A half an inch red swollen lump can make you restless. Can you believe this? Skin abscess or boils are accompanied by severe pain, swelling, redness, and fever. Furuncle is another term used for the boil. The cause of this small tender bump is a staphylococcal bacterial infection. Sufferers may experience throbbing pain as the lump is filled with dead tissues and pus that worsen the condition. Mostly, boils appear on the face, armpits, eyes, neck, shoulders, thighs, and buttocks. If not treated in time, the infection might spread that may lead to the eruption of another boil in the nearby area. A cluster of boils is called as a carbuncle. These are contagious and can be spread through direct skin contact or sharing personal belongings of the affected person. Hormonal changes, excessive usage of oily cosmetics, perspiration, alcoholism, tight clothing, poor hygiene, weak immune system, malnutrition, more exposure to harsh chemicals, chemotherapy, and diabetes are some of the common causes that result in the occurrence of boils. In this article, you will learn some effectual home remedies to get rid of the boil.
Home Remedies for Boil
1. Black Seed
Just grind some black caraway seeds along with some water and apply the resultant paste over the affected area. Black seed oil can also be applied to the boil.
- Or else, mix ½ tbsp of black seed oil in hot/cold beverage and drink it regularly for about a week.
2. Bread Poultice
Soak a piece of bread in warm milk or water. Squeeze a little and place the soaked bread over the boil for a few minutes. It will increase the blood circulation and reduce the inflammation. Repeat this remedy twice a day until you get rid of the infection.
Simply add ½ tbsp of powdered turmeric in a glass of lukewarm milk, and drink it twice daily to speed up the healing process.
- Alternatively, take 1 tbsp of turmeric with 2 tbsp of water and make a thick paste. Apply it directly to the boil and leave it for 20-30 minutes. Wash it off with cold water afterwards.
Boil half a cup of water and add 2 tbsp cornmeal to make a thick paste. Spread this mixture over the affected area and cover it with a clean washcloth. Leave it overnight and then sponge down in the morning. This process can be repeated several times a day.
5. Warm Compress
Add some salt to water and warm it. Dip a washcloth in it and wring out the excess water. Keep the washcloth over the boil. Leave it for 10 minutes. This remedy helps reduce the inflammation and redness very effectively (7, 8, 9).
- Or else, soak your body in warm water for 15-20 minutes and then simply disinfect the area by applying the antiseptic cream. You can even cover it with a bandage. It is a very relaxing and effective home remedy for boil infection.
Onion helps alleviate the pain. It acts as an irritant when comes in contact with the infected area and thus, draws out all the impurities. Simply cut a slice of onion and place it on the boil. Cover it with a bandage. Change the onion slice after every 1 hour. Its anti-microbial properties will certainly do away the infection (10, 11, 12).
Milk accelerates the healing process and reduces the pain associated with boils. Heat 1 cup of milk and add 3 tbsp of salt, 1 tbsp of flour and some bread crumbs to thicken the mixture. Apply this paste directly on the inflamed area and tie it, if required. Repeat it 4 to 5 times a day.
- Alternatively, mix some milk cream, vinegar and ½ tbsp of turmeric powder. Whip and apply directly to the boil (13).
8. Banana Peel
It might sound strange, but ripe banana peel actually works wonders. Place a banana peel over the boil, tie it with a bandage and leave it overnight. Clean the area in the morning.
Heat 2-3 crushed garlic cloves and put it over the boil. Tie it up and leave it for the whole day. You may also extract its juice. Apply it using a cotton ball, twice a day. Garlic is a valuable remedy which is used traditionally for many skin ailments. Its anti-microbial properties also play a major role in inhibiting the infection (17, 18, 19).
- Or else, chew 2-3 garlic cloves in a day to speed up the healing process.
10. Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix some water with apple cider vinegar and apply it to the affected area with the help of a cotton ball. This can be repeated several times a day.
- Alternatively, apple cider vinegar can also be mixed with honey and applied over the affected area. Repeat it 2 times a day (20).
11. Epsom Salt
Add ¼ tbsp of Epsom salt to 2 cups of water. Dip a clean washcloth in this solution and place it on the boil. Leave it for 10-15 minutes. Repeat this daily until the boil gets healed. In addition to this, wash the burst boil wound with salt water gently till the pus is cleaned completely (21).
12. Honey and Fig
Put a fig in warm water till it softens and scrape it from inside. Mix 1 tbsp of honey and apply this paste to the boil. This will aid burst the boil and drain out the pus.
Honey is used for many skin ailments including boils (22).
Egg contains antimicrobial components that help fight infection (23).
Apply the white (albumen) part of an egg directly to the boil. Keep it for at least 30 minutes, and then wash it off with warm water.
- Alternatively, place an inner layer of eggshell (membrane) on the boil and wrap it with a bandage. Leave it overnight. The boil will go away the next morning.
Mix some salt in a piece of pork or bacon. Wrap it in a cotton cloth and put it over the boil. Though, it is a messy method, but effective to get rid of boil fast.
15. Castor Oil
16. Cumin Seeds
Cumin seed because of its anti bacterial and anti inflammatory properties are widely used for skin disorders (26).
Grind some cumin seeds along with water and apply the paste over the infected area. Do this daily for a week to notice an improvement.
Cut thin slices of potato. Place them over the boil. Alternatively, grate a potato to extract its juice. Apply it directly on the furuncle. The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of the potato will help relieve pain (27, 28, 29).
18. Bitter Gourd
Extract juice out of a bitter gourd and mix lime juice into it, to make it taste a little better. Sip this juice on an empty stomach. This is a very effective remedy for healing the boil infection fast (30).
19. Iodine and Baking Soda
Baking soda also has anti bacterial properties (32).
Put a thick paste of tomato over the boil for 10-15 minutes. Wash it off with cold water afterwards.
Eat a handful of raisins daily as it dries the boil quickly.
Apply toothpaste to the boil after every 1 hour and wash it off when it dries. It will absorb all the moisture from the boil and cause it to burst faster.
23. Fenugreek Seeds
Soak fenugreek seeds in water overnight. Grind them in the morning to prepare a smooth paste. Apply this paste to the boils, 2 times daily.
24. Wheat Flour and Clarified Butter
Add water to wheat flour and knead to form the dough. Now, prepare a small ball (somewhat bigger than the size of the boil). Apply some clarified butter over the ball and place it over the inflamed area. Wrap a bandage around it. Let it sit overnight since it takes a day for the boil to ripen and crack.
- Alternatively, mix 1 tbsp of wheat flour with 2 tbsp of vinegar. Apply the paste to the boil. Wrap it with a cotton bandage and leave overnight.
- Or else, chew 20 grains of wheat and apply this chewed wheat over the boil. Repeat this procedure 2-3 times a day for a few days to get rid of boils.
25. Lemon Juice
Squeeze a whole lemon to take out its juice. Apply it to your hair roots, covering the entire scalp. Leave it for 1 hour before shampooing your hair with warm water.
26. Warm Tea Bags
Black tea contain tannins which possess anti microbial properties that help to get rid of bacterial infections like boils (38).
Steep some black tea bags in water for 10 minutes and then take them out. Place these warm tea bags over the boils. Repeat it after every 2-3 hours. It will reduce the irritation, pain, swelling, itching, and redness of the skin. Also, the antiseptic properties of tea will put off the infection.
Herbal Remedies for Boil Treatment
28. Parsley Leaves
Boil some parsley leaves in water. Strain this solution and collect the leaves. Tie them in a piece of cotton cloth and place them on the boil. It will gradually ease the infection and settle down the boil quickly.
Tie a marshmallow leaf over the boil. Or else, extract some juice from the crushed marshmallow leaves and apply it on the painful area.
30. Eucalyptus Oil
Boil some water. Add 3 drops of eucalyptus oil and 25 grams of slippery elm to it. Make a thick paste and apply it directly to the boil. Wash it with cold water after half an hour. Repeat this procedure until the pus drains out. Regular application of this mix prevents further infection (49, 50).
You can also use this oil for hot compress to get rid of boils (51).
Take 15-30 grams of dried honeysuckle stems and steep them in water overnight. Strain this mixture and let it cool down. Apply this over the boils, several times a day. Wash it afterwards and wipe with a clean washcloth (52, 53).
Honeysuckle possess anti inflammatory properties which helps to get rid of skin inflammation (54).
32. Burdock Roots for Boils
Take 1 tbsp of dried burdock root. Scrape the rough outer shell with a knife or simply wash them. Now take 1 cup of water and place burdock root in it. Bring it to the boil. Let it steep for 30 minutes. Strain this mixture and allow it to cool. Sip this tea twice daily to reduce the effects of boils.
- Alternatively, you can also wash your boils with this tea, 3-4 times a day.
- Do not take more than 2 cups of this tea in a day as burdock is diuretic in nature.
- Avoid having burdock tea if you are pregnant or breastfeed your child, or suffering from diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
Crush a tbsp of fresh ginger to extract its juice and add ½ tbsp of sandalwood powder to make a paste. Use this paste on the boil, 4-5 times daily. Then wash off with cold water. This remedy provides a cooling effect and kills the infection-causing germs.
Ginger possess anti bacterial properties which curbs the infection (60).
34. Betel Leaves
They have a considerable amount of vitamins and minerals, which make them very nutritious and digestive. Take a beetle leaf and spread castor oil over it. Place this leaf over the boil and secure it with the help of a bandage.
- Alternatively, boil some beetle leaves in water for about 10 minutes. Let them cool down and grind to make a paste. Apply this paste to the boils and secure it using a bandage.
35. Astragalus Tea
This is one of the most popular herbal remedies for boil because of its anti inflammatory properties (65).
Steep some astragalus leaves in water for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture and sip this tea after it cools down.
Crush some calendula flowers and apply the paste directly to the boils. Secure the area using a soft cloth or bandage.
38. Aloe Vera
Apply some aloe vera pulp onto the boil and leave it overnight. It controls the oil secretion and gives a scar-free skin. Therefore, it is one of the effectual home remedies for boils on the inner thigh (74, 75, 76).
39. Herbal Mix
Poke root is used to make salve for the treatment of boils (78).
Pasque flower has many medicinal properties. It can also be directly applied to the skin to get rid of boils (79).
Note: But still there are no sufficient evidence to prove its use for the treatment of boils.
- Alternatively, rinse the affected area with this herbal decoction.
- You may also add goldenseal and burdock root to prepare this herbal solution.
Drink an herbal decoction prepared by brewing Echinacea. This herb has a compound, called echinacoside, which actively works against Streptococcus and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Thus, helps defend the body against boil infection (80, 81, 82, 83).
41. Basil Leaves, Ginger and Asafoetida
Basil has antimicrobial properties which kill bacteria responsible for causing boils (84).
Ginger has anti inflammatory properties which help cure painful boils (85).
Asafoetida also possess anti inflammatory properties (86).
Crush some basil leaves and ginger to extract the juice. Combine both the juices and add a pinch of asafoetida to it. Now, apply this mixture directly over the affected area with the help of a cotton swab.
- Instead of using ginger, you may add honey to the basil juice. Leave it for 30 minutes and then wash off with cold water. Do this twice daily for a week.
- Or else, add turmeric powder to the basil juice and apply it directly to the boils. Leave it overnight and then wash off in the morning.
42. Tea Tree Oil
Soak a cotton swab in tea tree oil and apply it directly to the affected area. Use this remedy two times a day, for at least a week.
- Alternatively, mix a few drops each of tea tree oil and lavender oil in a bowl filled with warm water. Dip a cotton swab in this solution and place it on the affected area for 10 minutes. This remedy must be repeated several times a day.
Note – Do a patch test as tea tree oil may cause skin allergy in some cases.
43. Indian Lilac (Margosa)
Grind some leaves of Indian lilac (margosa) along with water to form a smooth paste. Apply it over the affected area.
- Alternatively, boil some margosa leaves in water till the water reduces to 1/3. Wash off the affected area with this solution.
- Grind some margosa leaves and add ½ tbsp of turmeric powder to it. Apply this paste over the painful area and leave it for 30 minutes before washing it off with cold water.
Add enough water in the goldenseal root powder to make a smooth paste and apply it to the boil. Wrap a cloth around it and leave overnight. Wash it off in the morning.
46. Portulaca oleraceae (Purslan)
- Wash your hands thoroughly with an antiseptic soap before and after every meal (102, 103).
- Increase the intake of fresh fruits and veggies, especially rich in vitamin A, C, zinc and bioflavonoid as they speed up the healing process.
- Regular skin exfoliation can help unclog the closed pores.
- Drink at least 4 liters of water every day to get rid of the boils. It would be more beneficial if you drink lukewarm water.
- While removing the bandage, moisten it first and then remove it, to avoid the infection from spreading further.
- Take small breaks in between work to stretch the legs and avoid getting pilonidal cysts in between the buttocks.
- Always clean the cuts and wounds properly. Secure them with a bandage after applying an antiseptic ointment, to prevent entrance of bacteria (104, 105).
- Wash the boil and surrounding area regularly to prevent the spread of infection (106).
- Rinse the towels and napkins that you use for cleaning the boils, before reusing them (107, 108, 109).
- Never squeeze the boils with your hands as this might spread the infection (110, 111, 112).
- Avoid foods rich in sugar and fat such as cakes, chocolates, white bread, etc.
- Stay away from the caffeinated products.
- Avoid using over-the-counter medications that claim to draw out the pus from the boil. As a matter of fact, they cause the boil to burst prematurely and spread the infection to different parts of the body.