What Is the Best OTC Treatment for a Boil?


Quick Answer

The best treatment for a boil does not require over-the-counter medication, according to WebMD. Since a boil is a skin infection that is often caused by staphylococcal bacteria, prescription antibiotics may be required. Most often, boils are treated at home with warm compresses and clear up on their own.

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Full Answer

Normally, a boil bursts within 10 days of being soaked in warm water, notes WebMD. When the boil is drained completely, wash the area with warm water and antibacterial soap two or three times every day. Do not pop a boil with a needle, as this can make the infection worse.

A person experiencing fever, severe pain or sees a second boil appear needs medical attention, reports WebMD. A boil that is not draining, appears red or has red streaks around it also requires medical treatment. People with heart murmurs, diabetes or immune-suppressing conditions should see a doctor when a boil develops.

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