Boil or furuncle is a skin disease caused by the infection of hair follicles, resulting in the localized accumulation of pus and dead tissue. Individual boils can cluster together and form an interconnected network of boils called carbuncles. In severe cases, boils may develop to form abscesses.
Symptoms of Boils
The symptoms of boils are red, pus-filled lumps that are tender, warm, and/or painful. A yellow or white point at the center of the lump can be seen when the boil is ready to drain or discharge pus. In a severe infection, multiple boils may develop and the patient may experience fever and swollen lymph nodes. A recurring boil is called chronic furunculosis.
In some people, itching may develop before the lumps begin to develop. Boils are most often found on the back, stomach, underarms, shoulders, face, lip, eyes, nose, thighs and buttocks, but may be found elsewhere. Boils on the ear tend to be more painful, and can create shooting pain in the entire area when touched.
Sometimes boils will emit an unpleasant smell, particularly when drained or when discharge is present, due to the presence of bacteria in the discharge.
Causes of Boils
Boils are generally caused by an infection of the hair follicles by Staphylococcus aureus, a strain of bacterium that normally lives on the skin surface. It is thought that a tiny cut of the skin allows this bacterium to enter the follicles and cause an infection. This can happen during bathing or while using a razor.
People with immune system disorders, diabetes, poor hygiene or malnutrition (Vitamin A or E deficiency) are particularly susceptible to getting boils; however, they also occur in healthy, hygienic individuals, due to over scratching a particular area of the skin.
Hidradenitis suppurativa causes frequent boils. Boils in the armpits can sometimes be caused by anti-perspirant deodorants.
The development of net throughout the body is also a symptom of smallpox.
Treatments for Boils
Most boils run their course within 4 to 10 days. For most people, self-care by applying a warm compress or soaking the boil in warm water can help alleviate the pain and hasten draining of the pus (colloquially referred to as “bringing the boil to a head”). Once the boil drains, the area should be washed with antibacterial soap and bandaged well. The maturing process may be accelerated by applying Ichthammol-based salve.
In serious cases, prescription oral antibiotics such as dicloxacillin (Dynapen) or cephalexin (Keflex), or topical antibiotics, are commonly used. For patients allergic to penicillin-based drugs, erythromycin (E-base, Erycin) may also be used.
However, some boils are caused by a super bug known as Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, or CA-MRSA. Appropriate drugs, active against MRSA, must be prescribed relatively soon after such a boil has started to form. MRSA tends to increase the speed of growth of the infection.
Magnesium sulphate (epsom salt) paste applied to the affected area can prevent the growth of bacteria and reduce boils by absorbing pus and drying up the lesion.
When boils recur, daily use of a soap/cleanser containing triclosan, triclocarban or chlorhexidine can suppress staph bacteria on the skin.
Homeopathy Treatment for Boils
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Homeopathy treats the person as a whole. It means that homeopathic treatment focuses on the patient as a person, as well as his pathological condition. The homeopathic medicines are selected after a full individualizing examination and case-analysis, which includes the medical history of the patient, physical and mental constitution, family history, presenting symptoms, underlying pathology, possible causative factors etc. A miasmatic tendency (predisposition/susceptibility) is also often taken into account for the treatment of chronic conditions. A homeopathy doctor tries to treat more than just the presenting symptoms. The focus is usually on what caused the disease condition? Why ‘this patient’ is sick ‘this way’. The disease diagnosis is important but in homeopathy, the cause of disease is not just probed to the level of bacteria and viruses. Other factors like mental, emotional and physical stress that could predispose a person to illness are also looked for. No a days, even modern medicine also considers a large number of diseases as psychosomatic. The correct homeopathy remedy tries to correct this disease predisposition. The focus is not on curing the disease but to cure the person who is sick, to restore the health. If a disease pathology is not very advanced, homeopathy remedies do give a hope for cure but even in incurable cases, the quality of life can be greatly improved with homeopathic medicines.
The homeopathic remedies (medicines) given below indicate the therapeutic affinity but this is not a complete and definite guide to the homeopathy treatment of this condition. The symptoms listed against each homeopathic remedy may not be directly related to this disease because in homeopathy general symptoms and constitutional indications are also taken into account for selecting a remedy. To study any of the following remedies in more detail, please visit the Materia Medica section at Hpathy.
None of these medicines should be taken without professional advice and guidance.
Homeopathy Remedies for Boils :
Anac., ant-c., anthr., apis., arn., ars., ars-i., bar-c., bell., bell-p., calc., calc-pic., calc-s., con., crot-h., echi., euph., ferr-i., graph., hep., hyos., ichth., iod., kali-i., lach., led., lyc., med., merc., mez., nat-m., nit-ac., nux-v., petr., ph-ac., phos., phyt., psor., rhus-t., sec., sep., sil., sulph., sul-ac., tarent., tarent-c., thuj.,