A boil, also called acute folliculitis, is a skin infection located at the base of a follicle. It is caused by bacteria of the staphylococcus aureus family. It is the inflammation of the follicle following a bacterial infection that produces a lesion that lasts a few days and ultimately produces an accumulation of pus. A boil can be very painful. It is usually located on an area where there is much friction, such as:
- the buttocks;
- the shoulders;
- the back;
- the underarms;
- the face;
- the pubis;
- the thighs.
Many boils that are located close together are called carbuncles.
The repeated appearance of boils can point to an immunodeficiency or to diabetes, and is called furunculosis.
A boil has the appearance of a yellow pimple with a red and inflamed outline. In general, the area is painful and can feel hot to the touch. It presents itself as a lump around a hair, with hardening at the base and with a gradually elimination the follicle, leaving behind a small red hole.
The diagnosis is made after clinical examination and usually requires no further consideration. The doctor or dermatologist examines the damage done by the boil. A local biopsy may also in rare cases be taken. This analysis confirms the presence of staphylococcus aureus.
A boil must not be touched by the patient. The treatment is always adapted to the seriousness of the boil. The most mundane form will disappear in a week with treatment. This includes, at the least:
- local antiseptic care;
- Regular application of compresses soaked in hot water;
- antibiotic ointment.
It is important to prevent the recurrence of a boil. Anyone who is a staph carrier must:
- Wear cotton underwear and clothes that aren't too tight;
- have good hygiene (face, body and hair);
- Keep his nails short;
- Wash his hands regularly throughout the day with a special soap.
These preventive measures are applicable to the person's close ones.