Boil in The Armpit: Causes and Home Remedies
A boil is a small pocket of pus that forms under the skin when the hair follicle (where the hair grows) becomes infected due to the colonization of bacteria present on the surface of the skin. Although it can appear in any area, it is more common in damp areas, with hair and exposed to friction, such as groins, armpits, thighs, buttocks, face and neck. In this article, we will focus on the boil in the armpit, an area that due to sweating, friction and the presence of hairs is very prone to suffer this type of injury. Let’s see below what are the possible causes of a boil in the armpit, the treatment to follow and home remedies that can help to accelerate healing.
Why boils leave in the armpit
The boil in the armpit usually appears when a hair follicle in the area is infected by staphylococcus bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus). These bacteria usually enter the subcutaneous tissue through small wounds in the area, cuts, scratches or breaks in the skin. When this happens, neutrophils (the most common type of white blood cell) move to that area to fight infection and, as a result, inflammation and pus formation occur.
Although anyone can develop boils in the armpits, there are a number of risk factors that can make some more likely to present them than others. These are the ones that we list below:
- Bad hygiene habits or hair removal in the area.
- Excessive sweating
- Weakened immune system
- Acne or eczema
- Use of tight clothing.
- Chronic skin diseases
- Renal insufficiency.
- Advanced age.
- Share bedding, towels and clothes with a person who has this condition.
- Genetic factors: people who have direct relatives prone to suffer furunculosis have a higher risk.
Symptoms of a boil in the armpit
The armpits are more humid areas due to sweating and in which there is greater friction, which makes them more prone to bacterial colonization and boils. The symptoms that can alert us that we present a boil in the armpit are the following:
- Appearance of a subcutaneous, red and painful nodule or protuberance of small size in the axilla. This protuberance tends to increase in size with the passage of days due to the accumulation of pus and dead cells inside it. This causes that, finally, a white or yellowish spot appears in the center of the nodule, which is what will break and allow the pus to drain outwards.
- Red and swollen skin.
- Pain and discomfort in the area.
When, finally, the pus is drained outwards, the discomfort associated with the boil subsides. Normally, these protuberances heal without leaving scars on the skin of the area, however, if they are of a large size and with a significant depth they can leave some type of scar in the armpit. In those cases in which the infection is more severe, the person can also present fever, fatigue and malaise.
Treatment to remove a boil in the armpit
In many cases, the boils eventually heal on their own after a few days draining a large amount of pus. During this healing period, it is important that:
- Do not squeeze or try to burst the boil, you should drain the purulent material on its own.
- Do not apply creams or topical drugs for others.
- Apply warm compresses with hot water on the protuberance about 3 times a day to favor, thus, the spontaneous drainage of all the pus. These hot water compresses should continue to be applied after the boil has opened to promote healing and healing. You can clean the area with warm water and neutral soap.
However, when the boil in the armpit is of a considerable size and drainage does not occur spontaneously with the passage of days, it will be necessary to go to a doctor’s office so that a specialist can indicate the appropriate treatment. Generally, the treatment to cure a boil can include the following:
- Small surgery to drain the boil: the doctor makes a small incision in the lesion to drain all the purulent material, reduce pain and promote healing of the skin of the area.
- Antibiotic drugs: in case of serious or recurrent infection, the medical specialist can prescribe the use of an antibiotic drug.
Home remedies for boils in armpits
In addition to the above, there are some home remedies that can help to remove a boil faster and reduce the discomfort it causes to drain:
Tea tree oil
This oil is a powerful antiseptic, antibiotic and natural antifungal, so it is excellent to fight infection and relieve pain:
- Dilute 4 or 5 drops of tea tree essential oil in 1/2 cup of water and stir.
- Apply the mixture on the boil.
- Let the product dry on its own.
Oats act as a good anti-inflammatory and soothing in case of boils. The best thing is to make an oatmeal bath in the following way:
- Boil about 500 g of oat flakes for about 5 minutes.
- Beat the mixture and add it to the warm water of the bathtub.
- Take a bath for about 20 minutes, ensuring that the area of the affected axilla is submerged in the water.
One of the best home remedies for boils in the armpit is turmeric, it is a spice with powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Make a paste by mixing a little turmeric powder with a little warm water.
- Apply this paste on the affected area and let it act for a few minutes.
- Then, wash the area with warm water and neutral soap.
Honey is a substance with antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that will help to drain and heal the boil in less time.
- Apply a generous amount of organic honey in the area.
- Leave on for 10 or 15 minutes.
- Wash the area with water and neutral soap and repeat the treatment about two or three times a day.
To prevent the infection from getting worse and to cure the boil properly, it is important to take into account the following hygiene and care measures:
- Keep the affected area clean, washing it only with warm water and neutral soap, and if you have a dressing that covers the lesion, change it frequently.
- Wash your hands before and after touching the boil.
- Wash clothes and towels that have been in direct contact with the injury.
- Do not share personal hygiene items with other people.
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