Treatment of a boil

Treatment options for a boil

Therapy for a boil depends on the severity and location of the infection. In the case of an uncomplicated boil, it is usually sufficient to perform a local therapy, which consists on the one hand of cleaning and disinfecting the affected areas of the skin and on the other hand of using warm compresses.

The combination of moisture and warmth often causes the boils to drain spontaneously faster and then heal. Disinfecting ointments contain active ingredients such as polyvidone iodine, which support the healing process. Vasodilator ointments ideally heal an immature follicle, but otherwise at least cause the boil to ripen more quickly, which means a shorter time to healing. In rare cases it is necessary to additionally treat a boil by giving antibiotics.

Read more on the topic: Ointment for a boil

The terms "abscess" and "furuncle" are often used as synonyms. But there are some clear distinguishing features. Read our article on this: Abscess or boil

Opening the boil

If boils become painful, there is also the option of having a doctor surgically open them using a scalpel so that the pus can drain off. The result is a pressure relief, which counteracts the penetration of bacteria into the surrounding tissue.

Read more on the subject at: Operation of a boil

Another option in the chronic occurrence of boils (Furunculosis) is the treatment with car vaccines, which is a kind of vaccination with the individual pathogen.

In the past, the use of a pulling ointment was often recommended, but this is not recommended today, as this form of treatment can lead to an abscess, which then necessitates surgical therapy.

It is very important that you never try to express boils, especially when they are above the upper lip, as there is a risk that the bacteria can reach the brain and cause serious complications there. With boils on the face or boils in the neck, care should be taken to ensure that you move as little as possible until the boils have healed, which in extreme cases (e.g. boils of the mouth) can also mean not speaking much or being soft Restrict food.

Treatment of the boil with antibiotics

The use of antibiotics is not always necessary in the presence of a boil. In this context, the extent of the infection and the exact location of the boil play a decisive role. Especially with small boils that have less pronounced inflammatory processes, antibiotics usually do not have to be taken. With regard to the localization, the administration of various antibiotics is essential, especially in the case of a boil within the face.

However, since a boil is a bacterial infection, antibiotics can theoretically help accelerate the healing process and minimize possible risks, regardless of the exact location.

For small, inconspicuous boils outside the face, treatment can in many cases be carried out by regularly applying an ointment or cream containing antibiotics.

The most frequently detectable bacterial pathogen that leads to the development of a boil belongs to the group of Staphylococci (for example that Staphylococcus aureus). For this reason, when treating a boil, antibiotics should always be selected that are directed against this particular pathogen. The Staphylococcus aureus is generally considered to be sensitive to so-called Beta-lactam antibiotics (for example Methicillin). These antibiotics are different penicillin derivatives. In more than 80 percent of cases, however, if a boil is present, a resistance of the causative pathogen to penicillin can be demonstrated. The reason for this is the fact that mainly bacteria from the group of Staphylococci over time were able to develop an enzyme that is able to break down penicillin (Penicillinase). Because of this, treating a Staphylococci-associated boils with penicillin-containing ointments may theoretically be successful, but in most cases no treatment success can be proven in the affected patients.

For patients who suffer from a small uncomplicated boil, an ointment is usually prescribed that contains the active ingredient Clindamycin disposes.

In the case of pronounced infections, a large boil or a critical localization (for example on the face), the surgical treatment should always be supplemented by the oral intake of an antibiotic. In this context there are mainly so-called Penicillinase-solid beta-lactam antibiotics how Flucloxacillin in question.

If the affected patient suffers from a penicilin allergy, can also Clindamycin be prescribed. However, using clindamycin to treat a boil is not safe. Due to the possibility of serious side effects, clindamycin is still considered absolute today Reserve antibiotic. The most common adverse drug reactions observed with the use of clindamycin are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The so-called pseudomembranous enterocolitis, an inflammatory bowel disease, is the most dreaded side effect of the group of antibiotics Lincosamides (for example Clindamycin). This illness is a reason to stop the treatment of a boil with clindamycin immediately. In addition, liver damage is one of the most common and dangerous side effects of these antibiotics.

Other antibiotics that are suitable for treating patients who suffer from boils belong to the group of macrolides. A classic example of possible antibiotics in this group is the one that is frequently used Erythromycin.

Also in the treatment of patients suffering from boils are antibiotics from the group of Fluoroquinolones (for example Levofloxacin).

Pull ointment for a boil

Pull ointment is suitable for purulent inflammation, as it is also present with a boil. It has an antibacterial effect and inhibits the flow of sebum, which is helpful for the boil to heal quickly. When used with pulling ointment, the pus may spontaneously drain from the boil. It should be noted that some people have an allergy to draft ointment, which is why, before doing so, apply e.g. tolerance should be tested on the arm. Use should be discussed with a doctor during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Read more on the subject at: Pull ointment

Betaisodona for a boil

Betaisodona is a germicidal ointment and can also be used to treat a boil. Their effectiveness is based on their iodine content. The iodine has an antibacterial effect and causes the ointment to turn brown. The ointment can be applied several times a day. In the presence of a thyroid disease or pregnancy, the use must be discussed with the doctor.

Read more on the subject at: Betaisodona

Home remedies for a boil

The affected area of ​​skin should be left alone. In no case should one attempt to express the boil. This can make the inflammation worse. The boil should not be touched with your fingers. There is a risk of germs being spread. Therefore, hygiene is very important. The affected area should always be adequately cleaned and disinfected. Warmth promotes the maturation of the boil so that it can spontaneously empty and heal. Antimicrobial compresses also help against boils, as well as compresses with chamomile or thyme.

Tea tree oil for a boil

Tea tree oil has an antibacterial effect and can therefore accelerate the healing process in the event of a boil. It also ensures that the skin dries out or degreases, which also has a positive effect. However, when using tea tree oil, you have to pay attention to a few things. Before doing this, a different skin area should be tested to determine whether the tea tree oil is tolerated. Some people can experience allergies. In addition, tea tree oil should not be used undiluted over a large area. It can also be used undiluted on small areas such as pimples or boils. However, this is not necessary as tea tree oil is very effective even when diluted. The tea tree oil can be applied to the affected area with a small cotton ball or swab.

Read more on the subject at: Tea tree oil

Homeopathy for a boil

In general, it can be assumed that the medical treatment in the presence of a boil leads to success much faster in direct comparison to homeopathy. In addition, possible risks can only be effectively avoided through the professional opening and subsequent use of an antibiotic.

Until the next possible doctor's appointment, however, the time can be bridged by using various home remedies and substances from the field of homeopathy. However, patients who suffer from a boil and want to treat it themselves should observe some rules of conduct. Regardless of the exact location of the boil, under no circumstances should the boil be pressed. Otherwise there is a risk that the pus inside the boil will drain inwards, the bacterial pathogens will enter the bloodstream and result in blood poisoning (sepsis) is coming.

In addition, maintaining proper hygiene is one of the most important measures in treating a boil. Before starting a boil treatment by homeopathy, the surface of the skin on the affected area must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. The affected patients should also ensure that the boil may never be touched with the fingers. Failure to do so can lead to the spread of germs and the associated serious illnesses. For this reason, it is advisable to always wear protective gloves when treating a boil with homeopathy.

In general, various substances that can be assigned to homeopathy are suitable for treating a boil. Since a boil is an inflammatory and highly infectious disease, anti-inflammatory thyme can help to positively influence the healing process. Before use, a few drops of high quality thyme essential oil should be drizzled into about a tablespoon of warm water. The thyme oil can then be applied to the boil using a sterile compress. Tea tree oil can also be used as an alternative to thyme oil. In addition, medicinal clay is one of the best-known substances from the field of homeopathy that can be used to treat a boil.

The effectiveness of the healing clay is based on the fact that it is able to bind toxins in the body and then transport them to the outside. The treatment of a boil is usually done with a paste made from healing earth and boiled tap water. This pulp can then be wrapped in a small cloth or compress and placed on the affected part of the body. The effect of this treatment method from the field of homeopathy can be increased by adding one to two drops of tea tree oil to the healing earth pulp.

In the case of a severely reddened boil, homeopathic treatment with the help of belladonna can help alleviate the symptoms. The Atropa Belladonna (in German: black deadly nightshade) is a poisonous substance, but it can have an impressive effect in treating a boil. In this context, Belladonna can be taken in both globules and drops. With proper use and strict adherence to the dosage instructions, the occurrence of serious side effects can be almost completely ruled out. Belladonna's effectiveness in treating a boil is primarily based on its anti-inflammatory properties.

In addition, the lime sulfur liver (Hepar sulfuris) as a substance from the field of homeopathy particularly suitable in the treatment of boils. As a remedy for purulent processes, the lime sulfur liver offers a particularly extensive area of ​​application. With regular use, a significant improvement in symptoms can usually be observed within a few days.

Boils that do not heal properly despite treatment attempts that have already been made, Silicea can also help to alleviate the symptoms in the long term and to promote the healing process.

Surgery for a boil

When is an operation necessary?

Surgery only makes sense if the boil is fully developed. That means only when the inner knot has developed into liquid pus. Often times, however, boils heal before they reach this stage or empty their pus on their own. The operation is an option if the boil does not heal with the use of ointment and home remedies, is very painful, or if the inflammation spreads or there are complications. Surgery is generally avoided on the face.

Read more on the subject at: Operation of a boil

Procedure of the operation

Before the start of the procedure, an anesthetic is injected locally to numb. Local anesthesia is usually sufficient. The area is then disinfected and covered with a sterile cover to prevent germs from entering the wound during the surgical procedure. During the operation, the pus cavity is opened by a cut with a scalpel so that the pus can flow out. Furthermore, if necessary, dead tissue is removed from the pus cavity. In any case, the wound must be carefully irrigated with an antibacterial agent. If an antibiotic is administered after the boil has opened, a smear of the pus must be made so that targeted therapy against the pathogen can be carried out later. The incision is not closed after the operation so that the pus can continue to drain and there is no renewed inflammation. With large boils, a drainage insert is necessary for this purpose.

Follow-up treatment after the operation

Wound treatment is very important after surgery. When treating the wound, care must be taken to ensure that the infection does not recur. Wound care includes regular rinsing of the wound with antiseptic solutions. The wound must be checked regularly as there is a risk of re-infection. If necessary, the doctor will prescribe an antibiotic for larger boils. After operations on the face, bed rest and pulpy food may also be necessary.