First Aid: Boil
What is a Boil?
A boil is a painful bacterial infection deep inside the skin. This infection usually starts in the core of the hair follicle and gradually arises on the surface of the skin as a red, swollen bump. It is can be as small as a corn grain and grow bigger than a table tennis ball.
Phases of a boil:
- A boil starts as small red bump less than an inch.
- The surrounding skin becomes hard and extremely painful.
- Over the couple of days, the bump turns softer, larger and more painful.
- Gradually the head of the bump is filled with pus.
- White blood cells are sent to fight against this infection.
- Once the pus is drained out, the person feels relieved.
- Usually it takes 7 days to heal naturally.
A boil usually occurs in the area of poor hygiene. Sweat and dead skin cells cause boil to occur frequently. Face, neck, armpits, breast, groin and buttocks provide good homes for such bacteria.
First Aid Treatment for Boils:
- Do not squeeze and burst the boil. It would lead to further infection.
- Gently wash the boil with warm water and antiseptic soap twice a day.
- Soak the boil in warm water for few minutes.
- Dry the infected area well with clean towel.
- Place warm compress or heating pad for 10 to 15 minutes for 3 times a day. The heat helps the boil to open and drain out the pus. However, the boil would take few days to open.
- Applying thick turmeric paste over the boil is an effective way of curing the boil.
- Once the boil opens and the pus is drained out, apply a bandage to prevent it from spreading the infection.
- Change the bandage frequently and keep the infected area clean.
Diet for Treating the boil:
- Eat plenty of fibrous food items in order to get rid of toxic substances.
- Drink plenty of fresh water to keep the body hydrated.
- Eat foods that are high in Vitamin A and Zinc as Zinc helps in healing process.
- Intake of proper nutrients encourages the person’s natural immunity.
- Boil, often occurs in the same spot.
- Every day, clean the area well with antiseptic soap.
- Dry the area well.
- Avoid wearing tight clothes over the area.
- Drink plenty of water to keep the body cool and hydrated.
Seek medical attention if the severity of the boil does not decrease.