Natural and Home Remedies

Boils and Carbuncles Home Remedy

Signs and Symptoms of Boils and Carbuncles


A boil (also known as a furuncle) is a bacterial infection of a blocked oil gland or hair follicle. A boil usually appears suddenly as a painful pink or red bump about half an inch in diameter. The surrounding skin also may be red and swollen. Within 24 hours, the bump fills with pus. It grows larger and more painful for five to seven days, sometimes reaching golf-ball size before it develops a yellow-white tip that finally ruptures and drains. Boils generally clear completely in about two weeks. Small boils usually heal without scarring, but a large boil may leave a scar.

A carbuncle is a cluster of boils that often occurs on the back of the neck, shoulders, or thighs, especially in older men. Carbuncles cause a deeper and more severe infection than a single boil. As a result, they develop and heal more slowly and are likely to leave scars.

Causes of Boils and Carbuncles

Boils and Carbuncles

Recurrent boils are commonly due to gastrointestinal bacteria which enter the blood stream and prompt a skin infection. They can also be caused by consuming too much sugar, either refined or even from fruit. Most small boils that are less than half an inch can be treated at home, but boils that are larger than that and that don't heal with home remedies require immediate medical care. Boils and carbuncles that are around sensitive areas (for example face, armpits, groin and breasts) should never be squeezed. If you see red lines radiating from the boil or it is accompanied by fever, chills, or swelling in other parts of your body, you should consult with your health provider right away. If you have diabetes, you should always consult with your doctor as soon as any kind of boil or carbuncle appears.

Home Remedies for Boils and Carbuncles

Boils and Carbuncles Home Remedy Using Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has been used as an antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic agent for centuries. As a result, many people have used it for the treatment of boils and carbuncles since it often speeds up the healing process and relieves discomfort.

  • Dab a cotton swab into the tea tree oil.
  • Gently apply the oil onto the boil/carbuncle with the swab.
  • Dispose of the used swab and be careful that it does not make contact with uninfected parts of your skin to prevent further infections.
  • Repeat this several times a day.

Home Remedy for Boils and Carbuncles with Turmeric

Many people have found the spice Turmeric to be an excellent remedy to treat boils and other staph infections. Turmeric is a traditional Ayurvedic spice that is often used as a blood purifier and anti-inflammatory remedy. It can be purchased in powder form from many Indian grocery stores. Using this powder, a simple and effective remedy for boils is the following:

  • Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of warm water.
  • Drink 3 times per day.
  • Healing will begin within a few hours.
  • Repeat for 3 days.

If you don't like the Turmeric mixture with water, look for Turmeric capsules at a health food store.

NOTE: Regular high doses of turmeric can lead to dehydration and constipation, so be sure to take the above remedy only when necessary, such as when you begin to see signs of a boil. A single weekly dosage of the remedy is also acceptable at other times as a preventative measure.

Hydrotherapy for Boils and Carbuncles

Hydrotherapy, which consists of warm or wet compresses, has been shown to help soothe the pain associated with boils. By compressing a boil with warmth, blood is drawn to the infected area, which helps the body fight the infection more quickly.

Washcloth Compress
Washcloth compresses are the best and easy way to treat a boil. Take a clean washcloth and dip it in fairly warm salt water and place it onto the boil. The compress should be very wet and warm and it should be placed on the boil for 10-15 minutes at least 5 times daily. It speeds up the process of bringing the boil to a head, which leads to draining and then healing.

Bread Compress
A bread compress is an old folk remedy and people find it works quite well. Soak a slice of bread in warm milk and apply it directly onto the boil. Keep replacing the bread slices to keep the infected boil warm for 15 minutes at a time, four times a day.

Tea Compress
Simply place a warm tea bag on the boil for 15 minutes at a time, several times a day.

Vegetable Compress
Heated slices of tomatoes, raw onions, mashed garlic, or the outer leaves of cabbage can be pressed directly onto a boil. Place heated chunks of any of these vegetables onto the boil for at least 15 minutes several times a day. Make sure that you keep the area warm by replacing it with new heated slices whenever you feel the area getting cold.

Natural Remedy for Boils and Carbuncles Using Onions

Onions have been known to contain antiseptic chemicals which can act as an effective antimicrobial irritant. Therefore, they can be used to treat boils by "heating" a boil and drawing blood to the infected area. A simple remedy is the following:

  • Cut a thick slice of onion and place it over the boil.
  • Wrap the infected area with a cloth.
  • Change the onion every three to four hours until the boil comes to a head and drains.

Natural Treatment for Boils and Carbuncles With Black Seed Oil

Black Seed Oil has been used for hundreds of years as a natural remedy for skin infections including boils/carbuncles. Therefore, a simple boil remedy is to mix half a teaspoon of black seed oil into a hot or cold drink, and take this twice daily during a boil infection.

Herbal Remedy for Boils or Carbuncles Using Echinacea

Echinacea has been found to be effective at healing boils. The active substances in the herb helps to clean your blood and lymph glands, allowing antibodies to circulate better and fight off infections. Therefore, a simple boil remedy is to take two 300mg capsules of Echinacea per day. However, it is not recommended that you take echinacea continuously for longer than two weeks.

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  1. on said:

    I've been suffering from boils, from time to time, for about a year after I was diagnosed with a blood clot in my leg. Don't know if the blood clot has anything to do with it. But now I've come up with a treatment plan that helps me. Once I notice a boil coming, I mix Epsom salt in warm water, as warm as I can stand, and soak in it for about a half hour once daily. And after bathing I apply Nlue star ointment onto the boil for the first 1-3 days then by the 4th day or so I also start applying an anti-fungal cream. At this point the boil comes to a head. So once that happens, I continue to keep it clean and dry and continue the soaks & anti-fungal cream application until the infection is completely gone. I hope it helps!

  2. on said:

    I have a carbuncle under my arm and it is annoying as it causes some fever and I know that the best way is to get it drained professionally. However, I like the bacon remedy as that was the remedy for soldiers years ago.

  3. on said:

    Priscilla, I used to get boils all the time until I came across Oil of Oregano and Tea Tree oil. These two are magic oils. I took 3-4 drops of Oil of Oregano twice daily (with juice or water) and applied organic Tea Tree oil topically until the boil was healed and took the oil for another few weeks even after the boil was gone. Make sure you buy oil of Oregano only which contains at least 70% of its active ingredient Carvacrol. You can keep taking your prescription medication for the boil if you like. Now I always start taking the oil of Oregano whenever I feel any kind of pimple or rash starting, just to be safe, and thankfully I haven't gotten any for the past 10 years. Hope it helps!

  4. on said:

    I'm a Type 1 Diabetic. I had a boil ten years ago when I was first diagnosed. It was a two in one horrible pain. Now I have one again and nothing seems to be helping. Any advice?

  5. on said:

    I had a friend who had a large boil that reappeared yearly at his waistline. Once he popped it, a large amount of pus would appear. He finally went to a surgeon who advised surgery. The surgeon packed the deep boil with some substance, and stitched it and the boil hasn't returned since.

  6. on said:

    So how have the raisins worked for you? How about the soy milk? Oregano Oil? I had a boil surgically removed 4 weeks ago today and it's coming back. Still haven't been able to wear jeans as it is located in my groin area. What kind of results has anyone had?

  7. on said:

    Patricia P - Do you eat just one snack size a day? I also drink 2 glasses of soy milk a day, I take turmeric twice a day, a multi-vitamin, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D. And now I'm eating raisins and seems like nothing helps. Mine are on my face - some are pimples some are carbuncles, I had 2 very small ones on my right side but they are healed up. I know that natural stuff takes longer to work and gets slowly into your system but I don't know what else to do? Thanks!

  8. on said:

    Sounds like your hormones are imbalanced, that's what happened to me when my period stopped. I started going through menopause when I was in my mid 30's then my period stopped when I was 45 and ever since I have had trouble with boils. My cousin had to have a Hysterectomy done a long while back because she had them too. Her DR told her to drink Soy Milk, it balances your hormones. The doctor told her to drink 2 glasses a day, so this is what I've been doing too. Try it and see if it helps you. Take Care, God Bless!

  9. on said:

    Try bacon or salted pork. It will most definitely help. Two years ago I had the worst boil ever under my armpit that lasted for about a week. The boil became bigger overtime and also started to get hot as if it wanted to pop on it's own, but just quite wouldn't. Their were nights I cried because it was so painful. I tried everything from the egg yolk, warm tea bag and even to an onion with no such luck. So one day I researched and came across an old tale that soldiers used during World War II, which to my surprise was bacon. I took one piece of bacon and cleaned around the boil before placing the bacon on top with a bandage. The bacon was left on for 30 minutes, due to a burning and itching pain that I couldn't further tolerate. And to my surprise after removing the bandage along with the bacon, the boil had finally came to a head along with a drainage of pus. The bacon with all it's salt helped to relieve my boil.

  10. on said:

    @Anon, to bring a boil to head, warm compresses help. It's best to wait till the boil comes to a head before lancing it. Never squeeze a boil. To use warm compresses, take a few cotton balls and soak one at a time in warm water and cover the boil until cotton ball gets cold. Use warm compress for 3-4 times daily for 10 minutes each. Once it comes to a head, sometimes it starts draining by itself but in case it doesn't, It's best to seek doctor's help for lancing. However, for any reason if you can not see a doctor, only then you may go ahead and lance it. But remember boils are extremely contagious, so take extreme caution draining it and sterilize everything the boil comes in contact with. Wear nonporous (latex) gloves and use well sterilized equipment. To sterilize, put whatever you are using for incision over fire until it's red, and let it cool. Then pour some rubbing alcohol on the tip. Now disinfect the skin over and around the boil and use a numbing medicine or ice to freeze the incision point. Have a small clean cloth/gauze around the boil ready to catch the pus that will drain out. Use the sterilized sharp tipped item to make an incision over the yellow tip of the boil. Let it drain fully until you see nothing yellow has left inside the boil. Soak everything in gauze/cloth. Once it's clear of the pus, clean the affected area with rubbing alcohol and apply an antibacterial ointment all over it. Then cover it with loose gauze. And keep changing the gauze until the wound stops draining and starts to dry and close up. Also taking 3-4 drops of oil of Oregano helps fight the recurrence of boils. Oil of Oregano has natural antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Hope it helps.

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