Carbuncle

What is a Boil / Furuncle / Carbuncle:-

A boil is just what it looks like : a big pimple. Perhaps it is called a boil because of how it feels; hot and painful. It is an infection of the hair follicle on the skin. Boils and carbuncles are bacterial infections of hair follicles and surrounding skin that form pustules (small blister-like swellings containing pus) around the hair follicle.

Boils are also known as furuncle. A carbuncle is formed when several furuncles merge to form a single deep abscess with several heads or drainage points.

They occur most commonly on the face, back of the neck, buttocks, upper legs and groin area, armpits, and upper torso. Carbuncles are less common than single boils; they are most likely to form at the back of the neck. Males are more likely to develop carbuncles.

Homeopathic Treatment:-

In the conventional treatment of recurrent boils antibiotics and also the antibiotic ointments are prescribed as a local application to the boil. Antibiotics can cause side effects like loss of appetite, dryness of mouth, dizziness, irritability, decreased immunity and so on. Antibiotic ointments applied locally only suppress the condition not removing the root cause of the recurrent boils.

With larger boils surgical drainage of the pus is usually required.

In contrast homeopathic medicines treat the boils with its magical doses. Recurrent boils can be treated from its root as remedies act as strong natural anti-inflammatory medicines. The treatment boost up the immune system to prevent the tendency to develop recurrent bacterial infections.

The skin swelling, redness and pain can very well be treated with homoeopathy. With homoeopathic medicines immune system becomes strong enough to fight against the bacteria causing boils.

If remedies are taken in the early stages, they prevent further growth and build-up of pus, and help to prevent the boil reaching stage of maturity / incision.

To find the proper remedy a homoeopathy doctor collects all the past medical history of the person, his / her family history, his / her physical and psychological characteristics and so on. All this information helps the homoeopath to find remedies which not only will treat the boil but will also remove the disposition to recurrence.

There are 172 homoeopathy medicines which give great relief in boils / furuncles / carbuncles. However, the correct choice and the resulting relief is a matter of experience and right judgment on the part of the doctor. The treatment is decided after thorough case taking of the patient. Thus remedies are tailor made unlike allopathy in which all patients receive the same surgery or drugs although trade name may be different.

Causes:-

  • Boils can be caused by bacteria Staphylococcus aureus
  • It can also be caused by bacteria Staphylococcus cuteus
  • Diabetes
  • Immunosuppression as seen in conditions like prolonged antibiotic therapy, HIV infection and so on
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Crowded living arrangements
  • Jobs or hobbies that expose them to greasy or oily substances, especially petroleum products
  • Family members with recurrent skin infections

Symptoms:-

A boil generally starts as a reddened, tender area. Over time, the area becomes firm and hard. Eventually, the center of the abscess softens and becomes filled with infection-fighting white blood cells. The combination of white blood cells, bacteria, and proteins is known as pus. Eventually, the pus “forms a head,” which may then drain.

Signs of a severe infection are :

The skin around the boil becomes red, painful, and swollen;

More boils may appear around the original one;

Fever develops; and

The lymph nodes draining the affected area become swollen;

Malaise / body pains may be experienced by the patient.

Diagnosis

Your doctor can make the diagnosis of a boil with a physical exam. A culture of the infection may be needed to determine the exact type of bacteria causing the infection. If you frequently get boils, your doctor may want to do a blood test to see if you have diabetes or any other disease.

Complications

Complications include the following :

  • Septicemia : Spread of infection in the blood can cause fever, chills and infections in the vital organs like brain, heart, lungs and so on.
  • Abscess in organs like brain, lungs, kidneys, spinal cord, and other areas of the skin.
  • Endocarditis : Bacterial inflammation of the heart and / or its valves.
  • Osteomyelitis : Infection in the bones.

Prevention:-

Keep your body clean.

You are advised to use your own belongings like towels, cosmetics and so on. Sharing of such products with somebody else may result the incidence of the infection.

Another very important method for prevention of boils is to maintain a proper diet. It would be always beneficial for you if you take up food products that are of less oil and non greasy. Fatty foods like junk foods should always be avoided and proper nutritious food like leafy green vegetables, fresh fruit juices and wholesome cereals should be included in your balanced diet schedule.

They are very contagious and so you should be very cautious in case you are having some boil formation at their early stage. While treating them you must always touch them with washed hands.

If you are suffering from persistent furunculosis or recurrent boils, you are recommended to go to a doctor. Furunculosis is the process that involves repeated development of boils on the skin surface. The furuncles are boils filled with pus. The bacterium causing furuncles often stays on a permanent basis in the nasal chamber of the patients who are suffering from any form of immune disorder. Patients of HIV positive are often attacked with furuncles. In fact, repeated attacks of furuncles are an indication of occurrence of the wearing out disease called diabetes.