10 Best Home Remedies For Boils

Have you discovered a hard or painful lump that is filled with pus somewhere on the body? This infected part of your skin is known as a boil and can develop where there has been a wound or insect bite. Boils are incredibly common and usually, you won’t need a healthcare professional to treat boils. 

There are many home remedies for boils available and in this article, we will explore the 10 best at-home treatments for boils.

Table of Contents

How To Get Rid Of Boils At Home?

Boils can be quite small and may be hidden. For instance, infected hair follicles can be the source of a boil. Similarly, oil glands can fill with bacteria and cause issues like this. They can be extremely painful but there are ways to treat them effectively at home. Here are 10 possible home remedies for boils:

1. Warm Compress

When pus collects in a boil it causes an infection. You need to help your body fight this infection. Heat will do this. You can use warm compresses. 

Warm compresses will stimulate the area around the boil and increase the number of white blood cells by boosting blood circulation. This can be used to treat any type of skin infection including a boil without the need to seek medical attention.

2. Use a Heating Pad

Alternatively, you could use a heating pad to treat your boils. This works in the same way as a warm compress and can be useful for recurring boils. It will help the affected area heal and recover. Most boils will disappear after a couple of days of using a heating pad. Hot water will work too. You can dab boils with a cotton swab that has been soaked in hot water. 

3. Tea Tree Oil

Various peer-reviewed studies have shown evidence of the antibacterial properties of tea tree oil, commonly using water as a placebo. Tea tree oil should never be placed directly on the skin. Instead, you need to dilute it with something like olive oil. You can then use a cotton swab to dab the area with the bacterial infection. 

4. Turmeric Powder

Similar to tree oil, turmeric powder has been shown in research to be effective at treating a bacterial infection. It can provide an effective and rapid solution for boils as well as other skin diseases and conditions. Turmeric powder can be used as a topical treatment or it can be taken orally depending on your preference. If it is used as a topical cream, then it should be mixed with warm water to form a paste that will help boils heal. 

5. Epsom salt

Epsom salt can be combined with a warm compress to help treat small boils on the skin. This is one of the best natural remedies because as well as ensuring there are more white blood cells in the affected area it will dry out the puss. Once the puss dries, the boil should heal. 

You’ll need to dissolve Epsom salt in warm water before you can apply it to the boil or boils. Epsom salt has also been used as a form of pain relief in peer-reviewed studies. 

6. Castor Oil

Unlike other treatments mentioned on this list, you don’t need to water down castor oil. Instead, it can be applied directly to the area which is impacted by boils or a boil itself on the skin. Castor oil is a powerful treatment option for boils because it includes ricinoleic acid. This has anti-inflammatory properties. you can apply this to the boil multiple times each day until the skin issue disappears. 

7. Neem Oil

Neem oil has antibacterial and antiseptic properties. As such, it is commonly used to treat skin diseases and is one of the most popular remedies for boils. When treating boils with this essential oil, you should ensure that it is applied directly to the skin. 

8. Garlic

One study suggests that a Northern Indian community uses more than 32 different plant species to treat boils. Due to this, it shouldn’t be surprising that fresh garlic can be used as a form of home medical care for boils. You can press fresh garlic and then apply the juices straight to a boil. Use this remedy twice a day for one hour to ensure the best results. 

9. Raw Onion

Alternatively, you may want to try using thick slices of raw onion. These thick slices can be used in a similar way to the garlic mentioned above to treat boils or similar skin issues such as ingrown hairs. This is something that may be worth considering if you have already tried applying heat to the surrounding skin and the boil itself. 

10. Goatweed 

You may also want to use goatweed to treat boils. This can be applied whenever you are changing a sterile bandage. Devil’s horsewhip extract is similar to goatweed and can be used in the same way. 

How To Prevent Boils?

You could be interested in preventing boils or ensuring that there is no further infection. According to medical associations, boils occur due to staphylococcus bacteria. If you apply warm compresses regularly and use other forms of home treatment this can treat an existing boil. But it won’t stop more boils from occurring. 

Boils are similar to bacterial folliculitis and may occur due to poor hygiene. As such if you are experiencing multiple boils or similar skin conditions, you should ensure that you are using a warm washcloth to clean areas where you have had bacterial infections like this. You can also prevent infection by using antibacterial soap. 

When To See a Doctor?

Treating skin infections like boils will not usually require medical attention. Instead, treating boils is possible using the home remedies mentioned above. However, there are cases where it’s important to speak to a doctor

For instance, you might find that the boil is increasing in size or it’s starting to get as big as a golf ball. You could also be having issues with developing boils that are incredibly painful. You might also have a weak immune system due to a condition like diabetes. If any of these factors are true, you should seek medical attention for these pus-filled bumps. 

How Can DrHouse Help You?

Boils can be embarrassing and cause a lot of discomfort. If you are experiencing multiple boils, it’s important to seek medical attention. DrHouse can help you get the care and treatment that you need. We offer 24/7 on-demand access to online doctors who can help diagnose and treat your condition. Get started today.

Key Takeaways

Boils can be a nuisance and in some cases, they may be quite painful. The good news is that there are numerous home remedies that are worth trying from neem oil to a warm compress. Many of these treatments are backed by evidence from research studies. 

In most cases, a boil will not need professional medical treatment. However, you should seek medical care if your boil is getting larger or typical home remedies are having little to no impact. 

Sources:

  • Shallcross LJ, Hayward AC, Johnson AM, Petersen I. Incidence and recurrence of boils and abscesses within the first year: a cohort study in UK primary care. Br J Gen Pract. 2015;65(639):e668-e676. doi: https://www.doi.org/10.3399/bjgp15X686929 
  • Arweiler, N., Donos, N., Netuschil, L. et al. Clinical and antibacterial effect of tea tree oil – a pilot study. Clinical Oral Investigations 4, 70–73 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1007/s007840050118
  • Prucksunand C, Indrasukhsri B, Leethochawalit M, Hungspreugs K. Phase II clinical trial on effect of the long turmeric (Curcuma longa Linn) on healing of peptic ulcer. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2001 Mar;32(1):208-15. PMID: 11485087. Available here. 
  • Yu-Qun Zhang, Jiao Xu, Zhong-Qiong Yin, Ren-Yong Jia, Yang Lu, Fan Yang, Yong-Hua Du, Ping Zou, Cheng Lv, Ting-Xiu Hu, Shu-Liang Liu, Gang Shu, Geng Yi, Isolation and identification of the antibacterial active compound from petroleum ether extract of neem oil, Fitoterapia, Volume 81, Issue 7, 2010, Pages 747-750, ISSN 0367-326X, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fitote.2010.03.015.
  • Jyotsana Sharma, Sumeet Gairola, Yash Pal Sharma, R.D. Gaur, Ethnomedicinal plants used to treat skin diseases by Tharu community of district Udham Singh Nagar, Uttarakhand, India, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 158, Part A, 2014, Pages 140-206, ISSN 0378-8741, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2014.10.004.
  • How Onions Can Benefit Your Skin. Healthline. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/how-onions-can-benefit-your-skin 
  • When to worry about a boil. Healthily. Available from: https://www.livehealthily.com/boils/when-to-worry-about-a-boil 

DrHouse articles are written by MDs, NPs, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. The contents of the DrHouse site are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.

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