Understanding the boil causes in order to eradicate them and prevent their recurrence
Skin boils are a common phenomenon which may occur in the skin of any person. They are medically called skin abscess. For the sake of convenience, different types of boils such as cystic acne, pimples, carbuncles, furuncles, folliculitis, pilonidal cysts, hidradenitis suppurativa etc are generally referred to as boils.
The boil causes can be generally classified under two broad categories- external and internal.
In most of the cases, the cause of boils is the staph infection which is caused by the bacteria named Staphylococcus aurous. The staph bacteria are harmless as long as they are on the skin. They commonly reside in the nasal passages. However, they create infections whenever they get a chance of slipping into the skin through a cut or an abrasion. Once they get into the skin, they reach the hair follicle, where they start thriving and cause an infection.
Besides this, there are some other external causes which cause boils. Foreign objects such as a splinter may enter the skin leading to an infection.
At times the skin suffers from rashes which aggravate over the time and may tear the skin. The broken skin may lead to infections as the bacteria get a chance to get into the skin.
Wearing tight clothes may cause skin irritation which leads to rashes. Prolonged irritation can turn the rash or scratch into a cut, thus paving the way for bacteria.
Over scratching is also one of the boil causes.
Unhygienic skin conditions also give the bacteria a chance to linger on the skin. Use of anti- bacterial face wash reduces the bacteria present on the skin.
Sweating profusely after exercises may also cause armpit boils which are very painful and inconvenient. Hence, hairy regions such as armpits which have more sweat and oil glands need to be kept clean always. Otherwise the sweat gets mixed with the sebum and leads to clogged pores and thereby infection.
Armpits boils are also caused by anti- perspiration deodorants.
The pilonidal cysts are types of boils which occur in the crease of the hips. They result due to prolonged sitting hours. They occur mostly after long journeys.
Apart from these external causes, boils causes may be internal also.
Acne boils are localized infections caused by the excess production of sebum. During adolescence, the hormonal changes stimulate the sebaceous glands. The sebum needs to escape through the hair follicles. But if these hair follicles are clogged, it gets trapped within, thereby causing boils.
Certain medicines such as corticosteroids weaken the immune system. They make the body vulnerable to the eruption of boils.
Lack of a balanced diet also causes boils. The body becomes deficient in nutrients and vitamins. In such a devitalized state, the body becomes susceptible to boils.
Illnesses like diabetes make the body’s immune system weak. Hence the people who suffer from diabetes are more likely to develop fungal and bacterial infections which lead to skin boils.
An ingrown hair may also cause a boil.
Since boils are contagious, they may also spread from one family member to another, if enough precautionary measures are not taken.
Allergy to certain food substances is one of the boil causes too. In case a person notices that boils appear on the skin after consuming a particular food item, he or she should discuss this with a doctor.
Whether the boils appear due to external causes or internal, they should be dealt with care. In cases where the boils are accompanied by a chill or fever, swelling in the lymph nodes and red streaks radiating around the infected area, they should get a medical check up done. Moreover if they appear near the nose or lips, squeezing or biting them would lead to complications as the bacteria can enter the brain or the bloodstream.