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Boils and Carbuncles

Having boils somewhere in the body can be painful, but nursing carbuncles can be worse.  Boils are smaller pustules with single openings.  Carbuncles are bigger and have more openings.  Just imagine that!  Surely, this is worse than the great plague.  These bumps are filled with pus and are underneath the skin.  The infected area is inflamed and very painful when touched.  The larger they become, the more painful they are.  When these rupture, the healing process begins.

These unsightly and painful eruptions occur on the neck or face.  The less fortunate develop boils or a cluster of them on their armpits, thighs, or buttocks!  The braver of the lot try to lance the boils.  This is not advisable because it may do more harm than good.  The same precaution should be taken with carbuncles.

Boils are caused by the staph bacteria.  The bacteria are trapped in the hair follicles.  These bacteria usually reside in the mucous membranes, and skin.  The bacteria may come from dirty food, or from infected surroundings.  The bacteria enter a break in the epidermal layer.  When this happens, the white blood cells try to combat the infection.  This results in skin inflammation and eventually pus develops.  These become the dreaded boils and carbuncles.

When these bumps induce fever, antibiotics are needed.  In most cases, these boils have to be drained by a doctor.  When both kinds of abscessed infections last more than two weeks, medical attention and treatment are needed.  Diabetics and people with HIV/AIDS are vulnerable to the increased risks of boils and carbuncles.    People with other skin diseases are at risk to develop a host of secondary infections.

People who have poor health and diabetes may have a harder time to fight the infection.  People with acne are prone to have boils and carbuncles.  Those taking immune-suppressing medicines or had long been taking corticosteroids can increase their risk of having carbuncles.

Boils and carbuncles can be avoided.  Hands should be washed frequently and before any meal.  Street food must be avoided when the food preparation is questionable.  Personal articles of clothing, and towels should not be shared.  When you do have a boil, you can apply warm compress to the inflamed area.  This should be done 10 minutes at a proper interval.  For best results, soak the compress in salted warm water.  One teaspoon of salt will be enough for a quart of hot water.  Hands should be thoroughly washed after treating the infected area.  Clothing, towels, and compresses that have come into contact with the affected area should be disinfected immediately.

Treatment of boils or carbuncles entails taking oral antibiotics.  Herbal medicine or herbal treatment of boils can be done effectively by the oil of the Tea tree.  The oil is an effective antibiotic and works well as an antifungal agent. In most cases, draining the carbuncles speed up the healing process.