Everyone develops boils at some point of time in their life. Usually, these are not very serious and heal within a week’s time. Small or sparse boils can be managed at home through simple home remedies. Boils usually become soft and form a head filled with pus which can be drained easily. Either they burst, or drain out on their own. But some people try to squeeze or prick boils, which should be strictly avoided as it can result in an infection. Homeopathic medicine for boils can help to control the inflammation and relieve pain, redness, and tenderness in the affected area.
Boils (also known as furuncles) are a form of skin infection that usually starts in the hair follicles. First, redness of the skin occurs, leading to the development of a tender lump or nodule. Within a week’s time, it turns white as the pus cells collect under the skin. The pain keeps on growing until the boil ruptures and drains. The swollen area on the surface is caused by an accumulation of the pus and dead tissue.
Boils are usually not contagious, but the underlying infectious agent (Staphylococcal Aureus) present in the fluid inside the boil can spread infection (if the boil occurs as a result of a Staphylococcus infection) when there is a direct contact of the secretions from an open boil.
Having recurrent or chronic tendencies of developing boils/furuncles is known as furunculosis. It can be highly a discomforting and troublesome to the sufferer. This should never be ignored, as it can compromise the immunity and lead to severe complications in the future.
Causes of Boils
In most cases, the exact cause of the boil cannot be determined. However, a break in the skin barrier usually increases the chances of developing an abscess from the boil. Some common causes of boils include:
Bacteria – Staphylococcus Aureus
It is the most common agent that is involved in the development of boils. It is a bacterium which is most commonly found on our skin and inside the nose. It can enter the skin from cuts or wounds and travel down to infect and inflame one or more hair follicles, resulting in the development of boils.
The presence of any foreign particle under the skin (that has made its way from cuts, wounds or the insect bites) can lead to an infection, which causes inflammation under the skin and lead to the development of a boil.
An infection in the sweat glands can clog the glands and cause the development of a boil.
Sometimes, boils can be caused by an ingrown hair under the skin. This can cause localized inflammation. Ingrown hairs grow out of the skin, but then curl back and re-enter the skin. The hair follicle can also be clogged with dead skin cells, which forces the hair to grow inwards.
Boils can appear almost anywhere on the body. They most commonly occur in the areas where there is a production of sweat, or where there is friction. Such sites usually involve the:
· Neck and Shoulders
· Armpits (Axilla)
· Chest and Back
· Arms and Legs
· Buttocks and Thighs
· On gums (Where they are called Gumboil)
Homeopathic Treatment for Boils
Some people have a tendency to form boils, and if the condition is not treated correctly, it can become a chronic, recurrent problem. A well-indicated homeopathic remedy can help minimize the progression of infection and address the chronic tendency to develop boils. Homeopathic medicine for boils can be used at each stage of development of a boil. For example, homeopathic remedy Belladonna can help combat the pain and inflammation, while Silicea can reduce the pus. There are specific medications available to treat boils on different parts of the body. Medicines like Sulphur and Syphillinum can help reduce the tendency of an individual to develop recurrent boils. Homeopathy works gradually to boost the immune system and is a natural treatment option for boils.
Top Homeopathic Medicines for Boils
Silicea – Top Grade Homeopathic Medicine for Boils
Silicea for boils is a top grade homeopathic medicine that is prepared from the trituration of pure, precipitated silica. It is a homeopathic medicine which promotes suppuration and thus hastens recovery. Boils usually start at the injured places, and Silicea can heal hard, nodular boils that tend to suppurate (form pus). It also helps remove any foreign bodies that enter the surface of the skin, and also works well in cases where crops of boils that do not heal quickly (and sting when touched).
Myristica Sebifera – Homeopathic Medicine for Boils with Pus Formation
Homeopathic medicine Myristica Sebifera is derived from the trituration of red, acrid gum obtained by incising the bark of the Brazilian Ucuba plant. Myristica has strong antiseptic properties and works well to treat abscesses and carbuncles. It is used extensively to avoid surgery for boils, and it hastens the suppuration process.
Hepar-Sulph – Homeopathic Medicine for Boils that are Painful and Tender
Hepar sulph is a homeopathic medicine used to treat conditions where the skin is unhealthy and tends to form pus on the slightest injury. It is recommended in cases where there is the formation of localized inflammatory boils in the lymph nodes and cellular tissues. These may be highly painful and sensitive to touch. Large boils with multiple openings with discharge that smells like cheese may be present. When given in the early stages of pus formation, this medicine can stop the formation of the pus.
Other Important Homeopathic Medicines for Boils
Sulphur – Homeopathic Medicine for Recurrent Boils
Sulphur is a homeopathic medicine derived from the saturated solution of sulphur in absolute alcohol (which constitutes the tincture). The potency for prescribing this remedy depends upon the presenting symptom. Sulphur for boils is recommended in cases where there is a slow maturation of the boils. Boils usually come in crops and occur on various parts of the body, developing in quick succession. Boils that develop recurrently and periodically (chronic tendency) are treated well with sulphur.
Calcarea Sulph – Homeopathic Medicine for Boils with Thick Yellow Discharge
Calcarea Sulph is a homeopathic remedy that is used to treat suppurative (pus-filled) boils. The boils have a characteristic thick, lumpy and yellow discharge. Crops of boils tend to appear recurrently. One boil is preceded by the occurrence of another, even when the older one hasn’t healed.
Psorinum: Homeopathic Medicine for Boils on the Head
Psorinum is a homeopathic medicine used to treat boils that develop on the head. The patient has an abnormal tendency to develop skin diseases. The boils develop due to the secretion of excessive sebum. The eruptions bleed easily and continuously and tend to suppurate. The scalp looks dirty, and boils have a fetid, offensive odor.
Belladonna – Homeopathic Medicine for Boils in the First Stage of Development
Belladonna is an excellent homeopathic medicine that is prescribed during the first stage of the inflammation of boils when there is no pus formation. Red and hot swelling of the affected part, sensitivity to touch, and sudden spreading of the boils are the main symptoms. The color of the skin may turn blue in the later stage.
Lachesis – Homeopathic Medicine for Boils with Bluish-Purple Surroundings
Lachesis act well where carbuncles (collection of pus-filled boils) with bluish purple surroundings are present. A succession of carbuncles and painless boils is usually present. Carbuncles do not tend to run a full course, and every eruption further gets deteriorated. Excessive burning of the skin, malignant furuncles which are painful, turn blue and spread easily, and the occurrence of large boils with intense pain are some other symptoms that indicate the need for this medicine.
Arsenic Album – Homeopathic Medicine for Boils with Excessive Burning
Arsenic album is a specific remedy for boils with burning pain. The boils tend to occur in different parts of the body. There is low-grade fever with the occurrence of boils. A thin, acrid discharge from the boils may be present, and there can be multiple boils occur with marked periodicity.
Apart from these, there are many other homeopathic medicines available to treat boils. These include:
Picric Acid: Picric Acid is a homeopathic medicine for boils that develop in the external ear.
Berberis Vulgaris: Boils near the anus with fistula can be treated well by Berberis Vulgaris, which also prevents their reoccurrence.
Arnica: Arnica works well for small boils that occur recurrently, one after the other with extreme pain and soreness.
Carbolic Acid: Carbolic Acid is a homeopathic medicine that is used to treat carbuncles in the lumbar region (especially in diabetics).
Carbo Anamalis: Carbo Anamalis is a homeopathic medicine for boils that form on the axilla (armpit region).
Secale Cornotum: This remedy works well for small, painful boils with green contents that mature slowly and heal gradually, causing weakness.
Phosphorus: Small, blood boils that occur on the nape of the neck, chest, and thighs are treated well with Phosphorus.
Nitric Acid: Nitric Acid is used to treat large boils on the nape of neck, scapula, thighs, and legs with many openings.
Kali-Iodatum: Small boils that occur on the neck, scalp, back, and chest, with pus are treated well with Kali Iodatum. They often leave behind scars.
Boils: Signs and Symptoms
Stages of Boils
First Stage: The infection begins, leading to the inflammation of the affected. It usually occurs suddenly.
Second Stage: A bumpy, red, hard growth appear on the skin.
Third Stage: Localised formation of the pus under the skin around the hair follicle.
Fourth Stage: The development of boil progresses to a yellow or white centered elevated lump filled with pus. This is visible when the boil is ready to drain and discharge the pus.
Size of the Boils
The size of a boil can range from being pea-sized to the size of a golf-ball.
Pain in the Boils
The pain (if any) in a boil can range from mild to moderate but can become severe in case of complications. The frequency and intensity of the pain can vary from patient to patient. The pain can be sharp, stitching, throbbing or burning in character.
Warm Sensation in the Boils
The area affected can be warm to the touch. In fact, the sensation of warmth can be felt by anyone examining the affected part.
Mild Fever due to Boils
In some cases, the person may have a mild fever that develops with the appearance of boils.
Boils can be extremely painful to the touch, but the intensity and character of pain are different in each case.
Number of Boils
Boils can be singular or appear in the form of clusters. The connected area of infection under the skin usually results in the formation of a group of boils known as a carbuncle. Carbuncles generally cause severe infections and adverse effects, leaving scars behind. Areas like the neck, shoulder, and thighs are more commonly affected.
Boils: Contributing Factors
Systemic factors affect the resistance of an individual and can make him more prone to develop boils. These may include:
· Diabetes mellitus
· Kidney failure
· Hematological disorders
· Bacterial carriage in the nostrils
· Autoimmune disorders
· Poor hygiene
· Chemicals that irritate the skin
· Cuts or wounds that don’t heal readily or are not kept clean and covered.
· Hypogammaglobulinemia: Diseases in which there is an inadequate production of antibodies. This can also increase the risk of development of boils.
· Any other skin condition that causes excessive itching resulting in damaging of the skin’s protective barrier like acne, eczema etc. These can predispose an individual to get boils and carbuncles.
· Medications: Any medicines that are used for other illnesses that weaken the immune system including cortisone medications or immune-suppressants can cause an increase in the susceptibility of an individual to acquire infections (that can lead to the development of the boils).
· Close contact with someone having staphylococcus infection.
· Family history: A person who is having recurrent boils will usually be having a family history involved of any other diseases that can make the immune system weaker.
Types of Boils
There are different types of boils. These are named with reference to the place of their occurrence. Some of them are:
It is an uncommon condition and usually severe in nature. Overproduction of sebum or overgrowth of the skin cells can cause clogging in the pores. As a result, red, bumpy, hard and extremely painful boils filled with pus can erupt in the affected areas, most commonly on the face, back or chest. Teenagers are typically affected by this condition. They are more severe than the regular acne and generally give an idea about the underlying infection. Hormones play an important role in their development.
This is a rare condition and usually lasts for a long time. In this condition, there are multiple abscesses formed deep into the hair follicles which have many oil and sweat glands. They also tend to develop in areas where the skin rubs together, like the axilla/armpits, buttocks, under the breasts, and in the groin area. Small boils form first, leading to the development of formation of enlarged bumps that burst and release the pus. Treatment should be taken for these non-healing, painful and recurrent abscesses since they often leave scars.
It is a condition in which a boil appears on the base of the skin, It is formed upon the crease of the nates/buttocks, and an infection can lead to the formation of an abscess in the area. Inflammation occurs at first due to direct pressure, irritating the area. After some time, the inflamed area gets enlarged, hard and very painful, leading to the formation of a lump or nodule. This causes extreme difficulty in standing, sitting or lying.
Diagnosis can be made upon physical examination. Immediate medical help is required if someone gets boils that are very painful, occur frequently and worsen quickly.
In the individuals who are generally healthy otherwise, the boils mostly resolve on their own, within a week without scarring and may require no treatment. Boils can be treated well within time with homeopathic remedies. Complications in the cases of boils are rare and usually occur in patients having low immunity or those who are taking medications (for some other diseases) to suppress the immune activity.
Complications from Boils
Complications from boils are rare, but tend to develop over time in case boils are not appropriately treated. Some of these include:
· Spread of the infection to the family members, as the fluid inside the boils having staphylococcal bacteria can be contagious.
· Recurrence of the boils: Associated skin disease favors recurrence.
· Boils can leave scars.
· Abscess: Boils when not treated well, can progress to form an abscess.
· Fever: High-grade fever, swollen lymph nodes can be a severe complication.
· Succession of Boils: Appearance of another boil even when the first one hasn’t healed.
· Sepsis: Although the condition is rare, the bacteria from a boil can enter the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body, causing sepsis.
Some methods to help avoid boils through infections include:
· Washing hands: Maintaining hygiene and washing hands properly with an alcohol-based rub or mild soap can help prevent infections.
· Keeping the wounds or cuts on the skin clean and covered to avoid skin infections.
· Not using any clothes, towels, sheets that belong to the infected person, especially in cases of staphylococcal infection. In case a family member is suffering from this condition, the articles used by them must be washed and dried carefully.
· Maintaining good personal hygiene.
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