How Do You Prevent Painful Boils?


Quick Answer

Prevent painful boils by staying healthy, treating skin wounds, practicing good hygiene, and washing the an infected person's bed linens, towels and clothing, according to WebMD. Addressing poor nutrition, exposure to harsh chemicals and immune system issues may lessen the chance of developing boils.

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Full Answer

Boils are skin infections caused by a bacterial infection, WebMD explains. The bacteria enters the skin through small wounds in the skin or through hair follicles. The boil starts as a hard, red lump that is painful. Within a few days, it becomes more painful as it develops a pocket of pus.

Most people don't require medical care to treat a boil, WebMD states. Applying warm compresses causes the boil to rupture. Keeping the area clean, covered and treated with antibiotics keeps the boil from becoming infected.

People in poor health who develop a boil should see a doctor, WebMD advises. Patients with heart murmurs, compromised immune systems or diabetes should seek treatment.

Otherwise healthy individuals should seek treatment if they begin running fever or develop swollen lymph nodes, WebMD says. If the skin around the boil turns red or red streaks appear, the individual should seek medical attention. If a second boil appears, the boil doesn't drain or the pain becomes severe, a trip to the doctor may be necessary.

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