paste of neem leaves and turmeric powder, when applied on boils for about 30 minutes, acts as a strong antiseptic, helping in reducing pain and inflammation.
Potato: Being rich in flavonoids, tannins, and alkaloids, potatoes with its antiseptic properties help in reducing swelling and pain. Place thin slices of potato on the boils or apply its juice over the affected area.
Eucalyptus oil: This oil with its strong antibiotic properties is a wonderful natural cure. A thick paste made by adding warm water to a few drops of eucalyptus oil and powdered slippery elm can be applied on the swelling to get effective result.
Cumin seeds: Mixing a paste of ground cumin seed with water and applying it on the boil will help to get a relaxed feeling.
Garlic: A paste or poultice made of garlic cloves help in minimizing your discomfort also aiding in fast bursting of the boil. The juice extracted from garlic and onion can be applied on the boil and covered with gauze or bandage.
Black seed oil: Along with its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties, the black seed also contains a phytochemical compound, thymoquinone, which makes it effective in treating boils, carbuncles, and other dermatological concerns. Mixing half a tablespoon of the oil in your milk or juice and drinking it twice a day helps in getting relief.
Nutmeg: A drink prepared from half teaspoon nutmeg and water or milk helps in improving blood circulation in the body as well as preventing the spread of further infection. Apply a mixture of nutmeg powder and milk for boils on your scalp and wash it using a mild shampoo after an hour.
Betel leaves: Rich in tannins and essential oils, betel leaves act as an antiseptic, helping the boil to drain and heal fast. Add two to three betel leaves in half cup water and boil it for a while, on cooling grind it into a paste and apply it on the boil. Make it firm by wrapping a bandage with a clean cloth.
Coconut oil: If you have boils on your tongue massage them gently with a mixture of coconut oil and honey.
Home remedies for boils
Warm compress: This is one of the best and easily available home remedies that may be used to get rid of a painful boil. It is even a good option for treating diabetes boils. A compress of warm water coupled with a pinch of salt, when applied using a clean washcloth helps in reducing pain, draining the boil and bringing the pus onto the surface. Compressing with a waterproof heating pad placed over a moist towel will also help.
Milk: Apply a mixture prepared from a cup of warm milk, three spoons of salt and some flour over the boil many times a day. You may opt for a poultice of milk cream mixed with turmeric powder and vinegar.
Bread poultice: Soaking a bread slice in milk or warm water and applying it over the boil as a poultice for about fifteen minutes helps in lessening inflammation also increasing blood circulation.
Jelly Jar remedy: Boil a cup or jelly jar for some time, take it out of the hot water using a pair of tongs and bring it to a moderate temperature that your skin can tolerate. Placing the jar on the boil increases pressure on the affected area, helping the pus to come out.
Egg whites: Another age-old remedy of treating boils is by using egg whites. Take out the white part of a boiled egg, wet it and apply it gently on your boil. Cover it with a clean cloth or gauze to place it firmly.
Epsom salt: The antiseptic and anti-microbial properties of Epsom salt makes it effective in drying a boil by absorbing the moisture. It also helps in lessening pain and swelling by eliminating the toxins. You may add some Epsom salt to your bath water or apply a compress of the same with a cotton ball or clean washcloth to get instant relief.
Iodine and baking soda: Applying a thick paste of iodine ointment and baking soda over your painful boil will help in providing relief as iodine acts as a disinfectant whereas baking soda helps in bringing out the pus.
Tea bags: The presence of tannic acid in tea bags makes it effective in bringing the boil to a head, thus quickening the draining process.
Bacon: Bandaging a slice of bacon around the affected area for about ten minutes can also help.
How to treat a boil when it pops
After the boil has popped or burst, wash the region with a mild antibacterial soap and water and dress it using a sterilized gauze to stop the infection from spreading. Repeat this procedure till your boil has healed completely. Do not burst or pop a boil on your own as it may result in spreading of infection.
Other treatments for boils
Certain homeopathic remedies like belladonna, calendula (ointment), hepar sulphuris calcareum, and silicea speeds the draining process, reducing inflammation and lessening pain.
In order to get relief from painful boils, people also resort to painkillers (ibuprofen, paracetamol) and antibiotics. Antibacterial ointments are also used to prevent the infection from spreading. It is ideal to consult your doctor rather than taking any self-prescribed medicines.
How to prevent boils
- Using an anti-bacterial soap while bathing or washing your hands.
- Keeping your personal belongings clean and hygienic.
- Maintaining your sugar level by having a healthy diet, especially for diabetics.
- Avoiding high-calorie foods like chocolates and cakes.
- Filling your diet with foods rich in Vitamin A, C, and E.
- Not sitting for a long time especially to avoid boil formation in between buttocks.
If you already have developed boils then make sure that you do not pick at it as it may become septic. Clean your clothes and bedding with warm water to prevent the infection from spreading.
After applying these home remedies if your boils are still there or if it is recurring, then consult a doctor immediately. In extreme cases, he may also lance the boil by applying local anesthesia to release the pus.