What Are They
Boils are caused by a bacterial infection resulting in inflammation involving the hair follicles and parafollicular tissue. The boils can occur either individually or in groups, giving rise to the so-called “crawl space,” which is characterized by an intense inflammatory component.
The boils appear red with a central part containing necrotic tissue, surrounded by rugged and painful nodular infiltrates. Over time, the size of the spot may increase, and pus may form at the top of the boil.
There are numerous pores in the skin, which are connected to the glands that produce sebum, a greasy and oily substance. The sebum present in it exerts a protective action against the skin by covering it with a thin layer that also nourishes, moisturizes, lubricates, and makes the skin more elastic. The fat above may be produced in excess and clog the pores, interacting with the bacteria present on the skin (generally, staphylococci and streptococci).
An inflammatory response is thus generated with the consequent formation of the boil or abscess. However, it should be noted that the obstruction of the pores does not constantly evolve into a boil. For example, if the mixture of fat and germs comes into contact with the air, blackheads are due to a chemical pigmentation reaction.
The overproduction of sebum can be caused by various factors, among which those of genetic origin and those of hormonal origin stand out. In some cases, however, the formation of a boil can be linked to ingrown hair or a foreign body in the hair follicle.
Boils can occur in male and female individuals of any ethnicity and of any age. However, the disorder occurs with greater incidence in people with impaired immune systems(which can lead to uncontrolled microorganisms living on the skin’s surface) and during puberty. In fact, during puberty, the sebaceous glands increase the amount of sebum produced due to the increase in hormonal levels.
In particular, while estrogens have protective effects against acne, androgens stimulate the sebaceous glands’ hyperactivity. For this reason, boils and acne are common side effects of anabolic steroids. Naturally, the sites most exposed to the onset of this disorder are those in which the skin is more oily and particularly rich in sebaceous glands, such as the neck and face, and back.
In general, boils tend to heal spontaneously. However, in some cases, it may be necessary to resort to pharmacological therapies (antibiotics for topical use), which will have to be prescribed by the doctor. In particularly severe cases, however, it may be necessary to incise boils.
Of course, the incision of an abscess must be done by a doctor; the correct procedure involves making a small incision (with a needle or syringe) on the top of the boil. If this operation is performed independently (option not recommended), it is advisable to wash your hands thoroughly and use a sterile gauze by exerting light pressure with your fingers (this prevents the capillaries from breaking. and the risk of infection is removed).
How To Prevent And Fight Boils
To prevent the onset of boils, to counteract those that have already occurred, and to prevent new ones from appearing, it is very often to adopt simple behavioral precautions and make small changes in your lifestyle.
However, it should be remembered that two main factors influence the appearance of boils: the heredity of the disease and hormonal balance. Therefore, despite compliance with the advice given in this article, pimples can still appear quite frequently in some subjects.
In any case, the following are the foremost valuable tips to counter and prevent the onset of boils.
- Avoid squeezing or squeezing the boils: this way, the material that comes out can transmit the infection to the surrounding pores causing the formation of new boils
- For the same reason, it is good to avoid scratching or touching the affected area even in the presence of itching (hands are particularly rich in bacteria and can worsen the infection);
- The boils can be crushed only when they have the characteristic yellow vesicle on the surface. The accumulation of pus in these cases can delay the healing process and increase the risk of scarring.
Personal Hygiene And Skin Cleansing
- Maintain good personal hygiene, wash your face 2-3 times a day without overdoing it with washing. Excessive skin cleansing risks drying the skin, stimulating it to increase oiliness and boils.
- The cleansers clean the pores in-depth, facilitating the elimination of fat and preventing it from clogging and infecting them.
- For proper skin hygiene, it is sufficient to use soap and water; in the most serious or particular cases, it is good to use specific products under the advice of a specialized doctor (dermatologist).
- The products used must not be aggressive so as not to dry the skin excessively. It is an excellent idea to experience any side effects of a new cream with a test application on the arm.
- Avoid oily or oil-based creams and cosmetics because they can increase the greasiness of the skin and promote the proliferation of boils.
- After washing, dry gently, without rubbing and dabbing with a soft towel.
- Wash your hair regularly as bacteria accumulate between them. For the same reason, it is good to avoid covering the boils with hair as the bacteria present in them can increase the risk of infection.
Exercise and sweating favor the opening of the pores and the elimination of toxins, in this way, hinders the proliferation of pimples.
Avoiding or decreasing stress, both physical and mental, and taking care of nutrition: in this way, some risk factors that contribute to the formation of boils are eliminated.