Boils: Causes, Symptoms, Home Remedies for Boils


Boils are localized infections that present with redness, pain, and swelling. It usually begins in a hair follicle or oil gland and quickly develops into a tender lump. Learn more about the causes and effective home remedies to get rid of pain, irritation and swelling fast. 

Most people have encounter boils during their lifetime; they develop in various regions of the body which includes the armpits, buttocks, throat, shoulders, groins, and face. They tend to be painful, irritating and bring a lot discomfort but the good thing is that there are home remedies, that can help you deal with the situation natural.  

What’s a Boil?

A boil is skin infection brought on by bacteria “Staphylococcus aureus” that forms in oil glands and hair follicles, in other words, it’s a localized skin infection. The boil begins with a little pain, redness and the skin may be slightly raised. As time goes on the boil area becomes firm, increasingly tender and hard, later on, the boil softens while the inside becomes filled with white blood cells that are trying to fight off infection. This collection of bacteria, proteins, and white blood cells is known as pus; this occurs after four to seven days where the lump turns white as a result of the pus collects into a head of the boil.

Most boils burst and can be drained within three days to 3 weeks of formation the ripping will happen naturally, and the boil can still be surgically opened and drained. There are ways to that help speed up ripping the process.

There are two primary crucial conditions when you should seek medical attention huge boils and collection of boils (carbuncles) because they can lead to the severe health condition including sepsis, maybe as a result of a lousy cause or even death.

The Causes of Boils

The primary cause of is Staphylococcus bacteria, which is a bacteria responsible for various common infections. Sometimes staph infection can be relatively limited “boil or furuncle,” but sometimes it can develop into abscesses and become a severe condition.

The gem is present on the skin and enters the body through cuts, tiny nicks or travel to the follicle down the hair. The boils can also be caused by sweat glands being blocked. Here are the other causes of boils:

  • Poor Hygiene
  • Foreign objects on the skin may prick it and introduce the bacteria in your skin
  • Tight clothing
  • Exposure to harsh Chemical Detergents on clothes, lotion we apply plus other chemicals that come into contact with the surface and cause cracks and open ways that allow bacteria to enter the inner skin.
  • Diabetes
  • Weak immune system or Problems with the immune system
  • Poor nutrition or essential nutrients in the body – lack of vegetables that contain Vitamin A, B, and C, excessive intake of alcohol or consumption of too much caffeine.
  • Dehydration

Symptoms of Boils

Although there are other ways to see the signs of boils, the easiest way of spotting a boil is its site which is usually a Swollen, red lump with swelling of the area that is surrounding the boil. Here are the symptoms:

  • Severe pain, Red streaks, swelling and warm skin around the boil area.
  • Lymph nodes may become swollen
  • Boil may be itchy
  • There may be additional boils pop-ups that may spread around the original area creating a carbuncle
  • A fever may develop; this is mostly in children
  • A pus form on top of the boils which can be final proof that’s it’s a boil.
  • The area may develop a crust or ooze clear fluid

Difference between a boil and carbuncle

Dealing With Boils At Home

To deal with boils means getting rid of one of the causes “Staphylococcus bacteria “which implies that remedies with antibacterial properties will be beneficial. Other helpful features in aids include anti-inflammatory and pain relievers to help reduce redness, distress, and swelling as well as properties that help speed up the natural drainage speed; the best way is to start treating as soon as the boil start developing.

Here are home remedies for boils;

A warm compress

Warm compress also known as hot compress is the most popular process and most readily available method for home treatment of boil; regular application of this process of therapy leads to the boil to open up and drain thoroughly. Warm compress also dilates blood vessel s thus increasing blood flow which enhances nutrients supply needed for healing and helps to relieve pain.


  • Face Towel / Washcloth
  • Hot water
  • A basin
  • Salt


The procedure is in two parts before the boil opens and after the boil opens.

Treating a boil before it opened:

  • Pour the water into a bowl and then sprinkle a few pinches of salt in the water
  • Soak the piece of washcloth in the hot water
  • Squeeze water out the excess water off the washcloth into a compress
  • Take the warm compress to the boil for about 15- 20 minutes
  • Keep repeating this process for 3 to 5 to times or till the boil ripens and opens.

Treating a boil after it opened:

The primary objective of warm compressing an open boil is to prevent the infection and help heal the boil. All this will help with the healing and avoid spreading the condition.

  • The drained boil should be gently washed with antibacterial soap
  • Then dry gently with a clean washcloth by putting.
  • Then dress it in sterile gauze or with a bandage.
  • Make sure you change the dress it thoroughly and wash your hands with the antibacterial soap; there is also an antibacterial cream that can be used before dressing.
  • Change the gauze or bandage once or twice daily.
  • Don’t Scratch the area, touch it or rub it unnecessarily as while it heals.
  • Continue doing this until boil wholly healed.


One of the famous natural skin care remedies for its ability to fight bacteria, it also has anti-inflammatory that helps with the swelling. Turmeric contains curcumin which creates the antibacterial properties of turmeric these and its anti-inflammatory properties give turmeric boosting capabilities for healing boils before and after they open.

Drink or apply turmeric to get rid of boils
Drink or apply turmeric to get rid of boils

For Applying


  • Turmeric
  • Drops of Water


  • Mix a small amount of water with a small amount of turmeric powder to create a thick paste
  • Then apply the adhesive paste on and around the boil
  • Rinse it off with water after 20- 30 minutes
  • You will start seeing the results in two to three days

For Drinking


  • Turmeric
  • Honey
  • Water


  • Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to warm water in a drinking glass
  • Add a few drops of honey to sweeten the deal
  • Drink the concoction daily to the boil

You can also use turmeric powder as an additive in your meals


Onions for BoilsOnions for Boils

Onion has antiseptic nature that helps cure boils

  • Place thick slices of onion on the boil then use a piece a cloth to wrap the onions in place
  • Let it stay for 1-3 hours.
  • Repeat this for 3-4 times a day until the boil clears.
  • You can also apply juices of onion on and around the boil

The sad thing is that onions smell so rinsing the affected area with water to get rid of the smell.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has properties that help fight of microorganisms thus preventing further infection and improve healing capabilities; best used overnight. Tea tree should be mixed with other oils thus giving it an extra boost in healing capabilities.


  • Almond oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Small Cotton ball or buds


  • Mix 2-3 drops of almond oil and 2-3 drops tea tree oil
  • Use the cotton buds/ball to soak the mixture
  • Then apply on and around the boil and let it sink overnight

Tea tree oil can sometimes be harsh to the sensitive skin, so mixing it with oil is essential and also using it frequently daily so just repeat this process per day till you see changes.

Black Seed

Black seed helps give you some relief from pain from the boil; it also carries some properties that help with skin infections which includes boils too. The commonly known features of black seed include anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial. However, some researchers have found out that Black seed has a component containing antifungal properties called Thymoquinone

  • Take the Black seeds and grind them into a beautiful soil like texture
  • Add little water to make a paste
  • Then apply on and around the boil and leave it for around 10- 20 minutes
  • You can do this twice a day as you will soon see positive effects


Garlic is another excellent home remedy that helps the process of ripening plus later on drainage and busting of the boil; this is thanks to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

  • Make a paste using garlic cloves
  • Apply it on and around the boil then leave it for 15 minutes
  • This process should be repeated for two to three times a day

Some people also eat some garlic cloves, but this depends if you have the stomach for it.

Cumin seeds

Cumin seeds help heal the boil and prevent further spread of infection.

  • Same as black seeds just grind the Cumin seeds
  • Add water to make a paste
  • Apply on and around and wait for 20 minutes before removing
  • Do this twice a day and results will start appearing from 3-5 days.

Parsley leaves

Helps ripen the boil, burst it and still prevents infection from spread to other parts of the skin.


  • Parsley leaves
  • Water
  • A clean piece of cloth
  • Place and utensils you can boil the Parsley leaves in


  • Boil the parsley leaves on water
  • Allow them to cool down
  • Then once they are warm, take the leaves and wrap them in a piece of cloth round use it as a poultice on and around the boil

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has acetic acid that helps kill the bacteria causing the boil, it soothes the boil, reduces pain and it also helps balance the pH levels thus preventing the bacteria from thriving. The best time to use is overnight

Use apple cider vinegar to cure boils
Use apple cider vinegar to cure boils


  • Apple cider vinegar
  • A Cotton ball or buds
  • Bandage


  • Use the cotton buds to soak in the vinegar
  • Rub the cotton buds gently on and around the boil
  • Then cover it with a bandage
  • Repeat this once a day until the boil ripens


Cornmeal will help relieve you from the discomfort of boils and can also be used as a natural absorbent in helping to treat boils.


  • Cornmeal
  • Half Cup of boiled water
  • Piece of clean cloth


  • Add cornmeal to the half cup of boiled water to make it a paste
  • Apply the paste around and on the boil
  • Then cover with the piece of cloth
  • Repeat this once daily until the boil softens and the infection drains

Neem leaves

Best for boils on buttocks or inner thighs because it has natural antiseptic and antibacterial qualities

  • Take a handful of Neem leaves wash to clean and crush them to make a paste
  • Apply it on the boil and let it be for at least 30 minutes before washing off
  • Repeat this once or twice a day

The boil should be kept clean, dry, and protected. As a result, the boil will heal in a few days or weeks depending on its location or size.

How to Pop a Boil

Sometimes if the boil isn’t that big or there are limited risks, popping your boil is possible. Most people would like to wait for the boil to burst by itself but you can do this by yourself if the boil has ripened thus avoiding chances of getting a secondary infection.

A ripe boil has a softened lump head with yellow pus that can be seen through the skin.


  • A Bandage
  • A safety pin
  • Clean piece of cloth
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Antiseptic Soap
  • Candle
  • Antibiotics soap
  • Antibiotic cream

What to do;

  • You need washed hands. So scrubbed them with the antiseptic soap then dry them with the fresh piece of cloth
  • Place a warm part of fabric gently on the boil then leave it for about 10 minutes
  • Use the candle to heat up the safety pins pointy side “this is to cleanse it.” Then let the safety pin cool down. Some people like to use thorns because they are easier to get and can’t cause tetanus, but it isn’t advisable because some thorns can be poisonous “unless you know ones that are not” and the safety pin will be heated so it will be purified.
  • Gently prick the head of the boil with the pointy cleansed side of the safety pin
  • Use your finger to squeeze the boil from the sides. If it’s in a position you can’t do so you may need assistance from a trusted friend, and he or she must have clean hands.
  • Although it’s a painful process, you need to harder and harder so that you can eliminate all the pus. You will know all the discharge is out when you see only blood coming out from the boil, but it’s good to feel the sides of the boil too.
  • After removing pus from the boil. Clean it using hydrogen peroxide to avoid secondary infections and kill any germs in the area.
  • Apply the antibiotic cream on the open boil; it will help heal and protect the boil from further infection
  • After all of this cover the field with a bandage. The bandage should be changed once or twice a day while checking if the affected area is healing properly.

If it’s a big boil or if the boil has a hard head that is difficult to pop you need to seek medical attention from a doctor.

Possible Complications of Boils

On infrequent occasions, boils may bring about difficulties in the human body.

  • Permanent scarring after healing
  • Spread of Staphylococcus to other parts of the skin
  • Sepsis infection of the tissues or blood
  • Boils forming in a cluster form
  • Swelling and disease of the heart valve tissues
  • Abscess of the spinal cord, skin, kidneys, brain or other organs

When to Seek Medical Care for Boil

  • If the boil last more than three weeks
  • The pain becomes severe
  • If the original boil comes back
  • High levels of Fever
  • Other boils start appearing
  • If you have swollen lymph nodes
  • The boil doesn’t drain
  • Repeated outbreak of oil
  • If the boil doesn’t ripen
  • If the boil is too big

Prevention Measures for Boils

  • Make sure to practice good hygiene
  • Use antibacterial soap and bath regularly. It will help prevent infection
  • Clean minor wounds and treat them
  • Wash clothes, towels and bed linen
  • Regular skin exfoliation. It reduces chances of boils by unclogging sweat ducts.
  • Stay hydrated and eats nutritional meals to improve your immune system

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.