Lancing or puncturing of the boil is a minor surgery that is done to get rid of the boil quickly.

Basically the boil is lanced and drained by the doctor to speed up the healing process. However, lancing cannot be done right after the boil appears. This is because the bacterial infection that causes a boil starts a struggle between the infectious bacteria and the body’s own white blood cells which are a part of the body’s defense system. As the struggle goes on the body develops a fibrous wall surrounding the boil which acts as a barricade between the site of infection and the nearby areas.

After sometime the boil forms an opening and gets ready to suppurate or discharge the pus. This marks the victory of the white blood cells over the bacteria.

The discharging of the pus after the boils form a head is the natural way of draining the boil. Sometimes the boils take long to form a head. This signifies that the white blood cells are facing a tough time in trying to oust the invaders from the body. At this critical juncture several time-tested home remedies such as hot and cold compressions, heat therapy and poultices assist the body in fighting off the bacteria and in making the infection reach a climax.

Before lancing a boil the doctors have to be sure that the boil has reached a mature stage. If the boil is not ready to suppurate but has grown large and painful then the doctors may try to accelerate its ripening process through some method.

So we find that even medical practitioners lance the boils only after the boil is ripe. This is mainly due to the fact that lancing a boil prematurely cannot be of much help. The body should be given a chance to fight off the bacteria by its own defense system in a natural way. Trying to get rid of the bacteria before the body has killed them internally can wreck havoc as it can spread the bacteria that may be still going strong, to other parts of the skin as well.

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One Response to “How long should a Boil be Left before it has to be lanced?”

  • Floody:

    Hi there,

    I recently have had a massively sore boil/abscess on my shoulder for over 2 weeks and OMG it hurt, couldn’t even sleep properly at nigh etc.

    Today it finally came to a head and started to ooze. I helped it along by pushing as much of the pus out as possible, I hope I did the right thing my doing that? Should I have waited and let it come naturally?

    I now have it covered with a cotton pad with no treatment on it.

    What should I do to help it heal ?

    Thanks and regards

    Floody

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