Home treatments for a carbuncle include applying warm compresses, washing and covering the affected area with a sterile bandage, and taking certain over-the-counter medications, states WebMD. Avoiding squeezing the carbuncle may prevent scarring and other complications.
Nonprescription medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen reduce pain and inflammation that result from carbuncles, notes WebMD. Washing a carbuncle with clean water, and wrapping the area with a bandage helps to drain out puss and prevents spread of the infection. Placing a warm cloth over the affected area, and allowing the washcloth to rest on the area for about 20 minutes, helps to relieve the problem. Alternatively, the patient can soak the carbuncle in warm water for 20 minutes several times a day. Covering the affected with a clean, dry washcloth, and placing a bottle with hot water or a heating pad over the area may help as well.
Washing hands, bedding and clothing that have come in contact with carbuncles may prevent the infection from spreading, explains WebMD. Avoiding sharing personal items with a person who suffers from the infection may also help.
In less common cases, carbuncles can cause sepsis and other serious complications, according to WebMD. A person who experiences symptoms of sepsis, including severe fever, chills and fast pulse rate, requires immediate medical attention.