Treatment

You can generally treat small boils at home by applying warm compresses to relieve pain and promote natural drainage.

For larger boils and carbuncles, treatment may include:

  • Incision and drainage. Your doctor may drain a large boil or carbuncle by making a small incision in the tip. Deep infections that can't be completely drained may be packed with sterile gauze to help soak up and remove additional pus.
  • Antibiotics. Sometimes your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to help heal severe or recurrent infections.
July 13, 2016
References
  1. Baddour LM. Skin abscesses, furuncles and carbuncles. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 15, 2016.
  2. Boils and carbuncles. National Health Service. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/boils/pages/introduction.aspx. Accessed June 15, 2016.
  3. Habif TP. Bacterial infections. In: Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com Accessed June 20, 2016.
  4. Adams JG. Skin and soft tissue infections. In: Emergency Medicine: Clinical Essentials. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 17, 2016.
  5. Kliegman RM, et al. Cutaneous bacterial infections. In: Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 16, 2016.