Boil

A boil is a pus filled infection of the skin. It usually starts as an infection in a hair follicle and spreads in the surrounding area.

Causes

• Usually caused by Staphylococcus bacteria through direct skin contact with infected persons or surfaces.

• Bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus are the usual cause.

• More common in kids with diabetes, malnutrition, or other reason to have their immune system not working at full strength.

Signs

• Begins with swelling or redness of the skin.

• The center of the infection liquefies as pus collects.

• Boils are 1-5 cm in size, and are painful. Prevention

• Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water.

• Take a bath at least once a day.

Treatment

• Do not touch the boil with dirty or bare hands

• Never squeeze a boil, as this could well spread the infection.

• Apply warm compress to relieve pain.

• Cover the boil temporarily if it is in danger of getting dirty.

• Some boils may need to be opened and drained and may need antibiotics.

• Consult a physician if the boil does not drain itself.