Boils: Causes & Symptoms

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Boils are one of the most common skin eruptions that can occur almost anywhere on the body. They can be painful and embarrassing. These eruptions usually occur due to an underlying reason in the body. Though curable, they should not be left untreated for long.

What are Boils?

Boils appear on the body as swollen, raised red-colored lumps that gradually stiffen and become filled with pus. They are a kind of inflammation of the skin that is usually initiated at the oil glands or hair follicles in the skin. These skin eruptions usually occur in the armpits or on the buttocks, legs, eyes, face, or neck. If they persist for a long duration or the pain is severe, one should not take any chances and should immediately consult with a dermatologist.

Causes

These are caused due to improper functioning of the immune system, poor diet, unhygienic conditions, or diabetes. Apart from this, a bacterium can also be responsible for the occurrence of boils. They may be caused due to a peculiar skin bacteria named staphylococcus.

boils

Symptoms

The common symptoms include:

  • Raised nodules appear on the skin
  • The nodules slowly fill up with pus
  • A reddened region having a yellowish tinge indicative of pus
  • Initially soft, but later becomes hard and stiff
  • Itching and irritation in and around the affected area
  • Pus comes out as the boil develops
  • Fever and pain may accompany the skin eruptions

It is best to take advice from your doctor if the boils spread or become very painful. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, boils can heal within one or three weeks. Many home remedies are available that can be followed quite easily to eliminate and treat boils efficiently.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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