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Boils and carbuncles are skin infections that are caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Boils are also known as furuncles, and begin as a painful infection of a hair follicle which gradually grow into a large swollen and painful bump. It appears mostly on the neck, face, buttocks, armpits and groin. A carbuncle is a deeper skin infection caused due to infection of a group of hair follicles in one skin location. It usually appears on the neck shoulders, hips and thighs. Boils and carbuncles appear in hairy areas or those prone to friction and movement or prone to sweat. In some cases, boils and carbuncles can become chronic and reappear in the same site again and again. These skin infections are usually harmless and go away within a week, but it requires special medical attention if the infection is accompanied by fever and severe pain or if the boil doesn’t drain. Those with weak immune system, those who had contact with a person affected by staph infection, or sufferers of diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS are more susceptible to boil infections. It is best to cure boils and carbuncles with the aid of home remedies just as we adopt natural ways to treat psoriasis, eczema, acne vulgaris and other skin infections.
14 Effective home remedies for Carbuncles and Boils Treatment
It is best to treat boils and carbuncles with safe and effective home remedies using natural ingredients that are easily available, cost effective and have no side-effects.
Tea Tree Oil
When it comes to natural essential oils for healthy skin, no other oil comes close to the functions of tea tree oil. It is the best solution to the problem of how to treat oily skin naturally. It works as a toner to reduce the excessive oiliness of skin and prevent pimple and acne breakouts. Tea tree oil is extricated from the Melaleuca Alternifolia plant and is known for its potent antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal properties which help in curing boils on legs and other parts of the body. This oil is traditionally used for addressing various skin diseases like psoriasis, ringworm and itchiness of skin and scalp.
Wash the boil with warm water. Take a few drops of tea tree oil and smear it on the boil and the skin surrounding it. If it irritates your skin, then you can dilute the oil with some water. After application, cover the area with surgical cotton and bandage. Continue this process once every day till the boil cures completely.
Popularly known as holy powder in India, turmeric is Ayurveda’s panacea for all diseases. Turmeric is obtained from the roots of Curcuma longa plant and it a popular spice that provides the rich yellow colour to Indian cuisine. The volatile oil and Curcumin found in turmeric has amazing anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used both internally and topically for boils and carbuncle treatment. When applied topically, it dries out the boils within 3 to 4 days and also prevents its recurrence in future.
Add 2 teaspoon of turmeric powder to 1 cup of lukewarm water, mix well and drink daily in order to clear the boil. You can also make a topical paste by mixing turmeric powder with water to form a thick paste and smear it on the boil and the surrounding skin. Secure it with a bandage. Use this process regularly to get rid of oils and carbuncles from the skin.
Soothing and relaxing warm compressboosts the curing process by softening the upper layer of skin and eventually bursting the boil. The warm touch of the compress also reduces pain and helps to bring out the pus to the surface. If salt is added to the compress, then it helps the boil to heal even faster. A warm compress is by far the best cure for boils that requires no ingredients except water and salt and has absolutely no side-effects. Make sure to compress the boil when it forms a prominent head so that it will burst with repeated soakings.
Clean the boil or carbuncle with warm water. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to 2 litres of warm water and stir well so that the salt dissolves completely. Wet a clean washcloth in the saline water, wring out excess water and place it on the boil in order to provide the warm compress. Let it sit till the cloth is cooled. Repeat this compress 3 to 4 times a day to burst the boil and clear it completely.
Onions are not only indispensable for spicing up your dishes, but also as a natural cure for various hair and skin problems. Natural homemade tips for hair growth are incomplete without the inclusion of onions and shallots in it. Onions contain 25 active compounds including potassium and flavonoids that possess anti-inflammatory properties. The essential oils present in onions have expectorant, antiseptic, antifungal, anticoagulant, and analgesic properties that helps to remove toxins from the body, soothe skin inflammations and disinfect wounds which makes onions a wonderful remedy for boils and carbuncles. When applied topically, onion promotes blood circulation and increases blood flow to the boils and helps to extract the pus out of it.
Chop a few onions into large pieces and boil them in water till the water reduces to half. Strain the water and let it cool. Apply this water on the boil or carbuncle and the skin around it. Follow this method once regularly for complete relief from painful boils.
Black Seed Oil
Black seed oil is a universal cure for all types of chronic diseases and hair and skin problems. Black seeds are derived from the Nigella Steiva plant, and it is commonly known as black cumin. The oil extracted from black cumin is loaded with nutrients, and it has been used for centuries in Middle Eastern and South Asian countries as a panacea. Black seed oil is a well-known natural remedy for weight loss. The antioxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of black seed oil help to fortify the immune system, and make it a powerful natural medicine for boils and carbuncles. Thymoquinone present in this oil can powerful anti-fungal properties that are effective for carbuncles and boils.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of black seed oil to any hot or cold beverage like fruit juice or green tea and drink it 2 times a day in order to get relief from boils and prevent its recurrence in future.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar in an effective and inexpensive natural ingredient that should be present in each and everyone’s skin and hair care list. It is a popular ingredient for natural hair conditioner recipe for smooth, silky and frizz-free hair, but how to treat boils and carbuncles with apple cider vinegar? Well, the secret lies in the powerful disinfectant properties of apple cider vinegar that effectively cleanses the bacterial infection once it begins draining. The anti-inflammatory properties of apple cider vinegar help to relieve the pain, soreness and redness caused due to the boil. It corrects the pH level of the skin so that the boil and inflamed skin surface heals faster.
You can dab raw organic apple cider vinegar directly to the boil by dripping some of it on a cotton ball. If you feel a stinging sensation, then you can also apply it diluted with little water. People with sensitive skin should apply this remedy only after mixing equal portions of apple cider vinegar and water. Follow this cure regularly for best results.
Both Garlic and onion belong to the Allium family, and it is loaded with sulfur-rich compounds such as allicin, alliin and ajoene which makes it the ultimate cure for all types of skin diseases and infections. It is one of the best natural remedies for treating ringworm, and it is also one of the most reliable home remedies for carbuncles and skin boils. Garlic is known for its excellent anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties that not only cures the boils but also alleviates the pain right from the first application.
Crush 2 to 3 fresh garlic cloves and add a few drops of water to it to make a paste. Smear this paste directly on the boil and let it dry for 10 minutes. Now remove the paste and clean the boil with a soft cloth. DO this 2 times a day daily till the boil is cured completely.
Neem or Indian lilac, scientifically known as Azadirachta Indica is the star of Ayurveda, Unani and Homoeopathic medicine and has been used for ages to treat all types of health problems thanks to its various medicinal properties. Almost all parts of the neem tree are used in medicine and the leaves are especially effective because they possess anti-inflammatory, antiulcer, antifungal, anti-hyperglycaemic, antimalarial, antibacterial, antioxidant, antiviral, anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic and immune-modulatory properties. No doubt, it is one of the powerful home remedies to get rid of boils and carbuncles and soothe the inflammation and pain associated with it. Neem leaves paste is also one of the most effective homemade remedies for pimples and acne.
Wash a handful of fresh neem leaves and grind them to form a smooth paste, add a little water to have a smooth consistency. Smear this paste generously on the boil the surrounding areas and secure it with a clean gauze or bandage. Apply neem paste twice a day and continue it till you get complete relief from the boils.
The natural skin lightening properties of potatoes make it a popular ingredient in skin care remedies. Raw potato is a wonderful cure for dark circles around eyes. The high concentration of calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium vitamin C and B complex vitamins makes it one of the most potent skin boils home remedies. The tannins, flavonoids and alkaloids found in potato improves overall skin health and treats skin related problems. The anti-inflammatory properties of potato alleviate pain, swelling and redness associated with the boils. The alkaline nature of potato also makes it a potent remedy for boils.
Wash, peel and grate 1 raw potato and squeeze out the juice from the pulp. Immerse a cotton ball in the juice and dab it on the boil and the skin around it. Let the juice get soaked into the boil. Repeat this procedure 4 to 5 times a day to get quick relief.
Warm Epsom Salt Bath
Warm Epsom salt bath not only makes a rejuvenating foot soak for cracked heels and overworked feet but also a healing remedy for boils and carbuncles. Epsom salt or Magnesium sulfate can be added to warm water for compress. The heat from the compress helps to form the head of the boil and allows it to open up so that the pus can drain out of the boil. The Epsom salt helps to draw out all the toxins and impurities gathered in the boil, which in turn cures swelling and alleviate pain in the infected region.
Fill half of a small basin with warm water and add 2 cups of Epsom salt to it. Stir it well and soak the boil infested area of the skin in this saline water for few minutes. Take it out and allow it to air dry naturally. Follow this process once daily until the boil is completely recovered.
Echinacea is well known for its antibacterial, antiviral and antitumor properties which work against various types of skin diseases such as herpes and it is an extremely useful remedy to heal boils and carbuncles. The active compound Echinacoside found in this herb fights the streptococcus and staphylococcus aureus bacteria which are responsible for the appearance of boils on the skin and other infections. It also possesses the capacity to boost the immune power of the body. Echinacea is obtainable in the form of powder extract, capsules, ointment and tea which can be used either orally or topically. But it is best to consult a medical herbalist for the right dosage if you decide to take it orally.
You can prepare a simple Echinacea tea by boiling 1 teaspoon of the herb in 1 cup of water. Strain and cool the tea and apply it on the boil and surrounding sore and inflamed areas using a clean cotton ball. Continue to apply it once every day till the boil is cured from inside.
Cumin seeds are one of the most widely used spices and are must have ingredients for the famous Indian curry. There are numerous health and skin benefits of cumin as well. Cumin seeds have the capacity to dry out boils and drain out the pus that forms inside to boil. It also reduces pain, swelling, inflammation and redness associated with boils and makes the area soft. It also helps in preventing recurrence of boils in future.
Crush 50 grams of cumin seeds and add a little water to it to form a thick paste. Smear this paste on the boils and let it dry naturally. Regularly follow the same method to clear boils completely from the skin.
Parsley or cilantro is yet another useful herb that is loaded with amazing benefits for hair and skin. A refreshing parsley rinse is one of the gentle, natural remedies for dandruff but it is best to use fresh parsley for the rinse, but how to cure boils at home using this herb? The antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant property of parsley fights the bacteria that causes boil infection and also helps the boil to burst faster and also prevents its recurrence. When applied regularly, it also soothes inflammation and skin irritation caused by boils.
Add a handful of fresh parsley leaves in 2 cups of water and heat it for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool down completely. Take out the leaves, crush them to form a smooth poultice and smear it on the boils so that they can burst out and drain the pus. Leave on the poultice for a few hours and then remove it with a clean cotton cloth.
Castor oil is the oil that is extracted from the seeds of the castor plant. This oil has been widely used in Ayurveda for treating skin ailments, infections, boils and carbuncles. Ricinoleic acid present in castor oil works a potent anti-inflammatory agent that relieves severe pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. This oil also contains antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties that make it the perfect home remedy for treating skin infections like boils, pimples and acne. This oil can also be consumed to boost the immune system and cures infections from the root. When applied topically, it aids to draw out the pus from the boil.
Drip a few drops of castor oil on a cotton ball and place it on the boil, secure it with gauze or bandage. Leave it overnight and remove the bandage the next morning.
Tips to Prevent Recurrence of Boils and Carbuncles on Body
Following a few healthy diet and hygiene tips can help you to keep painful boils and carbuncles at bay.
- Improve you immune system functions by including more leafy green vegetables, fruits and nuts in your diet.
- Avoid sugar-rich foods, fats, simple carbohydrates and carbonated beverages.
- Include foods rich in vitamins C, E and A in order to form protection against bacterial infection.
- Wash hands with water and soap before and after applying medicines and remedies to the infections.
- Keep your towels, clothes and shoes dry and clean and avoid sharing towel, bedding and clothes with anyone who has boils.
- Never squeeze or poke the boil with a needle in order to relieve pressure, as in can make the infection worse.
- Wash all washcloths and towel used for compression.
- Wash the boil and the surrounding areas daily in order to prevent bacteria build-up.
- You can apply colloidal silver cream or anti-bacterial cream on the boil.
- Consult a doctor or healthcare provider if the boil is not cured within 4 days or if you notice other symptoms such as fever, change in appetite and pain in surrounding body parts.
Treatment of boils and skin infections using natural remedies require time and patience, but it provides benefits in the long run. Try some of these remedies to know which one is suitable for you.