Boil is a localized collection of pus surrounded by inflamed tissue in the skin. It starts as a small, red, painful nodule and gradually increases in size. After some time, this area becomes firmer while the center gets filled with white pus. Boils are tender to touch and can be very painful. These may appear on various body parts like head, face, breast, scalp, back, groin, underarms and buttocks. Boil can appear either single or collectively on the skin.
Boils are highly contagious and are caused by the bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus. These bacteria enter into the body through the hair follicle or via small cuts on the skin. Boils are also caused due to blocked sweat glands. Some other reasons of this skin problem are diabetes, poor nutrition, poor hygiene, poor immune system, excessive caffeine or alcohol consumption, chemotherapy and exposure to harsh chemicals.
Boils rarely require medical attention and can be relieved with natural remedies, but often resolve on their own. The best cure for boils is to treat them as soon as they start developing. In this post, let’s find out some useful natural home remedies to treat boils effectively.
Natural Home Remedies for Boils
- Babool- Applying hot poultice of powdered bark of white babool on boils either subsides them or suppurates them.
- Neem- Prepare a paste of neem leaves and apply the same over the affected area. Another way of treatment is to boil some neem leaves in water until the water evaporates to one-third and use the same to rinse the infected area.
- Cinnamon- Prepare a decoction of cinnamon by boiling down 4g of Cinnamon in 3 cups of water to one cup and decant. Administrating it twice daily, in early stages of boils, helps to subside them.
- - Stir a teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk and drink this twice a day. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, which are helpful in the treatment of boils. A paste of turmeric and fresh ginger can also be directly applied on the boils for relief.
- Drumstick- Applying a warm poultice of drumstick tree leaves in the early stages of boil, makes it subside. It also reduces inflammation accompanied with such glandular swellings.
- To treat boils, dab a clean cotton ball into tea tree oil and gently apply it directly on the boil. Be cautious not to take tea tree oil internally.
- Onion and Garlic- Applying a paste or warm juice of onion or garlic directly over the boil is an effective remedy for boils. This application hastens the process of ripening and subsequent drainage and bursting of boils. Try to add onion and garlic into your diet as much as possible.
- - Dab clean cotton ball into castor oil. Apply this directly on the boil. This treatment can be followed 2-3 times a day.
- Betel leaf- Gently warm a betal leaf till it becomes soft and coat it with a layer of castor oil. Now, place it over the inflammed part of the skin. Do not forget to replace the leaf every few hours. This application will rupture and drain out the boil.
- Grind some cumin seeds to make a paste in water. Apply it directly over the infected area.
- - Nutmeg is another effective remedy for boils as it stimulates blood circulation in the body. For this, mix half a teaspoon of nutmeg powder in a cup of hot milk. Drink this preparation to prevent bacterial infection in the boil.
- - Crush some basil leaves with ginger and apply this mixture on the affected area to heal the boils.
- Mulberry- Applying a hot poultice of tender mulberry leaves twice daily for a week subsides boils in its early stages.
Prevention is Better than cure
There are some measures that you can take to prevent boils from developing although these are not completely preventable. Good hygiene and the regular use of antibacterial soaps can help to prevent bacteria from building up on the skin. Use a clean towel and do not share it with others. Wash your hands to prevent bacteria from infecting the skin. Exfoliate your skin on the regular basis to prevent sweat ducts from blockage.
Foods high in sugar and fat should be avoided if you are prone to boils and skin abscesses. Including Vitamin A, C and E rich foods in your diet would surely help to combat boils. Zinc-rich foods are also good for the skin and aid the healing process significantly. Eating green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits is beneficial in keeping boils at bay. Alcohol, caffeine and caffeine products should be avoided as these can aggravate boils. Never squeeze a boil, otherwise, it may cause pain and spread the infection.