Hey guys, this is your family online doctor, Dr. Sam.
Now, have you developed a boil
and wondered what causes them?
How you should treat a boil and
are they contagious?
If so, in this video I'm going to explain to you:
how to get rid of boils and
how to prevent them from coming back.
So keep watching!
Firstly, what is a boil?
Simply, it's an infection of a hair follicle,
which is usually caused by a bacteria
known as Staphylococcus aureus.
Here are some pictures of what boils
look like on the skin.
So what causes boils?
People who get boils are otherwise healthy
and have good personal hygiene,
but they carry a bacteria on their skin
called Staphlococcus aureus.
We don't know why this happens,
but these people carry it under their armpits,
in their nostrils, between their legs
and inbetween their buttocks.
And this can be transferred to other
sites via their fingernails.
Tiny grazes or sometimes rubbing against the skin,
can make the bacteria go into the hair follicle
and cause a boil.
Boils tend to last for 10 days.
Boils are sometimes related to immune deficiencies,
anemia, smoking, diabetes and low iron.
So are boils contagious?
No, the boils aren't catchy themselves,
but the germs that cause the boils are.
I'll talk to you more, in a minute,
about how to prevent them.
What are the treatments for boils?
Well, here are the five things you should do
to get rid of boils.
Wash your body, daily, in the bath or shower
for one week with antiseptic or an antibacterial soap.
Examples of these are
Chlorhexidine aqueous solution,
or Cetaphil antibacterial soap bar.
Please note that these will both dry out
your skin and they should not be used long-term.
Cover the boil with a flannel that's been soaked
in hot water and put it on there for thirty minutes,
three to four times a day and
this should really help with the pain.
But, please make sure that the cloth
isn't too hot!
Apply an antiseptic ointment to the boils
like Betadine antiseptic, and
cover with a square of gauze.
See your doctor for oral antibiotic tablets.
The most common antibiotics that
are used to treat boils are flucloxacillin.
But you may need a course for several weeks.
Finally, number 5.
If you keep getting boils, see your doctor
for a swab of the boil and
to get some antibacterial ointment like Fusidic Acid.
This should be applied to the inside of your nostrils
twice daily for five days and
this helps stop the germs from living on your skin.
So what happens if you do nothing?
Well, after a few days the boil will burst
and pus will come out onto your skin.
Once the pus is completely gone,
it will take a few days for the infection
to settle around that area,
but you may be left with a scar.
The whole process usually takes about 10 days.
How do you prevent boils?
Well there are lots of things for you to try
and I'll link them all in the description below,
but here are the main ones:
Try to avoid activities that make you sweat
and cause friction with your clothing.
So things like squash and jogging.
You can try taking 1 gram of Vitamin C per day.
Wash your whole body every day with soap
and also wash your hands several times
a day with soap or antibacterial wash.
Don't share your towels with your family members.
Don't pick your nose and change
your under clothes and night wear regularly.
Now, quickly - I just wanted to mention
about bleach baths.
Before you freak out and think
what the hell is that?
Well, these are baths that have
diluted bleach in them, and this helps to
reduce the colonization of your skin
with the germs that cause boils.
What you need to do is fill a bath with
normal hot water and add about 80 mls of
standard bleach to the bath.
You soak in it for about 10 to 15 minutes,
then you empty the bath and
rinse your whole body with fresh water.
You can try this immediately after you
have had your boils are all sorted out
and are treated.
This really stops, it prevents future boils
from coming back and you can use it
intermittently, now and then, to help
cleanse your skin of Staphylococcus aureus.
The bug that causes boils.
Thanks for watching and I really hope you
enjoyed this video.
If you've got a question that you'd like me
to do a video on,
please post it in the comments below
and I'll try my very best to make a video
that could answer your question.
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