Q:

How do you treat an infected boil?

A:

Quick Answer

A physician prescribes antibiotics to treat an infected boil to eliminate the bacteria in the body, according to WebMD. Physicians may also opt to drain the boil and perform a culture to evaluate the type of bacteria that has caused an infection.

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Full Answer

Patients with infected boils that are drained should clean the boils two to three times a day until the wound area of the boil heals, explains WebMD. They must apply antibiotic ointment to the affected area, and they should cover the boils with bandages. Boils that look infected or that turn red after treatment require evaluation from a medical professional.

Home treatments for boils include soaking the boil in warm water or applying warm compresses to the affected area to draw out the pus and decrease pain, according to WebMD. Boils soaked in warm water often burst within 10 days, and patients should continue applying warm compresses to remove excess moisture. They should wash the site of each boil with antibacterial soap and clean it with rubbing alcohol until the pus is eliminated from the boil. Patients should avoid popping the boil with a needle to prevent spreading the infection.

Prior to treatment, physicians may perform blood tests to determine the severity of the infection within the boil, according to WebMD.

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