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What is a boil-drawing salve?

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Quick Answer

A boil-drawing salve is an ointment that reduces inflammation. Applying the salve kills bacteria or other agents that cause infection.

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Full Answer

Generally, the staphylococcus aureus bacteria causes boils. Staph infects hair follicles or breaks in the skin, and inflammation results. Ichthammol is a black ointment containing sulfonated shale oil. It is a convenient and common over-the-counter remedy found at most drug stores.

Prescription antibiotics like Mupirocin are another remedy for boils. Milk thistle, a natural remedy, is an ancient solution for boils. The herbal remedy goes back nearly 2000 years. Users soak gauze in milk thistle, then apply it to boils.

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