A furuncle, also known as a boil, is a skin infection that occurs on the topmost layer of the skin and involves skin tissues as well as hair follicles. Both furuncles and carbuncles are rather common, especially in people who do not maintain proper hygiene. These infections are caused by bacteria known as staphylococci.
The bacteria remain in our environment and on our skin. However, if there is a break in the skin, the bacteria may slip inside and cause the infection.
Furuncles may be caused by other bacteria and fungi as well.
If there is damage to the hair follicles, the infection could spread deeper into the lower layers of the skin and the subcutaneous cells. The infection, though not very dangerous, may be very painful if it spreads into the deeper layers of the skin. Any of the hair follicles all over the body can be affected by furuncles. Although they are most common on the face, they can appear anywhere on the whole body. They are especially common on the thighs, buttocks, necks, and armpits. The infection could cause single or multiple boils, depending on the extent of the infection.
Symptoms: Furuncles appear as nodules on the skin. They may be red or pink in color, and the skin may be tender in the area. The furuncles may also appear as if filled with water. As the furuncles keep growing, they fill up with pus and dead tissue. This makes the furuncle even more painful. The furuncle may drain on its own, but usually patients get them drained medically.
Although the furuncle is usually only pea sized, it can grow much larger. As the furuncle grows, it forms a yellow or white colored center. It often joins with other furuncles and spreads over the skin. These skin infections grow very rapidly and may often ooze liquids. Some of the other symptoms include fatigue, general malaise, fever, itching, and redness and inflammation of the skin.
Furuncles Remedies: Home remedies can be used for furuncle relief, though doctors recommend getting the furuncle tested to ascertain the microbe causing it, and then getting apt furuncle treatment. Mostly, after small periods of pain and itching, the furuncles may heal on their own. As the pus collects, the furuncles may become painful, and it may become necessary to drain them medically. To bring the furuncle to a head, hot compresses can be used. Simply warm a washcloth and apply it around the infected area. As the pus collects, the boil will come to a head, and it is then easier to burst and drain the furuncle.
Since warm and moist compresses are likely to heal the furuncle rapidly, it is best to apply warm and moist compresses to the furuncle several times a day. Try to not scratch or open the furuncle on your own. Allowing the furuncle to drain and heal on its own can help prevent the spread of infection to other parts of the skin. During this time, try and maintain good hygiene so that the furuncle does not cause infection on other areas of the skin. Always wash your hands every time you touch the furuncle.
A furuncle usually does not heal unless it is drained. If the furuncle lasts for more than two days, it should be drained medically. If the furuncle is located on the spin or the middle of the face, immediate medical attention should be given to it or the infection may spread and is likely to cause complications. If you have had your furuncle drained surgically, try and get your dressing changed after every few days.
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