Individuals with existing skin disorders are highly susceptible to the occurrence of large, reddish, and sometimes painful bumps on the skin called boils. While this does not necessarily call for a medical emergency, having boils can be outright embarrassing and revolting, especially since they appear on exposed skin area such as the legs.
Spicy meals, poor hygiene and unhealthy lifestyle are some of the contributing factors, but essentially, boils are caused by bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus. These may be typically harmless until they case deep tissue infection. That is why it is imperative that individuals with sensitive skin be educated on which causes boils on legs along with the possible treatments.
Why do you have boils?
Clogged hair follicles are the most common cause of boils on legs. When the skin is subjected to constant friction, scrapes and cuts may be formed. This is where the staphylococcus aureus bacteria seep in. They enter the skin through damaged hair follicles or wounds.
Other factors that heighten the possibility of having boils on the legs include overly active sweat glands that can block the pores where oil and dirt are excreted. Because they cannot exit the body, these radicals accumulate in the pores and eventually develop as boils.
Wearing tight fitting jeans that causes frequent skin friction may also be one of the root causes of hair follicle damages. The bacteria would then have a passage towards the hair roots and penetrate deep inside the skin to develop into a boil. This possibility is not too farfetched especially with individuals who are malnourished and with a weak immune system.
Ultimately, boils on legs are caused by poor hygiene, and sharing toiletries like bath towels washcloths, razors and loofahs.
Other factors include:
- Systemic steroid therapy
- Contact with harsh chemicals
- Ingrown hair
- Lack of certain nutrients
How can you treat boils on the legs?
Boils can cause extreme discomfort especially when the bumps are rubbed together in doing daily activities. Severe cases may lead to fevers and swelling of the lymph nodes. When left untreated, the boils tend to multiply around the same area. Before doing any remedies, therefore, it is important to seek professional help from a doctor.
Treatment options would usually depend on the severity and size of the boil. Those that are still small and firm without evident opening can be cured with antibiotics and pain relievers. These medicines can treat the infection deep within the skin.
On the other hand, boils with pus are treated by making small incisions at the tip. This is where the pus will be drained. There may be cases when the doctors use a local anesthesia to numb the area of deep abscesses before taking out the pus.
Some patients develop deep tissue infections, which takes days to cure. As such, physicians cover the boil with gauze for the continuous draining of the pus. This covering will be removed after several days. In worst case scenarios, large skin abscesses are surgically opened, drained from pus, and cured with intravenous antibiotics.
Can you cure boils at home?
Mild abscess can definitely be cured with several alternative treatments found at home. Applying hot packs on the infected area hampers the growth of the boils. This works by increasing blood circulation in the affected area of the skin, thus enabling antibodies and white blood cells to fight off the bacteria. Remember to keep the heat on until the abscess ruptures and the pus is completely drained.
Clean the area with any antibacterial soap. Pat it dry, and apply ointments. Cover the area with a sterile bandage, and constantly clean the area a couple of times a day until the wounds heal.
Another option is to make a paste out of turmeric powder and two table spoons of water. Turmeric can reduce inflammation and foster faster healing. Apply the paste on the affected area until the swelling subsides.
Never prick the boil with sharp objects and apply pressure with your fingers. This will only make the condition worse as it aggravates more boils to form. The pus getting in contact with other areas of the skin only spreads out the infection. Seek advice from a doctor before doing any home remedy.