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What is Boil?

Boil is a medical condition that is characterized by pus-filled abscess caused by a localized infection of a hair follicle. They can be caused by foreign particles in the skin, infected sweat glands or ingrown hairs. They begin as warm, reddened areas which eventually become cystic and firm as they fill with pus, eventually resolving without intervention, and can be as large as a golf ball or as small as a pea. Several types of boils exist: furuncle/carbuncle (usually caused by Staph. aureus), nodulocystic acne (caused by infected sebaceous ducts), hidraddenitis suppurativa (caused by inflammation of sweat or sebaceous glands), and pilonidal cyst (only occurs in crease of buttocks; typically after prolonged sitting). Immunocompromised, diabetic or feverish individuals with boils should seek medical advice, as should individuals with boils which persist or spread. On rare occasions, boils may result in systemic infection or sepsis.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Boil?

Signs and symptoms of Boil may include:

  • Fever
  • Pus-filled bump or lump centred on a hair follicle
  • Redness centred on a hair follicle
  • Swollen lymph nodes

What Causes Boil?

Possible causes of Boil are:

  • Bacterial infection

What Increases the Risk of Boil?

The risk of Boil increases when you/your:

  • Are currently undergoing Chemotherapy
  • Are diagnosed with Eczema
  • Are suffering from Obesity
  • Are using Corticosteroids
  • Have a weakened immune system
  • Have frequent exposure to harsh chemicals
  • Have poor personal hygiene
  • Have previously suffered a skin injury
  • Suffer from iron deficiency
  • Suffer from malnutrition

What Complications Can Boil Cause?

Boil may result in the following complications:

How Can You Prevent Boil?

Boil can be prevented if you/your:

  • Practice good personal hygiene
  • Wash your hand regularly with antiseptic and antibacterial soap to prevent the spread of this medical condition

What Treatments are Available for Boil?

Treatments and management of Boil may vary depending on the individual patient and the severity of the medical condition. Treatment options may include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Antiseptics
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