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Medic for Boils and Abscesses

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You might at some time-point have been troubled by a boil. A boil or abscess is a type of skin infection that develops either in an oil gland or a hair follicle. It starts as a small, red, painful nodule (approximately half an inch).

Initially, the skin is red at the point of infection and gives rise to a tender lump that gradually increases in size. The lump turn’s whitish after 4 to 7 days as pus accumulates below the infected skin surface.


Boils are smaller and superficial whereas abscesses are larger, deeper and filled with pus, accompanied by redness and pain in the area .

Boils illustration small

Boils are often seen on the neck, face, armpits, shoulders, buttocks, and eyes (stye). Boils can be very painful and sometimes may be accompanied by fever. If several boils occur together as a group, it is called a carbuncle and can be a sign of a more serious infection.

Boils are usually caused by bacteria called Staphylococcus . They enter the body through nicks or cuts on the skin surface and travel down the hair to the follicle and cause infection.


People with diabetes, weakened immunity, poor hygiene, poor nutrition and those exposed to harsh chemicals are more prone to developing boils.

Usually boils don’t require immediate emergency attention and can be managed at home, but promptly. The key to healing is to soften the boil so that the bacteria and infection drain out of the swollen area. Handle the area hygienically to avoid further infection.

home remedies for boils

Here are the top 10 home remedies for boils and abscesses.

Note: Consult your doctor immediately if you don’t get any relief within a week and experience the following troubles as well:

  • fever
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • increased pain and swelling
  • a persistent boil that keeps returning
  • appearance of more boils

Also, get your boils checked by your doctor if you are diabetic, have immunity related problems, or are on immune suppressants or chemotherapy.

1. Indian Lilac (Neem)

The antiseptic, antimicrobial, antiulcer, antifungal and antibacterial properties of Indian lilac, also known as neem, help treat boils and many other types of skin infections. It is extensively used in Ayurvedic, Unani, and Homeopathic systems of medicine.

home remedy for boils

Both nimbidin and nimbidol, the active constituents of neem, exhibit antibacterial and antifungal activity . It is a potent remedy to eliminate boils and carbuncles.

Its antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help soothe the inflammation and pain associated with boils and minimizes the spread of infection .

  • Grind a handful of neem leaves to get a paste. Apply it on the affected area 3 or 4 times a day until the boil heals.
  • You could also boil a handful of neem leaves in 4 cups of water until the quantity of water reduces to one-third. Use this water to rinse the affected area a few times a day.
  • Another option is to apply a few drops of neem oil (the one extracted from the seed is more effective) directly on the affected skin 3 or 4 times a day. Wash your hands thoroughly after the application. If you have sensitive skin, mix a few drops of neem oil in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and then use it.

2. Onion

Onions are of immense value for the treatment of a number of health problems ranging from various hair and skin problems to lowering the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Onions are rich in antioxidants like quercetin and other sulfur containing groups. It also contains vitamin C, small amounts of potassium, calcium, iron, chromium and magnesium.

These compounds are responsible for the antiseptic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that effectively treat boils .

onion for boils

Topical application of onion juice or paste promotes blood circulation, thereby reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow to the boil. This also helps in the extraction of pus from the boil.

  1. Just take a thick slice of onion and place it over the boil.
  2. Wrap it with a cloth to draw blood and heat to the boil and leave it on for a few hours.
  3. Replace the onion slice 3 or 4 times daily, until the boil comes to the head and drains.

3. Black Onion Seed or Nigella

Black onion seed is one of the most popular natural cures for various types of chronic diseases, and hair and skin problems, including boils. Black onion seed oil is nutrient-rich and widely used in Middle Eastern and South Asian countries.

Black onion seed and its oil are both used to treat boils. Both have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties that boost the immune system and help fight abscesses.

black onion seeds for boils

The oil is also rich in thymoquinone which has powerful antifungal properties (6). The medicinal properties of black seed can give some relief from the pain caused by boils.

  • Grind some black seeds (kalonji) to get a paste (you can also dry roast the seeds and then grind). Apply this paste on the affected area and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes or more. Do this 2 or 3 times a day.
  • You can also apply a little black seed oil on the boil, leave it on for 20 minutes, then rinse it off. Do this a few times a day.
  • Add ½ teaspoon of black seed oil to a cup of warm or room-temperature water. Drink it twice a day for several days.

4. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties that make it an important remedy for the treatment of diseases like psoriasis, ringworm, and itchiness of the skin and scalp. Its antibacterial property is due to the presence of the compounds called terpenes in it .

tea tree oil for boils

Regular use of tea tree oil will speed up the healing process and give you relief from the discomfort caused by skin abscesses and boils.

  1. Mix 5 drops of tea tree oil to 1 teaspoon of olive or coconut oil. Dip a clean cotton swab into the diluted oil and gently dab it directly on the boil. You do not need to rinse off the oil.
  2. Do this a few times a day for several days until the boil is gone.

Note: Do not apply tea tea oil directly on your skin as it may irritate your skin. Perform a patch test before using this remedy to rule out the possibility of tea tree oil causing skin irritation. Do not take tea tree oil internally. The preferred concentration of tea tree oil for the treatment of boils should not be more than 5% dilution.

5. Turmeric

Turmeric is a natural blood purifier and has anti-inflammatory properties that can be very helpful in the treatment of boils.

It has been used for the treatment of skin diseases in India and has been a part of traditional Chinese medicine. Its active compound curcumin is responsible for its wonderful therapeutic properties.

A review article published in the journal of Phytotherapy Research in 2016 concluded that there is early evidence to suggest that products and supplements from turmeric may provide therapeutic benefits for skin problems either when ingested or applied topically .

turmeric treats boils

Both external application and consumption of turmeric help in treatment of boils and carbuncles. External application of turmeric to the boils dries the boils within 3 to 4 days, alleviates pain and prevents the recurrence of boils.

  • Boil 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of milk or water. Drink it 3 times a day for 4 or 5 days.
  • Also, you can grind together equal amounts of fresh ginger and turmeric, apply it onto the boil, and cover it with a clean cloth. Leave it for a few hours. Rinse the area and reapply the paste 3 or 4 times a day for several days.

6. Warm Washcloth Compress

A warm compress is a very effective method to soothe a skin abscess. Not only is it relaxing, it also accelerates the healing process by softening the crusty skin layer of the boil, thereby helping it to burst.

This is perhaps the easiest remedy to follow. In fact, it is a very simple and efficient technique without any side-effects. Plus, it is excellent for relieving the pain, swelling and redness.

warm compress to get rid of boils

It also increases the blood circulation to help heal a boil by promoting the white blood cells and antibodies to fight the infection.

  1. Dip a clean washcloth in warm water, wring out the excess water and place the cloth over the boil for 10 minutes. You can also use warm salt water as salt acts as a disinfectant. Make sure the compress is wet and warm, and exert slight pressure on the boil with the compress when it forms a protruding head so that it will rupture with repeated soaking.
  2. Repeat the process 3 or 4 times a day until the boil heals.

Medic for Boils and Abscesses was last modified: April 5th, 2018 by Top10HomeRemedies
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35 thoughts on “Medic for Boils and Abscesses”

  1. I have reoccurring boils on the inner thigh and would like to know how to get rid of them for good..It has been some time ..I keep area clean and put castor oil ..tee tree oil…they are painful..I do wear tight undies.. I heard that putting baby powder on the thighs help after cleaning and treating..Is that a proper thing to do? I am thinking of the perfume in the powder.

    1. I get boils in my inner thighs as well, so i know the pain you go thu.
      Depends if you can see the boil, but if not you may need someone to help you.
      Get a layer of onion, and apply oil and pinch of salt (Mustard oil works great)
      Heat it up and apply to the boil. The hotter it is the better it will work, but only you know how much heat you can handle. Leave it on the area until it cools down. If you are not in a hurry, i would leave that on for as long as you can.
      Do this 2 twice daily for 2 days. Mine was gone the 3rd day, but i don’t know if you would have the same outcome. The pain is HUGE factor for me, and mine usually goes away the first day. But i always get someone else to apply it for me, it makes things a little easier.

      1. You may want to go to the Dr, it could be hydradenitis supperativa.. Its treatable, and will give so much more relief when it stops reoccurring. My daughter had that.. just a thought.

    2. You have to clean yourself internally and that starts from parasitic cleanses. All skin issues are a sign that there is an internal issue. Yeast is a parasite and it causes all kinds of skin issues. Yeast doesn’t always try to escape the body through a vaginal canal. It also tries to escape through the skin.

    3. Have you ever been tested for PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome…. Many women have no clue they have, but one of the symptoms is reoccurring boils not associated with mrsa

    4. Hey my names CJ I have H.S just letting you know that you should see a specialist – dermitoligist (to be diagnosed) as HS symptoms have reoccurring boils in certain places on body and that’s one of them.mine started on the bum the the thighs and then the armpits. Not fun. Plus helpful tip for anyone with them, wear lose/er clothes.it helps. Try emu oil, give me a lot of relief as it has anti inflammitry properties.

  2. After I soaked my boil with a onion for about 3 hours I soaked a piece of papertowel with rubbing alcohol and it started to act like a heating pad I’m not sure why .But it felt geat.

  3. I used the three day remedy with hot water (like dish water safe) and Epsom Salt.
    a. It started as a pimple on my upper eye lid. Because of the location I used the hot water first.
    b. Second day took a clean wash cloth dipped finger portion in the hot water, then made a paste with the Epson salt and compressed with the salt and placed it pressing on the eye lid for about 20/25 seconds each 3 times a day as needed.
    c. Day # 3. After waking up, cleaned the matter from the eye that morning. Repeated the next morning three times. By noon it was gone. Only remnants remained until naturally turning back to normal skin.

    This is only the second time I had it on my eye lid. I usually get it on the lower extremity (If you know what I mean). I try to eat a lot of garlic in my diet to keep it down. It works.

  4. Make a paste of garlic and onion same portion an applau on boil, do it for couple of time in a day, u feel so relax an it will help boil bust quickly, I just did it an within few hours I feel so good an one boil already bust .

  5. I get boils sometimes but when it is still VERY small like a pimple, I apply ice to it. Believe me or not after a few hours it just disappears like a miracle and saves me days of pain. But I’m not sure if this is really advisable. Everyone applies something hot or warm. And not cold as ice. Just sharing my experience.

    1. im curious about applying ice…i got boil in my underarm and its just started today.i just want to know how many times should i use ice on it? tnx

  6. I have a few boils on my body. i don’t have pain with mine unless i mess with them. i have ones that i have had for years. they aren’t big but they r on my leggs and arms. some have gotton bigger but only the size of a dime. i have tried popping with pins but nothing has happen they start to bleed. i get scared thinking i might make it worse or infected.i had one cut out once on my legg and now I’m left with a nice scare on my legg. since then two more have grown near the same area. some of the ones i have on me i have had for years now. wondering if it matters how long they have been there. Any advice would be great. just want them gone. i don’t even want to wear shorts or short sleave shirts because i have a real big one on my arm near my sholder. i will try anything someone please help and let me know what i can do to get rid of them.i really don’t want scares all over my body. i just don’t know if doing the things that people wrote on here would be good for me. because they have been there for years. any help would be great.

  7. I just taped a slice of onion to my inner thigh.. Never thought i was going to say that in a lifetime xD hope this helps!! Because it hurts like heeeeell,, But maaybe i can already feel the cooling of the onion

  8. I always do the wrong thing and try to pop pimples in groin area now this thing is big and sore gonna try the onion slice when I get home from work will let you know if it works or not

  9. Take a small chunk of a detergent soap (powder it). About 5 gms. Mix it with 10 gms of sugar (white) add few drops of water and mix it until it becomes warm. Apply this mixture on the heat boil. All the boils no matter how severe, will vanish overnight.

  10. I have had so many boils and im many places and have had many surgically removed wich is soo soo painful. My doctor told me to yous dial antibacterial soap only. And every day. I have been doing this and havnt had no issues at all its been about a year in a half now.
    Good luck!

  11. I used to get boils terribly bad. My mom would put a slice of red onion on each of the boils and wrap them in gauze over night. By morning there would usually be a head to the boils and she would open them up and apply a poltice of ground sage and shortening, covering with a gauze pad or bandaid. Within a couple of weeks the boils would be gone. I do this now, even if it’s just an in grown hair or pimples ( the sage and shortening) and it doesn’t leave a scar. My husband says it’s less painful this way when he gets boils.

    1. Nowadays i am also having boil it is in my back below the shoulder. Initially I applied turmeric but it is very painful then i visited the doctor. Dr operated this once but again it becomes worse and again dr.cut and dig the area. Now i am going thru the painful cleaning and bandage also antibiotics injections. Anybody pls tell me if the treatment is correct or not.

  12. Try apple cider vinegar & honey, mix 2gether, dip ball of cotton wool n2 mix & squeeze onto boil, cover with gauze, 24-48hrs should have dried up

  13. My daughter had a medium sized boil on her outer thigh and at first we tried an onion based on the comments above. It worked a little bit. Then we tried black drawing salve and it worked like a charm. Drew the puss right out. You just need to ask your pharmacist for it and they will find it for you. We applied it twice a day for several days and covered it with a bandage. We also wrapped it with an ace bandage to apply pressure to the bandage.

  14. i got a boils almost 3 times during 6 months and it was really hail as too much pain and burning. I got quared by doing hot compress initials and as per doctor advise I did antibiotic course and it gave me quick drying the boils

    I understand the neatural way can heal the boils but it is taking times and if do both Togather medicines and natural therapies sure it will give u less pain and fast realese from the boils

    Rajesh shah…..Dubai

  15. I have a boil on the side of my forehead in the temple very strange place to be anyway I am going to try apple cider vinegar and honey and if that doesn’t work I’ll use a hot cloth. Has anybody ever heard of one being there or maybe it isn’t a boil

  16. This really works. Quarter an onion, take 1 quarter of it and put in toaster oven for a few minutes to cook slightly take a couple of layers of it, dab a 1/4 tsp honey on the boil, put the onion over it, a layer of sterile gauze, tape and leave overnight. You will notice immediate results, repeat if necessary.

  17. I had one on my great toe when I was a child. It was huge and very painful making me unable to wear a shoe on that foot. My Mom lanced the top will a sterile needle. The core was very defined. She took a piece of thread folded it in half then laid the thread on my toe with one piece sideof thread
    on each side of the core. Gently began twist the tread until it became tight around the core. After it was tight against the core she just pulled her hands apart causing the thread to pull upward and the entire core came out that about half inch long and and the core was half inch long and the size of a pencil in diameter. It happened so quick there was no pain just IMMEDIATE RELIEF.

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