What to Do About a Skin Boil

Boils are extremely uncomfortable to experience. They’re painful, and they certainly aren’t pleasant to look at.

Luckily, there are ways you can get rid of them at home! Read on as our team at AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN explains.

  • Here’s what to do: We know it’s tempting, but don’t squeeze or try to drain a boil yourself. This can lead to a spread of the infection or possibly cause a secondary infection of the boil.
  • What to do next: Place a warm, wet washcloth on it throughout the day. Heat encourages the formation of pus and might help the boil break, drain and heal.
  • What to do after: Make sure to keep the boil clean, like you would with any other type of infection. Use antibacterial soap and warm water to wash the boil twice daily and gently pat the area dry. It’s a good idea to keep the towels and washcloths that come in contact with the boil separate from other towels.
  • Next: Once the boil ruptures naturally, keep it covered with a fresh, clean bandage or gauze. This will keep the infection from spreading to other places.
  • When you can’t get the boil to rupture on your own: The boil is likely quite large, or there is a group of them. If this is the case, you should see visit our AFC center for treatment. Typically, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to help clear up the infection.
  • If your treated boils keep recurring: You likely have a condition called recurrent furunculosis. This condition usually spreads quite easily, and also should be treated by a doctor.
  • Action steps to take: Unfortunately, since they’re caused by bacteria, you can’t always prevent boils from occurring; however, there are things you can do to stop them from spreading to other parts of the body and other people. Make sure you keep a bandage over the boil at all times, wash your hands after touching the boil and wash your clothes and sheets to prevent the infection from spreading.
  • Doctor’s recommendations: If you are dealing with a boil, don’t hesitate to visit our AFC center for treatment. Boils can cause scarring and sepsis in more severe and rare cases.

Do you have a skin boil and you aren’t sure what to do? Don’t hesitate to visit our AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN center today!