Boils are caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria that can infect pores or hair follicles on the body. These infections fill with blood and pus, forming a large, painful swelling or bump. Sometimes boils will form a corn-like kernel that is difficult to remove without a visit to the doctor. Boils may be treated at home before requiring a doctor-performed procedure, using common items found in your cabinets or refrigerator.
Homemade Topical Solutions
Applying tea tree oil three to four times daily will help the boil dry up and disappear. Tea tree oil has antiseptic and germicidal properties that are ideal for skin infection such as boils. Continue using the tea tree oil for up to two weeks after the boil is no longer visible. Even though the boil can't be seen, the bacteria is still present and must be removed, or the pus and blood-filled bump will re-erupt.
Apply equal parts of garlic and onion juices to promote ripening and breaking of the boil, allowing the discharge to seep out of the bump naturally. Grind cumin seeds in water until they form a paste, and apply a liberal amount to the boil to reduce swelling and promote drainage. Other solutions to put on the boil include boiled parsley wrapped around the boil with a warm linen cloth, warm moist compresses and baths containing Epsom salts.
Foods to Eat
Healthy eating habits inhibit the growth of boils and speed the healing process. Drinking at least eight glasses of water daily, while eating a diet high in fiber, promotes regular bowel movements. This will remove Staphylococcus aureus-containing bacteria from your intestines, reducing the risk of bacteria spreading to the site of the boil. With its antiseptic quality, garlic eaten daily as an additive to meals can help cleanse your body of harmful bacteria contained in the boil.
Green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits add vitamins and minerals to boost your immune system, causing your body to fight off infection more effectively. Mix 1 capful bitter gourd juice with 1 tsp. lime juice, and drink the mixture daily for up to two weeks. This will promote healing, and the acidity will inhibit growth of boil-causing bacteria, reducing the size of the boil.
Detoxifying the body can help eliminate boils. Juice or water fasting for up to three days will clean the body of built-up toxins, which aggravate the boil. Avoid sugary foods and drinks, and cut back on sodium intake. Detoxifying the body requires at least seven days of eating nothing but fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. Consider a warm saltwater enema to aid in the evacuation process. As you follow a detoxification diet, you should see a decrease in the size of the boil and in the amount of excretions.
Wash your hands after each trip to the restroom and before and after contact with the boil. Boils are highly contagious and can be spread by excretions on your hands. Washing before contact will help speed the healing process, eliminating the introduction of new bacteria. Bathe daily using a mild antibacterial soap and a clean cloth. Do not use bath sponges or poufs, as they promote the growth of bacteria and can spread boil infection to other parts of the body. If used on the boil, they can prevent healing.
Exercise will help keep your immune system up to par and also keep your pores and hair follicles clear, removing the excretion and reducing swelling of the boil. Walking or jogging will not only keep your body toned, but will also keep your pores and follicles smaller, which decreases oil production and further bacterial intrusions in the skin.