Carbuncle Vs Furuncle
An abscess is an accumulation of pus that can occur anywhere in the body, including on the skin and inside of organs and tissues. When an abscess forms around a hair follicle, it is known as a boil. A boil is a tender inflamed area of skin containing pus that is generally caused by a staphylococcal infection of a hair follicle or a break in the skin. A cluster of boils is known as a carbuncle. Boils, also known as furuncles, are a sign of excess heat in the body. These tender pus filled areas are often dark red or purplish in color. Sometimes called an abscess or a furuncle, a boil by any other name is still a boil. Highly infectious bacteria, usually staphylococci, work their way down a hair follicle into your skin. The boil fills with pus, swells, and forms a white or yellow “head” as the fluid forces its way upward.
Symptoms of Boils
Symptoms include itching, mild pain, and localized swelling. Most often, boils arise where clothing rubs against your skin or where moist body parts are in constant contact: on the neck, under the arms, near the buttocks, or around the inner thighs. They first begin as small, firm, and tender nodules that become red and swollen. Generally, boils do not spread. Within two to four days, a pustule usually forms in the center of the infected area. Then, several days later, it tends to rupture and drain the white or yellow colored pus. The abscess is called a carbuncle when the skin is red, painful, swollen, and warm, and it forms an elevated lump. Delayed or improper treatment can lead to a spreading of the infection. People with a compromised immune system, such as those with HIV/AIDS or diabetes, are more susceptible to a serious infection. Depending on the severity and the location of the infection, antibiotics may be required. In some cases, the abscess will be cut and drained by your doctor. Consult your doctor about any skin abscess that appears on your face, contains red streaks, or is filled with fluids. See your dentist regarding any mouth abscesses. If antibiotics are required, ensure a quicker recovery by simultaneously using natural treatments.
What Causes Boils? Root Causes
An abscess can occur on anyone at any age. No one is immune to them. They are generally triggered by an impaired immune system, trauma, improper drainage of tissues, bacterial invasion, poor nutrition, and other factors. Skin abscesses tend to develop in places where tight clothing rubs against the skin, as well as around small puncture wounds or cuts. The infected area becomes tender, red, and swollen, and fever may be present. Boils are most likely to occur on the face, scalp, buttocks, legs, and underarm area and can be caused by food sensitivity, poor hygiene, infected hair follicles, and weakened immunity. Boils are usually a sign of reduced resistance to infection, perhaps because of general debility, chronic illness, exhaustion, or overwork. There could also be some deep seated septic focus, such as a dental abscess, adding to the overall toxicity. Frequent outbreaks of boils can suggest a more serious underlying cause, possibly diabetes or kidney disease.
How to Get Rid of a Boil Overnight?
There’s only one thing to do with a boil, that is get rid of it ASAP. And you can, but not by putting on the squeeze. Instead, use heat and moisture to hustle it to a head, then safe and sterile methods to induce draining and provide pain relief. Or try drying treatments to shrink the offender out of existence. Typically, a boil bursts on its own within about two weeks, and that starts the healing process. If you can bring the boil to a head and help pus escape, you can often safely accelerate this process. Here’s how to bring things to a head.
- Popping Boils: Potato plaster is good way to treat boils. It is helpful for drawing out purulent matter from boils, abscesses, infected acne, carbuncles, infected cysts and various types of tumors. To make this special plasters, peel and grate ordinary potatoes and mix half of them with an equal amount of green vegetable leaves (either cabbage, radish or spinach) which had been coarsely pureed in a food blender beforehand. To this wet mass add about 10% white flour. Everything was then thoroughly mixed in a large pan by hand. Slowly add just enough ice cold water, not warm water, to give the paste a wet, somewhat even and thick consistency without being runny or lumpy. Apply this potato plaster directly to the skin. On top of it place a clean cloth and secure it in place with a lengthy swath of linen bandage fashioned from strips of old bed sheets. It is good if the person being treated stay in a reclining position during the time that this plaster remained on, which usually averaged about 3-1/2 hours.
- Home Remedy for Carbuncle: Traditionally, poultices or drawing ointments are used to encourage the boil to discharge. Use commercially available slippery elm or chickweed ointments or a homemade hot infused oil of either herb. Alternatively, make a slippery elm poultice by mixing a teaspoon of the powdered herb with just enough hot water or hot marigold infusion to make a thick paste. Apply this to the boil. Echinacea cream is also effective. Apply the cream and cover with a Band-Aid.
- Boil on Inner Thigh: Moist heat will help bring a boil to a head. Among folk remedies, there is a grocery list of items that seem to work when heated, including warm bread, milk, cabbage, and even figs. But a simple washcloth works too. Soak a clean washcloth or towel in very hot water, as hot as you can stand without burning yourself. Wring out the cloth and apply it to the boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat this several times a day.
- The inner surface of the ripe banana skin may be applied directly to burns, rash and boils for healing relief.
- In certain parts of India and Europe the scraped pulp of fresh pumpkin or yellow and orange squash is applied to draw out the purulent matter in ripe boils.
- Triphala Wash: Wash the affected area with triphala tea. Boil 1 teaspoon triphala in 1 cup of water. Cool, and wash your face or other affected area with the tea. Let it dry on the skin. Triphala is an Ayurvedic herbal rasayana formula consisting of equal parts of three myrobalans, taken without seed: Amalaki, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki.
- Burdock as Unsurpassed Blood Purifier: Burdock root is perhaps the most widely used of all blood purifiers, among the best the herbal kingdom has to offer for this, and the most important herb for treating chronic skin problems. To make an effective tea, bring 1 quart of water to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, adding 4 tsp. cut, dried root. Cover and let simmer for 7 minutes, then remove from heat and let steep for 2 hours longer. Drink a minimum of 2 cups per day on an empty stomach. A larger quantity can be made and used to wash the skin with often.
- Poultice for Skin Eruptions: In Venezuela, Trinidad and elsewhere throughout the Americas, the dried, powdered starch of the root is used as a highly effective poultice on boils, carbuncles, abscesses and herpes lesions. A similar poultice can be made by you at home for the same purposes. Combine 1 tbsp. of raw, peeled and grated potato with 2/3 tsp. of granulated, quick-cooking tapioca (use uncooked) in just a tiny bit of water to make a nice, even, sticky paste. Spread this on several layers of gauze cut into a small square. Affix this to the skin eruption and secure in place with adhesive tape. Change every day until purulent matter is drawn out of the sore, and healing ensues.
- Hot Compress: You can also use warm thyme or chamomile tea instead of plain water when you prepare the compress. Thyme has an antiseptic compound called thymol that may help prevent infection. And chamomile tea contains a chemical, called chamazulene, that has anti inflammatory properties.
- For Diabetes: If there is a history of diabetes in the family and you get repeated boils, use this formula. Mix together neem 1 part, turmeric 1 part and kutki 1/2 part. Taking 1/2 teaspoon of this mixture 2 or 3 times a day with warm water will help take care of the root cause of the boil. Continue taking it until the boil disappears.
- Chickweed Poultice: Chickweed ranks beside herbs such as burdock root as being terrific blood cleansers. Make a poultice and apply it directly to the affected area in order to draw out as much of the puss as possible. To make the poultice, simply blend together 1 tbsp. each of the powdered ginger root, capsicum and kelp, adding just enough honey / wheat germ oil (equal parts) to form a nice, smooth paste of even consistency. Spread this on clean surgical gauze and apply to the area. Cover and leave for up to 7 hours before changing again, if necessary.
- Also beneficial is a compress of the homeopathic tinctures of calendula (marigold) and hypericum (St. John’s wort). Put one teaspoon of each tincture in a cup of hot water and saturate three layers of cotton gauze. Apply this compress several times daily to decrease pain and inflammation. A warm, moist tea bag will serve as a compress all by itself. Tea contains tannins, astringent compounds with antibacterial properties.
- For Chronic Constipation: If the boil appears to be due to chronic constipation, do a basti (enema) using dashamoola tea. Boil 1 tablespoon of the herb dashamoola in a pint of water for 5 minutes. Let the liquid cool, strain it, and use it for an enema. In addition, take 1/2 teaspoon of amalaki or the herbal compound triphala at night. Steep the triphala in a cup of hot water for 5 to 10 minutes and then drink. This purgation will help to remove excess pitta from the hematopoietic (blood-building) system, which is the cause of the boil. You may continue taking the triphala or amalaki indefinitely, even after the boil is healed, as a preventive and general health tonic.
- Poultice for Boils: Put three to four figs in a pie tin with enough milk to cover them. Cover with another inverted pie tin and place in an oven set on a very low temperature for an hour. By that time the figs should have absorbed all the milk. Cut the figs open and lay them directly on the boil. They soon draw out all purulent infection. Some country folks used powdered figs in a paste to apply to old wounds and sores so they heal much faster.
- Liver Cleansers: A boil may develop into an abscess, if the boil is due to an infection of the sebaceous glands (a pitta condition). It becomes inflamed, raised, and red. If you use a formula to help cleanse the liver, the condition will be improved. A simple and effective liver cleanser is aloe vera gel. Take 2 tablespoons 3 times a day. Or you may try this Ayurvedic formula: shanka pushpi 3 parts kutki 2 parts gulwel sattva 1/8 part Take 1/2 teaspoon of this mixture 3 times a day with warm water.
- Lancing a Boil: If you favor old folk remedies and have a green cabbage on hand, use a well-cooked cabbage leaf to pull the pus out of a boil. First, boil a cabbage leaf for a minute or so. Let it cool slightly, then wrap it with gauze. Fasten the gauze covered leaf over the boil with a bandage and leave it for an hour. Use a fresh leaf and gauze each day.
- An Effective Poultice for Boils: Throughout Jamaica and Brazil, morning glory leaves are used as effective poultices for drawing the purulent matter out of serious abscesses and boils. The quickest way for making such a poultice is to throw a handful of picked and washed leaves in a food blender with 2 tablespoons of ice water, and puree. Apply this thick pulp directly to the boil or carbuncle previously lanced with a sewing needle that has been sterilized over an open flame. Cover with some gauze and secure with adhesive tape. Change every 45 minutes or so.
- Thyme Cure: The culinary form of ground thyme has some medicinal applications for various skin problems. Mix together 1 tsp. ground thyme, 1/2 tsp. lime juice, 1/2 tsp. onion juice with just enough honey to form a soft, sticky paste. Then apply directly on open, festering sores and boils of any kind and leave for 12 hours or so. Change again or wash away when showering or bathing and apply some new paste. Will help to heal them a lot faster.
- Boils on Buttocks and Back: If the boil is in a hard to reach area, simply soak in a hot bath. While you’re in the tub, keep the water as hot as possible without burning your skin. Or soak the afflicted area in a hot Epsom salt solution with 115 g of salt to 950 ml of water. Next, mix red clay with enough apple cider vinegar to make a thick paste and apply directly to the affected area. Leave it on until it dries. This helps to dry the boil and draw toxins to the surface. Do this several times a day. After the boil breaks, apply echinacea extract or lavender oil to the area several times a day. You can also take echinacea, red clover, violet leaf, and burdock root as a tea, tincture, or capsules, as all of these herbs are considered alternative, or blood purifying.
- Remedy for abscesses: A poultice made from dried green peas, boiled until they are soft, is a wonderful remedy for boils and abscesses.
- Once the head is popped or has ruptured on its own, place a clean, warm washcloth on top. First soak the washcloth in a solution of salt water and hydrogen peroxide. Mix one teaspoon each of 3% hydrogen peroxide and salt in a cup of hot water. During the next three days, as the boil drains, replace the compress as frequently as possible. Each time you take off the washcloth, use liquid antibacterial soap and water to clean the boil and the surrounding skin area. Then apply an antibacterial ointment on and around the boil with a cotton tip applicator to guard against infection. Or try Silver Liquid 400 PPM, a natural homeopathic antimicrobial agent, instead.
- Daffodils for Boils: The purulent matter occurring in herpes sores, leg ulcers, boils, carbuncles and nasty looking wounds and abscesses can be effectively drawn out by applying a poultice of freshly grated daffodil bulbs and mashed chrysanthemum leaves, which both have been pureed together in a food blender. Turn the mixture out onto the wet side of a small clean linen cloth or white hand towel and then apply directly to the site, leaving there for about 45 mins. or so before changing again. Put several chopped daffodil bulbs in a blender to puree. Then remove and mix with a little honey to form a rather stiff and sticky paste. Apply liberally for incredible relief from excruciating pain and soreness.
- Dry it to Remove: Sometimes a boil will go away if it just dries out. To help kill the bacteria causing the boil as well as dry it out, apply an acne medication containing benzoyl peroxide twice a day. Another way to make a boil clear out is by applying tea tree oil. This natural antiseptic kills germs and helps your skin heal faster.
- Effective Carbuncle Medication: If someone is troubled with boils, carbuncles or similar festering sores that seem to refuse to heal, just have the individual mix together in a food blender about 4 fresh peach tree leaves, a couple of slices of raw, unpeeled potato that are 1/16-in. thick and about 3-in. wide and 1-1/2 cups of extremely hot, boiling water. When a nice, warm puree has formed, pour onto a clean, thick cloth and hold on the boil for awhile. In the event nothing is drawn out, it may need to be lanced first with a sewing needle, which has been sterilized over a flame for 30 seconds, before the other warm poultice can then be applied with good success.
- Treat Carbunkle with Oregano oil: Take 500 mg in the capsule form four times daily, or take the liquid form as directed on the container. It can be applied directly on the lesions as well. Oregano has powerful antibacterial properties. But do not take internally if you are pregnant.
Tips to Prevent Boils
- If you’ve had problems with boils in the past, consider switching to an antibacterial soap, such as Dial, or an alcohol – water based cleansing gel.
- To combat bacterial infections; take two 200 mg capsules of either garlic or echinacea two times a day or add plenty of garlic to your cooking.
- With heat and pressure, bacteria can get trapped in body hair. Avoid wearing tight pants, a sweatband, or any other clothing that rubs against your skin and captures perspiration. Instead, opt for loose, comfortable clothing.
- Drink a glass of clean water every two waking hours to flush toxins out of the body and maintain good general health.
- Don’t share clothing with anyone who has a problem with boils. The infectious material can spread on contact. For the same reason, you shouldn’t use anyone else’s washcloths and towels. If someone in your household has boils, their laundry should be washed separately.
- If you must use antibiotics, be sure to eat some live unsweetened yogurt every day. The yogurt will replace the “friendly” bacteria in your digestive tract, which are necessary for good health and which antibiotics destroy.
- If you’re overweight, you’re at greater risk of boils because they tend to crop up where moist skin is rubbing against itself. Shedding a few pounds can help.
- Eliminate chips and nachos, colas, sugar, and candy. These products suppress immune function.
- In areas where skin friction leads to boils, dust on some talc to reduce moisture and chafing. But take care for women’s use in the genital area as talcum powder has been linked to ovarian cancer.
- Avoid saturated and hydrogenated fats, which worsen skin inflammation. Stay away from fried foods and solid fats, such as margarine, lard, and vegetable shortening.
- Pressure on the skin can also lead to boils, which is why they so often crop up on the part of your body you sit upon. If you sit in a car a lot, consider getting a beaded seat pad, which allows air to circulate behind you.
- Coffee and other caffeinated products may aggravate skin conditions. If they cause problems for you, cut them out and drink herbal teas instead.
- Super green food supplements, such as chlorella, spirulina, or blends of green foods, support skin healing and detoxification. Take as directed on the container.
When to Seek Medical Help for a Boil?
- If red streaks appear to radiate outward from the boil site.
- If boils are on the face or neck. Boils on the face pose a special risk because they might allow bacteria to get into your sinuses (leading to sinusitis), blood (septicemia), or even brain (cerebral abscess).
- If the patient is an infant or very elderly.
- If it’s larger than half an inch in size or if you detect signs of infection.
- If the boil is on the upper lip, nose, scalp or outer ear (all are too close to the brain).
- If the boil is in the armpit or groin or on the breast of a nursing mother.
- If you frequently get boils of any size, make sure you don’t have diabetes or an immune system problem.
- If a fever over 100°F (38°C) persists.