Understanding & Treating Furuncles

A furuncle, commonly known as a boil, is an infection of a hair follicle caused by bacteria. They are usually tender, red, and painful. Furuncles vary in size, with some being as small as a pea and others as large as a golf ball.

Furuncles are typically caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and are easily spread through physical contact with an infected person. They can also be spread through contaminated objects and surfaces.

Furuncles often form in areas where there is constant friction, such as the back, buttocks, neck, and armpits. It is important to keep the area clean and dry to prevent the spread of the infection.

Symptoms of a Furuncle

  • Tenderness and redness of the skin
  • Pain when the area is touched
  • A pus-filled center at the site of infection
  • Swelling around the area
  • Fever and other flu-like symptoms such as body aches and fatigue

Treating a Furuncle

Furuncles can usually be treated at home by applying a warm compress to the area several times a day. This will help reduce the swelling, and possibly bring the boil to a head. Once the boil comes to a head, it should be carefully opened with a sterile needle and the pus should be allowed to drain out.

It is important to wash your hands well after touching the boil. Additionally, the area should be kept clean and should be free of dirt and bacteria. Keeping the area dry is also important.

In some cases, antibiotics may be necessary for the treatment of a furuncle. If the infection does not improve after a few days, a doctor should be consulted.