When it comes to getting rid of a boil as quickly as possible, the sooner you recognize what it is the sooner you can start to get rid of it, which is why knowing boils symptoms is a good idea. Boils are infections caused by the Staphylococcus aurous bacteria which is present on the skin. When you get a cut or skin tear the bacteria is allowed to enter the body which can cause the boil to form.
The infection causing a boil can start below the skin for up to two weeks before the actual boil makes an appearance.
The actual symptoms of the boil, when it is still a fairly mild infection, are the following:
1. Itchy red skin at the site of the infection.
2. Painful swelling.
3. A small lump, or nodule, will start to form on the skin.
4. The nodule will slowly start to increase in size.
5. The nodule will form a head, much like a pimple looks.
When the boil is still mild you can usually use a hot compress (just wet a washcloth with water) to help alleviate a lot of the pain. A compress can also help speed up the healing process by encouraging the infection to the surface of the boil where the boil can rupture and the pus will drain away.
To determine whether or not you have a more severe infection, here are the symptoms you should be on the lookout for:
1. A fever, this is almost always a sign that the infection is more severe and potentially more dangerous.
2. Swelling of the lymph nodes.
3. A red streaking that starts at the site of the boil and works it’s way outward.
4. Other boils forming close to the original boil.
5. The boil growing very large and not rupturing on it’s own which would allow it to drain.
And of course, if you have any underlying health concerns you should always talk to your doctor when you have an infection, even one that doesn’t seem to be severe can create problems for someone with immune deficiencies. There are some medications such as some antibiotics that can actually trigger boils so make sure to ask your doctor about potential side effects whenever she prescribes a new medication for you.
If any of the above symptoms appear you should contact your doctor immediately and not allow the boil to heal on it’s own. You may need a course of antibiotics but only your doctor can make that determination.
Make sure that while you have the boil, as well as while it’s draining, you are very careful to wash your hands any time you come into contact with the affected area. You want to also wash all the washcloths between uses so as not to spread the infection to other parts of your body or to other members of your household.
The next time you find a lump somewhere on your body, you can refer back to this article on boils symptoms so that you can determine if what you have is a mild infection, a potentially severe infection, or maybe just a ‘regular’ pimple. Knowledge can help you get rid of these unpleasant skin infections more quickly and safely.
This article is not medical advice and should not be interperted or used to replace professional medical advice from your personal medical doctor.