A boil also known as furuncle is an infection of the hair follicle by staphylococci bacteria which is present on the skin, the boil is a deep folliculitis. It is also defined as the swollen and red painful lump under the skin.
Boil often occurs where there is rubbing the hair. The most common sites where boils occur are face, neck, armpits, breast, groin, and buttocks. Boils become large in size and become more painful also leading to fever.
The infection in the hair follicle is caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus results in the painful swollen area on the skin with an accumulation of pus and dead tissue.
When individual boils are clustered together they form carbuncle and are interconnected with each other under the skin.
Boils are seen at any age. It can affect individuals of all ages. Males and females are equally affected by folliculitis or boil. Eosinophilic type of folliculitis affects more frequently males and pityrosporum folliculitis affects more commonly females.
Boils can occur or affect individuals of any race. Cases of pseudofolliculitis and traction folliculitis are more seen in African Americans.
There are various causes of boils and are as following:-
• Excessive perspiration
• Occlusion of the hair follicular gland.
• Follicular trauma.
• Friction to the root of the hair.
• Any prior skin injury.
• Patients with reduced immune status are more prone to develop boils.
• The most common bacteria involved in the formation of the boil and causing infection is Staphylococcus aureus.
Risk factors involved in the formation of boils are as follows:-
• Diabetic persons are more prone to develop these skin infections from bacteria as in this disease it becomes more difficult for the body to fight against infections.
• Individuals are more prone to develop infection for boil if they are in close contact with the person who has a staph infection.
• Other skin conditions such as acne and eczema damage the skin’s protective barrier and lead to the formation of boils and make skin more prone to get infections.
• Individuals whose immunity is low are more prone to develop boils and carbuncles.
Boils mainly appear on face, neck, armpits, buttocks or thighs. Signs and symptoms shown by the boils are as follows
• Boil appears as a red painful bump about the size of a pea.
• There is swelling and redness around the bump.
• When this infection is not treated at an early stage there occurs an increase in the size of the bump and then this bump is filled with the pus and sometimes it can reach to the size of a golf ball.
• There is the development of yellow and white tip on the bump and this tip has an opening that ruptures and allows the pus to drain out.
• Sometimes when infection is severe there occur fever along with the pain and swelling in the boil.
• The patient feels chills.
• There is weakness and lethargy felt to the patient.
• Generally patient feels unwell.
As soon as the boil is ruptured the pain vanishes or decreased depending on the severity of the boil.
Boils are usually tested on the basis of signs and symptoms.
In severe cases following tests are done
• Blood culture.
• Complete blood count.
• ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate).
• Platelet count
• Boils can lead to scarring.
• Infection increases and reaches deeper parts of the skin.
• Abscess of the skin, brain, spinal cord, and other organs.
• The infection spread to bloodstream causing bacteremia.
• Toxic shock syndrome.
• Fire ant bites.
• Insect bite.
• Acne vulgaris.
• Acneiform eruptions.
• Dermatologic manifestations of renal disease.
• Candidiasis of skin.
• Perioral dermatitis.
• Popular urticaria.
• Subcorneal pustular dermatosis.
• Contact dermatitis.
• Antibiotic is used to decrease the infection.
• Incision and drainage are done if boil size is increased and causing a lot of pain.
• Good personal hygiene.
• Avoid contact with a person who is affected by a staphylococcus infection.
• Drink lot of water.
• Skin is dry, hot swollen and sensitive.
• Well indicated medicine for boils.
• There is redness around the boils.
• There are eruptions like scarlatina which spread suddenly.
• There are erythema pustules on the face.
• Wounds are suppurative.
• Alternate redness and paleness of the skin.
• There are indurations after inflammation.
• There are many little matterless pimples under the hair.
• Well indicated medicine for dry eczema in children.
• There are purulent exudations in or upon the skin.
• Medicine is helpful to treat boils.
• Medicine is indicated for cuts, wounds, bruises etc, unhealthy, discharging pus they do not heal readily.
Hepar sulphuris calcareum
• Papules are prone to suppurate and extend.
• Skin is unhealthy, every little injury suppurates.
• Well indicated medicine for boils and carbuncles.
• Acne in the youth which suppurates with prickly pain.
• Striking and pricking in the afflicted parts.
• There is great sensitiveness to slightest touch on boils.
• Well indicated medicine for vesicular and pustular eruptions.
• There are pimples around the main eruption.
• There is itching on eruptions which are worse from the warmth of bed.
• Indicated medicine for boils and ulcers.
• Ulcers with irregular shape and undefined edges.
• Skin is constantly moist.
• Well indicated medicine for felons, abscess, boils and old fistulous ulcers.
• Every little injury suppurates.
• Pus from eruptions is offensive.
• Scars suddenly become painful.
• Eruptions itch only in the daytime and in the evening.
• This medicine helps to promote expulsion of foreign bodies from the tissue.
• There are rose colored blotches.
• Well indicated medicine for boils, carbuncles, ulcers with bluish, purple surroundings.
• There are dark blisters.
• Bedsore with black edges.
• There are black- blue swellings.
• Purpura with intense prostration.
• There is hot perspiration.
• The good remedy for the treatment of cellulitis.
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