General Practice 2022

Furúnculo: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

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Furúnculo: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment
Furúnculo: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

The furuncle is the infection at the root of the hair, caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, which can be found naturally in the mucous membranes and skin, resulting in symptoms such as the formation of a pus-filled lump that can increase over time, redness, increased local temperature, or pain.

The boil can appear in any region of the body, however, it is more common in regions that sweat a lot and suffer from greater friction, such as the groin, armpit, buttocks, face, scalp, chest, neck, shoulders or inner thighs, for example, can affect anyone at any age, but is more common in teenagers and young adults.

Usually, the boil disappears after a few days just by applying warm water compresses to the area to help remove the pus.However, if the boil does not heal within two weeks, or a fever develops, it is recommended to consult the general practitioner or dermatologist who may recommend the use of ointments or even surgical removal of the pus, if necessary.

Symptoms of boil

The main symptoms of boil are:

  • Pused lump that can grow over time;
  • Pain or discomfort in the lump;
  • Increase in local temperature;
  • Redness on the skin;
  • Swelling in the skin around the lump;
  • Touch sensitivity;
  • Presence of a whitish-yellow spot on the pit.

Furthermore, in more severe cases, where the boil is very large, gets worse quickly or causes a lot of pain, fever or chills may develop, as well as redness of the skin around the boil or even bumps.

It is important to consult a general practitioner or dermatologist whenever symptoms of a boil appear so that the most appropriate treatment can be diagnosed and initiated.

Symptom Test

To know if it is really a boil and not just a pimple, in addition to the yellowish lump with redness around it, it is important to realize, if:

  1. 1.Increases in size over time Yes No
  2. 2.In addition to the pain, there is heat and itching at the site Yes No
  3. 3.No improvement in 1 week Yes No
  4. 4.It is accompanied by low-grade fever (37.5º C to 38ºC) Yes No
  5. 5.There is discomfort Yes No


Make an appointment with a specialist

How to confirm the diagnosis

The diagnosis of a boil is made by the general practitioner or dermatologist through the evaluation of symptoms, he alth history and physical examination of the skin.

In addition, to confirm the type of bacteria present in the boil, the doctor can collect a small sample of the pus contained in the lump, to be analyzed in the laboratory, which allows indicating the best treatment.

Possible causes

The boil is caused by an infection and inflammation of the hair root, which is mainly caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, which can be found naturally on mucous membranes, especially in the nose or mouth, in addition to being identified on the skin.

Some factors can increase the risk of developing a boil, such as:

  • Small skin wounds;
  • Skin injury such as cuts or scrapes;
  • Insect bite;
  • Inadequate skin hygiene;
  • Skin-to-skin contact with a person infected with Staphylococcus aureus bacteria;
  • Diabetes;
  • Skin problems such as acne or eczema;
  • Weakened immune system.

These conditions can favor the entry and growth of bacteria in the hair root, which can result in inflammation and infection, and the appearance of the boil and its symptoms.

Is a boil contagious?

Although most cases of boils are due to changes related to the person itself, the bacteria related to the boil can be transmitted from one person to another through contact with the pus.

Thus, it is important that people who live with another person who has a boil take measures to help prevent infection, such as applying an antibiotic cream that must be prescribed by a dermatologist.

In addition, people with boils should adopt some hygiene precautions, such as washing their hands after touching the boil or not sharing tissues, sheets, clothes or towels, for example.

However, the boil can also appear on its own, without needing to be in contact with someone who has this problem.

How the treatment is done

The main treatments for boils include:

  • Application of warm compresses over the boil, for about 10 minutes each time, which helps to relieve pain and discomfort, accelerate the spontaneous rupture of the lump and the removal of pus;
  • Cleaning the skin, with lukewarm water and neutral or antibacterial soap, which can be done 2 to 3 times a day;
  • Continue applying warm compresses and cleansing the skin, until the skin is completely healed;
  • Use of pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, to relieve pain and discomfort;
  • Application of antibiotic ointment prescribed by the doctor, such as neomycin, bacitracin, mupirocin or fusidic acid. See the main ointments indicated for boils;
  • Use of antibiotics in pill form, prescribed by the doctor. In more severe cases, the doctor may also recommend the application of antibiotics directly into the vein, performed in hospitals:
  • Surgical drainage of pus, performed by the doctor at the hospital.

It is important to follow your doctor's advice and not try to squeeze the boil on your own, as this can worsen inflammation and infection, causing it to spread to other areas of the skin, making it more difficult to treat.

Also, there are some home remedies that have antiseptic properties that can help fight infection, and complement medical treatment, such as lemon or tea tree oil compress, for example. See other home remedies for boils and how to prepare.

How to prevent boils from coming back

Some ways to prevent the appearance of another boil are to adopt hygiene care, such as:

  • Wash your hands before and after touching the boil;
  • Do not share clothes, handkerchiefs, sheets or towels;
  • Wash clothes, towels, sheets and all materials that come into contact with the skin area with the boil with boiling water;
  • Wash the boil with water and antibacterial or neutral soap, after it bursts on its own;
  • Change the compresses and put them in their own trash.

In addition, to prevent the appearance of boils, it is important to always wash and carefully clean cuts, wounds or scratches on the skin, in addition to maintaining a he althy diet and exercising regularly, as they help to increase the immune system and the body's natural defenses. See other ways to prevent the appearance of a boil.

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