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    what causes boils

    0  Views: 292 Answers: 2 Posted: 12 years ago

    2 Answers

    A boil (furuncle) is a red, swollen, painful bump under the skin caused by an infected hair follicle. Bacteria from the infection forms a pocket of pus (abscess), which can become large and cause severe pain.
    Anyone can develop a boil. However, people with certain illnesses or medications that impair the body's immune system (the natural defense system against foreign materials or microbes) are more likely to develop boils. Among the illnesses that can be associated with impaired immune systems are diabetes and kidney failure. Diseases, where there is inadequate antibody production (such as hypogammaglobulinemia), that are associated with deficiencies in the normal immune system can increase the tendency to develop boils.

    Many medications can suppress the normal immune system and increase the risk of developing boils. These medications include cortisone medications (prednisone [Deltasone, Liquid Pred] and prednisolone [Pediapred Oral Liquid, Medrol]) and medications used for cancer chemotherapy.



    What is the treatment for a boil?


    Home treatment is an option for most simple boils. Ideally, treatment should begin as soon as a boil is noticed since early treatment may prevent later complications.

    The primary home remedy 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 hot soaks. On occasion, and especially with larger boils, medical treatment is required. In this situation, the boil will need to be drained or "lanced" by a health-care practitioner. Frequently, these larger boils contain several pockets of pus that must be opened and drained.

    Antibiotics are often used to eliminate any accompanying bacterial infection, especially if there is an infection of the surrounding skin. However, antibiotics are not needed in every situation. In fact, antibiotics have difficulty penetrating the outer wall of an abscess well and often will not cure an abscess without additional surgical drainage.

    Here's another article:
    Staph infection.


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