What Is the Treatment for Boils?


Quick Answer

Home remedies, such as warm compresses and cleaning with antibacterial soap, commonly work to treat boils, according to WebMD. Medical treatment is generally unnecessary unless a serious infection occurs. In that case, the doctor sometimes prescribes an antibiotic medicine to eliminate it.

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Full Answer

Soaking the boil in warm water and using warm compresses to apply gentle pressure not only reduces discomfort but also pulls pus to the surface. Repeated treatments cause the boil to burst, frequently within 10 days of its first appearance. Soaking a clean wash cloth in warm water and wringing out excess water is the easiest way to make a warm compress, as stated by WebMD.

After the boil begins to drain, it's time to clean the area with antibacterial soap until the pus has all been eliminated. The next step is to clean the entire area with rubbing alcohol, apply a topical antibiotic lotion or cream, and cover with a bandage. Washing, bandaging and the use of compresses should continue until the source wound heals completely. It is important to avoid the temptation to use a needle to pop the boil. While this accelerates draining, it also has the potential to worsen the infection. If an infection severe enough merits a prescription antibiotic and the boil drains, the doctor may order a culture to make sure he prescribed the right antibiotic for the underlying bacteria, notes WebMD.

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