Often quite painful, a boil is an infection due to a bacteria that develops in the cavity that a single hair grows from.
Usually appearing on the face, thighs, armpits, shoulders, scalp, beard, back, tip of the eyelashes, neck or buttocks, this skin infection wrecks havoc because of the “premature death” of cells.
First it swells to become a large red pimple, quite hard to the touch and extremely painful. The boil then quickly turns into a pustule, which means that it presents a white head filled with pus. It can appear on any part of the body. Sometimes several boils appear clustered together. When this happens, it’s called a carbuncle.
This bacterial infection is very common, and impacts more and more teenagers and men.
In France, cutaneous infections triggered by Staphylococcus aureus or Golden staph lead to 7 out of 10 dermatologist consults.
How can this painful ailment be cured? Is it possible to rely on plants for their helpful activity? How effective are they? Here is what you need to know…
Boils, a quick overview
Definition of the boil
A boil is an acute skin infection triggered by a staph or staphylococcus, just inside the tiny cavity where a single hair starts growing. It swells into a localized inflammation.
Though usually not life-endangering, boils are quite disturbing and can appear at all ages.
Symptoms of a boil
The boil generally starts off as a small painful and hot pimple. Within a few days, this lesion hardens and starts producing pus.
This “ripening” process will then lead to scarring which may leave permanent marks.
What causes boils
Shaped like a flat cylinder, a boil usually turns into a blister that is filled with a yellowish fluid.
In some cases, this bacterial affliction can have the following causes: an allergic reaction, poisoning, anxiety or simply exhaustion when the patient’s immune system is overloaded.
Certain persons are more vulnerable to boils than others, because of underlying health issues. This is the case for diabetic persons, obese persons, and persons following immunosuppressant and corticosteroid treatments.
Indeed, these persons tend to have altered skin defense and are less effective at fighting off this risk.
Additionally, improper hygiene can trigger boils, too. To understand this, you must be aware that simply manipulating a wound or any other type of skin lesion with dirty hands can result in superinfection, which may initiate boils.
Remember that most boils are due to Staphylococcus aureus.
About 30% of all adults present this bacteria as part of their skin flora, without suffering any infection. Since it rests in natural pockets in the body like the nostrils, the bacteria is a permanent threat, especially in hospitals.
Medicinal herbs and vegetables to treat boils
Without using any chemicals, it’s possible to cure a boil with:
– garlic – an effective antiseptic, garlic helps get rid of toxic elements of the body. For that, add it to your meals when cooking, if it pairs well of course.
– tea that includes purple coneflower root, burdock and goldenseal. Mixing the roots of these herbal plants helps clean the body and remove any impurities. For better effectiveness, drink 3 cups a day.
– Tea tree oil (Maleleuca) – Extracted from the leaves of an Australian tea tree, this oil is a potent antibacterial and germicide. It can be applied on skin.
However, using it on a boil near the eyes is not recommended. It may cause redness.
Good to know about furunculosis
Apart from these tips and tricks on how to soothe boils, it’s also recommended for this ailment to drink a lot of water and also avoid any risk of constipation.
Indeed, there is a link between constipation and skin disorders: whenever something unhealthy must be evacuated from the body, if the main evacuation process is blocked, the body will find other ways to expel the toxins. Sometimes, triggering boils is another way of doing this.
For that, ensure you’re properly hydrated: at least eight tall glasses of water a day is recommended.
To ensure you’re on a healthy and nourishing balanced diet, ingest a lot of fiber (raw ingredients).
Lastly, try to eat raw fruits and leaf vegetables every day.
Drink as much fruit juice as you wish.
Avoid white bread and sugar.
This type of controlled diet helps the immune system to prevent and fight off boils.
Note also that a poorly treated boil can lead to a severe infection: the bacteria can spread to the blood flow and trigger septicemia.
It thus makes sense to set up a meeting with your doctor to have his qualified opinion.