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What is the way to bring a boil to a head?

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Quick Answer

Bring a boil to a head by soaking the affected area in warm water or by applying warm compresses to the boil. Either of these methods help to alleviate the pain caused by the boil while also drawing the pus inside the boil to the surface of the skin, according to WebMD.

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Full Answer

With repeated soakings, a boil that has come to a head will generally burst. Once a boil develops, it can take up to 10 days for it to develop a head, according to WebMD. Compresses made from wash cloths that are soaked with warm water and then squeezed out can encourage the process.

Once the boil erupts and drainage begins, it is important to wash the boil using antibacterial soap until the site is clean and all pus is cleared away. Rubbing alcohol should then be applied, followed by a medicated ointment and bandage. The area should be washed two or more times daily, and the warm compresses should continue to be applied until the wound caused by the boil heals up.

The technique of piercing a boil with a needle to pop it should not be used. This can cause the infection inside the boil to worsen, according to WebMD. Serious infections should be evaluated by a medical professional, who may prescribe antibiotics to help treat the infection. A doctor may also choose to go ahead and drain the boil instead of waiting for it to erupt naturally.

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