A boil is an inflamed area, usually based in a hair follicle, and can be caused by a physical condition such as diabetes, acne, or severe dermatitis and can also result from low immunity, irritations, an illness, stress, food allergy, poor diet, shaving, plucking hairs or poor hygiene. A boil usually starts as a tender area, becoming hard and swelling, and eventually softening and forming a head. The head is filled with bacteria and the white blood cells fighting the infection (pus). Staphylococcus is the bacteria that is usually found in the pus of a boil.
The bacteria involved are those usually present on healthy skin, so the boil is an indication of low resistance to infection.
It is advised not to lance the boil, because bacteria can spread to nearby skin and create new boils. Apply hot packs for up to 20 minutes at a time, throughout the day, as the heat draws more white blood cells, thereby helping to fight the infection. Do not cover with a bandaid. Wash with tea tree oil soap and apply antiseptic cream containing tea tree oil. A drop or two of tea tree oil may also be applied directly to the boil. Dab it on with a piece of clean cotton, do not rub or otherwise irritate the boil.
Procedure to be followed periodically throughout the day:
Dab some tea tree oil onto the boil with a piece of cotton to help bring it to a head, then cover with a piece of gauze. Cover the gauze with a damp washcloth, followed by a dry towel and then apply a heating pad. Leave on a low temperature for about 15 minutes. Change your dressing and reapply the tea tree oil. The oil helps bring the boil to a head while the warm compress helps pull the infection out of the skin; the tea tree oil then acts as an antiseptic and antibiotic on the bacteria in the pus. Be sure to throw away the gauze each time, and wash your hands with tea tree oil soap each time you handle the gauze or touch the boil.
Sometimes a boil’s bacteria can spread to a lymph node that is nearby. If there is a boil on the neck, check the lymph glands for swelling and tenderness. You should visit a doctor if this occurs, also if there is fever or lethargy. It’s important to learn to listen to your body and recognize when tea tree oil treatment will be enough, and when you need the help of a doctor.