If you have a red, large, painful lump on your skin, you may have a boil. A boil is a variety of skin infection that develops around one of your hair follicles or an oil gland. The infections happen when the bacteria become trapped under your skin.
Over time, a collection of pus will gather in the center of the boil. This is known as the boil’s core. If you attempt to remove the core at home, you can cause a worse infection or cause it to go to other areas of your body.
The type of bacteria that usually form in boils is called staph. aureus. When a boil starts out, it will be about the size of a pea and red. It will become more and more painful as it grows and fills with pus.
The skin which surrounds the boil will be red and may be swollen. At the top of the bump will be a yellowish-white tip. This is the core of the boil. After a while, the end of the boil will burst and start to leak pus. You could also run a fever if your boil becomes a carbuncle. A carbuncle is a group of boils in one spot.
There are some tips for getting rid of a boil if your boil is small. It can take from a day to up to three days to start to heal.
If the boil becomes large and soft and won’t burst on its own, or develops pain, or worsening redness, then it’s time to see your doctor. Some antibiotics may be prescribed by your doctor to help get rid of the infection. The medication will help prevent complications, like scarring or a secondary infection elsewhere.
If your boil does not clear up, then you need to see a doctor. The core of the boil needs to be removed, and only a medical professional can do that safely. You will have a shot of anesthetic that will help to numb the boil and surrounding area.
Once everything is numb, the doctor will make a small incision in the boil. The pus will drain out, and the doctor will insert gauze to help with additional drainage. Your doctor may prescribe for you a topical or oral antibiotic to help prevent the infection from spreading.