A boil is a kind of skin problem that happens when there is a deep bacterial infection in a hair follicle. A boil starts as a small, red, painful nodule and gradually increases in size. Boils can be very painful and sometimes may be accompanied by fever.
At the first sign of a boil, you can start home treatment. There are many readily available ingredients that can provide relief from pain and discomfort and speed up the healing process. The key to healing is to soften the boil so that the bacteria and infection drain out of the swollen area.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for boils.
1. Indian Lilac (Neem)
The antiseptic, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties of Indian lilac, also known as neem, help to treat boils and many other types of skin infections
- Grind a handful of neem leaves to get a paste. Apply it on the affected area.
- You could also boil neem leaves in water until the quantity of water reduces to one-third. Now use this water to rinse the affected area.
2. Black Seed
Black seed is one of the most popular natural cures for various types of skin infections including boils. The medicinal properties of black seed can give some relief from the pain caused by boils.
- Take some black seeds (kalonji). Grind them to get a paste. Apply this paste on the affected area.
- You can also apply black seed oil on the boil.
- Add one-half teaspoon of black seed oil to a hot or cold drink. Drink the mixture twice a day for several days.
3. Bread Poultice
Bread poultice is quite beneficial in home treatment of boils. Take a piece of bread and soak it in warm milk or warm water. Now put the soaked bread on to the boil for a few minutes. This will help to bring a boil to the head and reduce inflammation. Do this remedy twice daily until the boil gets healed completely.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties. Regular use of tea tree oil will speed up the healing process and give you relief from the discomfort caused by boils.
- Dab a clean cotton ball into the oil and then gently apply it directly onto the boil.
- Do this five to six times a day for several days until the boil is gone.
Do not take tea tree oil internally.
Turmeric is a natural blood purifier and has anti-inflammatory properties that can be very helpful in the treatment of boils.
- Stir one teaspoon of turmeric powder into a glass of warm water or milk. Drink this herbal mixture three times a day for four to five days.
- Also, you can make a paste out of equal amounts of fresh ginger and turmeric and apply the paste onto the boil
and cover it with a clean cloth.
Onions have antiseptic chemicals that act as an effective antimicrobial when used for boil treatment.
- Just take a thick slice of onion and place it over the boil and wrap it with a cloth so that heat generated from the onion can do its magic.
- Repeat the process three to four times a day until the boil comes to a head and drains.
Garlic can be used in a variety of ways to treat boils.
- Make a paste from two to three fresh garlic cloves and apply it onto the boil.
- Heat one garlic clove and place it onto the boil for at least 10 to 15 minutes several times a day.
- Eating two to three raw garlic cloves a day also can produce good results.
Milk has been used as a treatment for boils for ages. Milk will speed up the healing process and give you instant relief from the pain.
- Heat one cup of milk and slowly add about three teaspoons of salt; mix it thoroughly. Add some flour or crumbled bread pieces to thicken the mixture. Apply a portion of the mixture to the boil. Repeat the process several times a day.
- Milk cream also can be used to treat boils. Mix a teaspoon of milk cream with vinegar and some turmeric powder and apply it directly on the boil.
Cornmeal can be used as a natural absorbent to help treat boils.
- Bring half a cup of water to a boil, and then add cornmeal to make a thick paste.
- Apply the paste to the boil and cover with a cloth.
- Repeat the process several times a day until the boil becomes soft and the infection drains.
10. Warm Washcloth Compress
Applying a warm washcloth compress is the easiest way to treat a boil.
- Dip a clean washcloth in warm water and place it over the boil for 10 to 12 minutes. For best results, use warm salt water. Make sure the compress is very wet and warm.
- Repeat the process at least five to six times a day.
These natural treatments will surely bring some relief from the discomfort of boils. But you need to follow the remedies without fail for a few days to see positive results. If you don’t get any relief after a week, consult your doctor.
Diet for Boils
While your diet may not be responsible for the appearance of boils themselves, unhealthy skin is highly susceptible to the appearance of boils among other skin conditions, your diet and nutrition is crucial to the health of your skin. Try to stick to a diet that meets all your nutritional requirements. Vitamins like vitamins A, E and C are particularly important to the health of your skin, so try and includes foods rich in these nutrients. As fruits and vegetables are the best sources of such nutrients it may be a good idea to ditch the junk foods and colas in favor of fresh salads and fresh fruit juices. Orange juice mixed with equal quantity of water works very well due to its high vitamin C content. Increase your intake of foods that are rich in vitamin A such as sweet potatoes and squash. Zinc-rich foods are also good for the skin and aid the healing process significantly. Try sunflower seeds for a quick boost of zinc to the system. Leafy vegetables are also high in beta-carotene, which is necessary to repair skin damage. Try not to overcook vegetables as this would in a way defeat the purpose as, cooking reduces the nutritional value of the food. Raw vegetables or vegetable juices are the best options in a balanced diet.
Foods high in sugar and fat should be avoided if you are prone to boils and skin abscesses. Simple carbohydrates can aggravate skin infections and worsen boils. Too much fat and sugar, as found in items such as cakes, chocolates, and white bread can also increase the risk of skin infections and boils in the future. Caffeine and caffeine products should be avoided as well as these can aggravate boils and worse their condition.