A skin boil is also called a skin abscess. The simplest definition of this term is a severe infection deep in the skin. Generally a boil generally begins as a tender area of skin that may become red in time.
If left untreated the area of skin will actually turn from tender to a hard area of skin. The center of the infection will become overwhelmed with white blood cells. These blood cells are a normal reaction of the body whenever it finds there is an infection of any sort. The blood cells try to kill the infection. When a lot of white blood cells accumulate one notices a white pussy substance. The pus may come to the surface of the skin and then this mass can be pricked so it drains. Occasionally the skin may burst and it may drain without the need for pricking.
It is very important that a boil be treated immediately. As more complications may occur at any time. Additionally those with infected wounds or boils should never handle food, or prepare food for others. As the bacteria causing the infection may be spread to other innocent victims. A skilled doctor may be required in the most severe situations before an infection may spread to other parts of the body.
Boils may be classified into several different types:
The bacteria Staphylococcus aureus will cause what is known as a furuncle or carbuncle. When there is an opening in the skin the bacteria may get in the cut and breed. The furuncle will have one or several openings in the skin. Additionally in severe cases a fever or chill may result.
Severe cystic acne may form boils. If the oil ducts become clogged over time they may actually become infected. Cystic acne is different than the acne affects most people. It exists deeper in the skin tissue than common acne. Therefore it can clog oil ducts and lead to infection.
The condition known as Hidradenitis suppurativa occurs when there are several abscesses that form underneath the arm pits. It can also occur in the area of the groin. This is caused when the sweat glands become inflamed. Unfortunately this type of boil cannot be treated with antibiotics alone. In severe cases the surgery is required and the sweat glands may have to be removed. This would then stop the skin discomfort ant discoloration.
The term boils on the buttocks refers to a Pilonidal cyst. This actually occurs the area of the buttocks that forms a crease. The cysts may begin as a tiny area where the skin follicles originate. The irritation will grow and become firm over time, causing severe pain. It will become so painful that it may be impossible for a person to sit down. This may be the result of long trips or extended periods of time of sitting.
Medical attention should be sought immediately if one is in doubt about the severity of the boil or skin abscess.