Did you know that boils have even been mentioned in the Bible? It is believed that boils were God’s way of punishing humans for their wrongdoings. Whether you believe that or not, one thing is absolutely certain when it comes to boils: they look unsightly and are socially unacceptable. So let us take a look at what causes boils along with some effective home remedies to get rid of boils without resorting to antibiotics.
Boils are actually a harmless condition that takes about a week or ten days to go away on its own. A boil occurs when a hair follicle gets inflamed due to a clogged oil gland. Sweat, dirt and staphylococcus bacteria further add to the inflammation, causing the body to react by sending white blood cells to the region. The skin then erupts forming a pus filled cyst or boil. A boil usually has a ‘head’ which is yellow or whitish yellow in color. The surrounding area of the head may be red or brownish red, extremely painful and tender to touch.
Sometimes, the body automatically ‘reabsorbs’ the boil but other times, it may swell, rise up and then burst to drain the pus and subside. Some boils are extremely painful and can leave large scars. Occasionally, boils can be dangerous. Boils in the genital area could indicate a serious underlying issue such as a sexually transmitted disease.
Sometimes, boils develop along the bikini line and in the genital area after shaving. These can quickly grow and become very painful. While ingrown hair is a cause of such boils, there can be number of other factors at play here. If the boil is very painful and growing day by day, please get it lanced by a healthcare provider. You may also have to take antibiotics for the boils. In milder cases, you can safely treat them at home.
One of the best natural remedies for a boil is a warm compress. Heat up a soft, clean flannel cloth on a heated pan and gently press down on the boil wherever it is on the body. Keep the pressure for a few minutes or until the compress cools down. Reheat the compress and repeat the process until the boil bursts. This remedy will naturally lance the boil and help it come to a head. Always wash the skin after a boil bursts and apply antiseptic cream or hydrogen peroxide to the region.
Instead of a warm compress, simply apply a warm hardboiled egg on the boil and roll gently over it. This will bring the boil to a head faster.
Doctors usually recommend antibiotics for boils. But these medicines tend to have side effects like nausea, stomach upset, etc. To get rid of boils naturally, you can use cornmeal as a poultice. Wrap up warm cornmeal paste (made using warm water) and apply to the boils. This is a proven way to bring boils to a head.
Onion juice is a great natural remedy for boils on the lips, genital area or anywhere else on the body. Heat up a saucepan and warm one halved onion on it. Apply the heated onion onto the boil. Onion juice contains sulfur which eliminates bacteria and reduces swelling naturally without the need for antibiotics. Use this remedy 2-3 times a day or until the boil subsides completely.
Like onions, garlic is a wonderful natural remedy to eliminate boils. Crush 2-3 garlic cloves and apply the juice onto the boil. Let it air dry. Apart from sulfur, garlic also contains allicin which is a natural antibiotic. This is an age old boil remedy that helps draw out the pus, bacteria and impurities that are clogging up oil glands. Repeat application 2-3 times a day.
Turmeric is a natural cure for boils and could help you get rid of them faster. This remedy works as a natural antibiotic and antiseptic and eliminates the staph bacterium that is responsible for boils. Make a paste of turmeric in pure coconut oil or distilled water. Apply to the boil. Cover with a bandage to prevent staining of clothes. The boil will subside quickly with this remedy. Also take turmeric pills to fight the infection from the inside.
Nothing draws out pus and toxins faster than activated charcoal. Make a paste of activated charcoal powder with filtered water. Apply it onto the boil and cover with gauze. Let the paste dry up. You may reapply 1-2 times a day. This remedy will help you get rid of boils fast.
Colloidal silver is antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic. Apply a colloidal silver solution to the boil several times a day to get rid of swelling and drain the boil quickly.
Nature has provided us with a natural anti-inflammatory ingredient in the form of aloe vera gel. Cut open the leaf of an aloe plant and apply onto the boils. This will soothe the inflamed skin and help dry up the boil overnight.
Make a paste of baking soda using a bit of water and apply to the boil. Let it dry naturally. Not only will this remedy draw out pus; it will reduce pain, swelling and inflammation.
Boils can be effectively treated using a crabgrass poultice. Cut a handful of crabgrass (digitaria sanguinalis) and steep it in hot water until the leaves are wilted. Drain, place the wilted grass in a porcelain bowl and add bacon drippings. Next, add half a cup of pink salt or rock salt. Place the mixture in a clean cloth and apply over the boils. Leave the poultice in place for several hours.
When the boil has come to head and there is no chance of spreading the infection, you may gently lance it with a sterile needle. Lancing of a boil is necessary when there is a risk that the boil may burst open causing inconvenience. A boil could burst open when you are at work, in school or while sleeping. In these cases, it can get messy. So lance it using a sterile needle. Heat the needle using a flame, gently nick the boils’ head and squeeze slowly to eliminate pus. Apply hydrogen peroxide or some antibacterial ointment to the lanced boil.
At the first sight of boil, apply a warm saline compress to the skin several times a day to prevent the boil from growing in size. This will also help bring the boil to head faster and heal it sooner. Even after the boil has been lanced, continue applying a warm compress to the affected area for the next couple of days to prevent recurrence.
A boil is an indication that there is something wrong with your immune system. Taking probiotic supplements can help strengthen immune function by supplying good bacteria to the body. You can take acidophilus in the form of yogurt, powder sachets or tablets. You can also eat homemade yogurt, kefir, miso or sauerkraut for getting live cultures of friendly/probiotic bacteria.
Take turmeric, Echinacea or garlic pills for a couple of months to prevent boils from recurring. All these herbs strengthen immunity and help your body fight all kinds of infections caused by microbes.
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