A boil is a red, painful bump under the skin which arises when bacteria invade a hair follicle. It grows rapidly and develops a yellow head and will probably burst, drain and heal rather than simply resolve.
Boils may follow an injury or picking and may occur when the skin has been chafed. Folliculitis commonly starts where the skin is macerated, i.e. from sitting around in wet bathing costumes or after the use of topical steroids for eczema, and even after waxing for hair removal.
- Contact your doctor if the infection occurs on the face or over the spine.
- If the pain is severe, the doctor may lance it in order to let it drain. This will relieve pain and speed up healing.
- Red lines coming from a boil or fever are a warning that you may need an antibiotic.