Boil

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boil is a subcutaneous inflammation. It looks like a big pimple-filled pimple and usually develops in the face (neck, neck), back, armpits, perineal area or buttocks. Most often, this button appears when a hair follicle (the base of the hair) becomes infected.
When a patient has multiple boils at the same time, it is called furunculosis. If the buttons are all located in the same region, it is an anthrax.

Causes of boiling

Particularly painful, the boil is actually an infection caused by a bacterium called Staphylococcus aureus. In any case, it is the multiplication of this bacterium that explains the appearance of the boil. On the other hand, there are several ways to contract the bacteria, and also several factors that promote inflammation. Some people carry the bacteria, but do not catch boils.
At the base of the hairs, there is a small bag called the pilosebaceous apparatus, which contains the sebaceous gland, the hair follicle (hair root) and the hair-pulling muscle. When this "bag" is touched by the bacteria, a boil is formed, which is actually a simple infection, with the usual symptoms associated with it (pus, redness, heat, swelling, etc.).

Who is affected by the boil? What are the risk factors?

Anyone can catch one or more boils for the following reasons:
  • Ingrown hair
  • Splinter or other foreign body in the skin
  • Cuts or scratches that are not properly disinfected
  • Sweat glands clogged
  • Acne buttons not or poorly treated (for example, if you try to pierce them)
  • Rubbing clothes
  • Poor skin hygiene
  • Hair removal when the skin is not thoroughly disinfected beforehand
  • Using dirty razors
  • Etc.
In addition, certain conditions favor the appearance of furuncle:
  • A disease that weakens the immune system (diabetes, HIV, kidney failure)
  • Some corticosteroid or anticancer drugs
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Major deficiencies in iron
  • Severe allergies
  • Overwork, stress, emotional shock

Contagion

A boil is a contagious infection that can spread on the skin of the same person in case of lesions, or even to another person if it comes into contact with the liquid contaminated by the bacteria (the pus contained in the pimple). ) while she herself has open lesions (a cut, for example).

The main symptoms of boil

The symptoms of furuncle evolve:
  • At the beginning: a hard bump, red and hot under the skin, which is called nodule.
  • Then: the nodule softens, as pus is formed.
  • Pain and redness in the nodule and in the area concerned.
  • Formation of a "head": it is an apparent pustule filled with pus, which is normally pierced of itself after a certain time.
  • Once the pustule bursts, there remains a small red crater.
When the person has several boils in the same area, it is an anthrax. The pimples appear agglomerated to each other, forming a large purple-colored plate, strewn with pustules. The pain is very strong and can be accompanied by:
  • Swelling of the face
  • nodes
  • Chills
  • Fever

Diagnostic

The diagnosis of a boil is very simple and, most often, it does not require medical consultation. The observation of the symptoms is enough.
On the other hand, in case of anthrax or furunculosis, that is to say when several boils appear at the same time (grouped or at different places on the body), it is better to consult the doctor, because the infection could to be the sign of an immune weakness. Medical staff will therefore perform several tests to determine the underlying cause of the infection, if any.

Possible risks of complications

A unique and occasional boil does not cause long-term damage. It will usually resolve after about ten days. However, it can happen that anthrax or furunculosis are the source of serious complications:
  • Unsightly scars
  • A spread of infection through the lymphatic or blood channels: this sometimes leads to sepsis
  • If the boils are located on the nape of the neck or the upper part of the face, they could reach the deep veins and cause clots that block blood access to the brain: this can be fatal

Treatment of boil

An occasional unique boil can be treated at home:
  • In the first stage of the button, gently wash the skin and apply compresses hot water, which helps to "rip" the button.
  • Be careful, you should never press the button with your fingers, as this may push the bacteria deeper.
  • You must disinfect the area and your hands each time you touch the boil to prevent it from spreading.
Some people "pierce" their boils when the pustule appears, but this operation is strongly discouraged by doctors. Normally, a boil will shrink on its own in a few days. On the other hand, if the boils are numerous, too big or really too painful, it is better to go to a health professional. This one will prescribe antibiotics, if necessary, and proceed to a surgical drainage.

Prevention of boil

There are some simple steps to prevent the occurrence of boils and / or their recurrence:
  • Maintain good body hygiene
  • Use an antibacterial soap
  • Treat acne
  • Use a horsehair glove or an abrasive sponge (on the back, shoulders, arms, buttocks, etc.) to properly exfoliate the skin and prevent the pores from becoming clogged

Note

The information contained in this sheet is for informational purposes only and will allow you to ask informed questions to your doctor. In no case can they replace the opinion of a health professional. Our team of writers and experts makes every effort to provide you with quality information. However, Canal Vie can not be held responsible if the contents of a file prove incomplete or obsolete. We remind you that it is strongly recommended to consult a doctor if you think you are suffering from a health problem.

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