One way to deal with a boil is to visit your doctor to have it lanced and to get a course of antibiotics prescribed; the other is to use a home remedy for boils. There are a number of natural, inexpensive remedies that can be just as effective. Most involve ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
Boils are caused by a bacterial infection, caused by the staphylococcus germs. These bacteria typically infect a hair follicle or blocked oil gland. They are painful, red, ball-shaped swellings that fill up with pus, itch a lot and are extremely tender. A severe case of boils can result in fever.
A Home Remedy for Boils
Onion and garlic are two of the most effective natural remedies for boils. They are centuries-old remedies that are easy to obtain and easy to use. While they can be used individually, they are most effective when used in combination. The only drawback is the pungent scent of these two herbs.
These herbs work by drawing out toxins, increasing blood circulation, soothing skin inflammation, as well as disinfecting the wound. The garlic and onion juices help bring the boil to a head, and then encourage the boil to break.
Tea tree oil is a potent herbal antiseptic for any skin infection, and is great for use in disinfecting the boil infection. While it isn't as effective as garlic and onion in evacuating pus from the boil, it is an effective antiseptic once the boil does break and is weeping. It is also inexpensive and readily available at your local pharmacy or health store.
Garlic and Onion Compress
- 1 part onion
- 1 part garlic
- Cheese grater
- Garlic press
- Wound dressing
- Tea tree oil
- Grate your onion with the cheese grater
- Mince your garlic with the garlic press. Alternatively, crush it with the flat side of a knife blade.
- Mix the grated onion and minced garlic together. Spread the paste on the dressing, over an area large enough to cover the infected area.
- Gently apply the compress over the infected area.
- Change this compress three times a day to maintain the potency of the juices. Ideally, you should prepare a fresh batch of this remedy each time you need it. This is because the medicinal compounds are only released when the herbs are crushed and their juices released.
- Use a cotton swab and some tea tree oil to dab away pus from the weeping boil.
- Apply the tea tree oil to the infected area three times a day. Thoroughly wash your hands each time you treat the infected area, particularly if you need to prepare food, because the staphylococcus bacteria may cause food poisoning.
- Even after your boil has cleared and the infection fully recovered, continue applying the tea tree oil to ensure that it stays clean and bacteria free as possible, so as to prevent a recurrence of boils.
- As your infection heals, take showers instead of baths, so as to reduce the chance of the infection spreading to other parts of your body
- As with any herbal or other home remedy for boils, it is essential that you consult with your doctor or other healthcare practitioner. This is especially important if the person with boils is young or elderly. You should also see a doctor if the individual gets feverish, has a raised temperature or feels increasingly unwell.
- You must seek medical attention from your doctor if:
- The boil gets larger than half an inch, or if it does not respond to a home remedy
- You get fever, raised temperature, chills or any swelling in another part of your body
- If you are diabetic, you must see your doctor at the first sin of a boil.
- Never try to squeeze a large boil. Especially do not squeeze a boil that is around the armpit, face or groin.
- If you are prone to getting boils, you can help prevent infection by using antiseptic soap for your daily shower or bath.
- Never pick at cysts because they tend to become boils if they get infected. Have a doctor excise them if you want to get rid of them.