Getting Help for a Painful Boil


Boils can be extremely painful. If over-the-counter treatments are healing the boil, then it can be useful to visit your primary care physician for some extra treatment. Here are some ways that doctors can help to treat your boil.

Lancing the boil

Boils are formed when a combination of dirt, oil, and/or bacteria create a plug at the surface of the skin stopping the normal drainage of oils. This leads to a build of oil, blood and infected material under the skin, which can be tender and uncomfortable. Lancing the boil releases the oil, pus, and blood and reduces the tension on the skin. This can immediately reduce the swelling and discomfort of the boil, as well as making it easier for the immune system to fight the boil by reducing the amount of infected material in the body. The doctor does this by placing a sterile needle into the boil and draining the excess fluid. 

Identifying the bacteria responsible

Once the boil is redressed with an antiseptic dressing the doctor can culture the material that they have drained to identify the responsible bacteria. This can help them to identify the best topical and oral antibiotics to treat the boil. This can also help to identify where the patient may have picked up the bacteria that has lead to the boil so that source can be cleaned and sanitised to prevent reinfection. 

There are a number of MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bugs which can cause infections and boils which are not treatable with standard antibiotics and treatments. MRSA boils and skin infections may require either surgical treatment and/or the use of restricted antibiotics, which need to be specially ordered through the health department in each state. Doctors can identify these infections and help to work out where you might have contracted the MRSA bacteria so the site can be appropriately sterilised.

Identifying immune issues

Boils can be a symptom of a range of other health issues and often occur when the immune system is overloaded dealing with other challenges. Primary care doctors can perform general health checks to determine if the boil is a standalone health issue or a symptom of another immune issue. This can make sure that the root cause of the issue is treated and further boils and skin infections are treated. 

If you have a boil it's important to get it reviewed and treated by a doctor. They can assess the boil and drain it, then treat it with appropriate antibiotics as well as identifying any underlying immune issues.


14 October 2016

Improve the Quality of Your Health With Primary Care

Primary care is a critical component of a healthy lifestyle. It's important because it allows you to catch health issues before they get out of control. It also give you a chance to ask your healthcare provider questions about your health, your children's health and other concerns. Without this resource, public health suffers, but unfortunately, many people do not know how to make the most out of their primary care. In this blog, I am going to include advice on optimising your relationship with your primary care doctor, tips on using primary care to ensure your good health and more. If you like my posts, please share them with others, and thank you for reading.