Help! Boil cure?

Okay, sorry to gross anyone out here, but I’m in hell. I am recently plagued by boils on my legs. (They actually sound worse than they are, which is simply large, painful pimples). Specifically my thighs, in very inconvenient places that make make sitting and walking a torment.

My doc says I’m doing the right things, which is to keep myself squeaky clean and dry, but what the hell else can I do? And what can I do to relieve the pain since my efforts at prevention are not working?

Really, folks, I need help here!

This is a non-smoking area. If we see you smoking, we will assume you are on fire and act accordingly.

Sure they aren’t fernuncles?

Boils are very large, the size of a fist & they need lancing.

Whatsa fernuncle? Cool word…apparantly related to carbuncle, my mother’s brother who is addicted to potatoes and toast.

I did discuss it with my doc, who didn’t argue with my characterization of them as boils. These be large, and I would be much obliged if they were lanced. And frankly, I don’t care what they’re called, I just want relief!

(They are hard, by the way. It’s like having a marble under the skin. If they were soft, I’d lance them myself!)

This is a non-smoking area. If we see you smoking, we will assume you are on fire and act accordingly.

I am refraining from a smartass comment here.
—biting my tongue—

There is a product called “Boil Ease” which my dad used when he got boils in delicate locations like that.

According to what I’ve been able to find on the web, furuncle is the medical term for a boil, and they’re caused by staphococci bacteria, which infect hair follicles.

I’ve been battling furunculosis myself for quite a while, now, though I haven’t been in so much pain to compell me to purchase the aforementioned “Boil Ease.” I did consult my doctor, though, who prescribed a topical antibiotic, told me to use a liquid soap and a scrubby in the shower, and, of course, don’t lance them yourself, even if it brings temporary relief, because that can cause them to spread and/or lead to infection.

Good luck :slight_smile:

“I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it,” Jack Handy

Boils= size of fist
fernuncle= about size of a marble or walnut.

Lancing was the medical method of treatment at my college UCSD,a medical school. After that,
then they try to inject each one with something.

At any rate, do get some antibiotics ASAP.
Retina-A was made for this sort of thing on the face. Get another doc to go to a medical school.


I can help you–sort of. There is a plant that grows almost everywhere here in the midwest. The leaves of this plant work like drawing salve, extracting the nasty bits from the boil. As you may have guessed, I can’t remember the name of the plant. Truth is, I may never have known the name. One of those home remedies we always did, but I don’t recall ever hearing the actual scientific name of the plant. Dad just said, “This one”. Anyway, here’s a description of the thing. Maybe someone will know what I’m talking about.
It is a weed that grows very close to the ground, with leaves appx. 1" wide by 2" long. The leaves have a number of strings running through them lengthwise (like celery). Each weed, in it’s entirety, is about 5" in diameter. The leaves lay very close to the ground. That is to say, they grow out sideways from the plant, rather than up. They grow so low that the average lawnmower has no effect on them.
If by some miracle you are able to determine which plant I am talking about, you’re set. Just pluck a few leaves, place them on the boil, cover that with some gauze and tape it down. Change at least twice a day.
I’m not ususally into herbal remedies, but Dad steered me right on this one. It’s worked for me every time.

“I think it would be a great idea” Mohandas Ghandi’s answer when asked what he thought of Western civilization

I don’t want to gross you out, and I really don’t want to give the impression I’m passing judgement on your personal hygiene, but it may help you to know that the staph bacteria, which causes a boil, lives primarily in the respitory tract, ie the throat and nose.

If you are repeatedly having boils, it’s important to keep your hands clean, especially if you have a cold or some other respitory infection. Of course, keeping the infected area (legs) clean is also wise, and you might benefit from a mild granular exfoliation scrub. There’s some really yummy ones on the shelves (vanilla, cococut, take your pick).

Best way to get rid of the boil once it does appear is to apply wet, hot compresses to encourage it to come to a head and pop. Lovely, I know… but hey, it’s what works.

Forget the medical stuff, he is right, heat that puppy up, and pop it. Or sterilize a pin and do it that way if it hurts too much to squeeze. All they are is a glorified pimple…you know what infection looks like, and if you see any, go back to the doctor.

the above solution does not imply in any way that I should be trusted for this type of thing

Please go see your doctor again. tell him that you are still getting them and ask what to do. Don’t listen to anybody on this board for 2 reasons!

  1. No one has seen the thigs on your legs. They may not be boils or fernucles as some have suggested but your doctor let the terminology slide to make it easier for you.

  2. I don’t know if any of them are doctors? or have any medical training? Or even watch ER? But your doctor has had several years of training to help you and if he/she can’t help you see another doctor!

phew! Got that off my chest!
Please go on with your opinions!

I’m not a doctor, but I have experience with boils.

My grandmother taught us to use the lining from an eggshell.

You crack an egg, empt the contents into a bowl. Then pull the membrane that lines the shell off. Put this on the boil and cover it with gauze or a clean white cloth. Leave it on for 3 to 5 hours.
When you remove the covering be sure to have a warm wet washcloth handy to moisten the lining so it is very easy to remove.

This bring it to a head and many times causes it to drain on it’s own. Thats why you need to have it covered.

You may have to do this twice. Boil Ease is also good but the egg shell membrane is cheap, natural and not as harsh.

I don’t know anyway to prevent them from happening though.

I am not telling you to do this. Just sharing what works for me.

Ayesha - Lioness

I’m out of my mind, but,
feel free to leave a message

When I get something which sounds similar to your condition, my dermatologist recommends (and supplies) cortisone injections. They reduce the swelling and bring things to a head (so to speak.) If things are not quite that bad, I use Neosporin w/ pain relief - it keeps the area medicated w/ antibiotics etc. and provides topical relief. In general, I use Dial antibacterial soap daily to prevent flare-up, and antibiotics at the first sign of a flare. My derm said that some people are just prone to these things and there isn’t much they can do - except lose weight, but that’s mentioned every time I go to the doctor, usually by some twig=person!

Did those chickens have anything to do with this?

I have to second Ayesha on this. I had a couple when I was a teen, and Mom found out about this eggshell lining home remedy. We tried it and it worked. I don’t know why or how, but in this particular case it did the job.

Actually, I suspect that the main thing that helped was the cool moisture of the lining relieved some of the pain, and the gauze cushioned the area and prevented it from rubbing against my clothes. Then my body was able to handle the boils without the nuisance of additional irritation.


Stoidela, I echo the “keep seeing your doctor” sentiments expressed by several posters.

To clarify:

Furuncles are abscesses (collections of bacteria & pus) in the subcutaneous tissues.

Carbuncles are very large furuncles that have developed several tracts to spread to surrounding areas. (What one poster called boils)

Boil is simply a lay term for either.

It sounds like your doc is addressing the boils, but maybe not the reason for the boils. A trial of antibiotics (oral + topical for the nasal membranes) may be appropriate. The other thing that should definitely be checked out is the possibility of diabetes, or some other condition which is hindering your immune system from working properly. I differ strongly with one poster who advised using topical steroids; these may help with the boil you have today, but because steroids suppress the immune system, probably do increase the likelihood of future boils.

Good Luck!

Sue from El Paso

HM…someone else mentioned RetinA, which is high in vitamin A (correct?). Aren’t eggs a great source of vitamin A? (I don’t know, maybe I’m just making this up, but I really think I learned that somewhere…)Anyway, maybe this is why the egg lining thing works. maybe. :slight_smile:

tipi :slight_smile:

It’s always fascinating to read the responses people give to some of life’s problems.

If I had a problem that I thought y’all could fix, I sure would it run it by you; the answers would be illuminating and interesting, humorous, worthwhile.

That being said, I gotta cover our butts here, so here goes:

Always remember that nothing that you read on this board is to take the place of real life consultation with professionals. That means it’s okay to read what we say, but before you act on it, check it out with a doctor, a lawyer, etc.

Do not rely on this board (or any other place in cyberspace, for that matter) for things that have real bearing on your real life.

your humble TubaDiva/SDStaffDiv
for the Straight Dope

**43rd Law of Computing: *Anything that can go wr <segmentation fault>

Regarding Boil-Ease: they still make it, but my pharmacist tells me it doesn’t really work anymore because they removed the effective ingredient: mercury!!

I’m all cleaned and sterilized and neosporined and bandaged. I discovered that in addition to the boil pain, the last bandage I used apparantly tore off a hunk o’ skin! I siwtched to something less brutal than BandAids.

It’s really an unbelievable pain in the ass…and the inner thigh!

Oh yeah…turst you highly educated doctor…they know what they’re doing all right…suuuurrreee they do. As I sit here looking at my $387 bill for avisit to the doctor in which he actuall saw me for all of about 5 minutes, and prescribed me something that did absolutly nothing…I agree with the lancers…get a hot washcloth…hold it over the area for a while, then apply gentle pressure to see if you can get it to drain. If this subtle approch doesn’t work, you may have to go with the needle method. I also am prone to get these on my inner thighs…sometimes they’ll go away on there own, sometimes they need some help. Mine seem to usually come from ingrown hair…(shrug)…I’m loofa’d the hell out of myself, and that doesn’t seem to make a difference. Good luck.

<i>I haven’t lost my mind, I have a tape backup around somewhere.</i>

Stoidela, ya poor kid! I’ve seen BoilEase onthe shelf on the drugstore, but never used it because, since childhood, I’ve used something my mother just about swore by. It’s called Ichthamol(sp?) ointment. Black as tar (maybe even contains tar, it’s been a while since I looked at the label – or had to). Essentially, this is a ‘drawing’ medication designed specifically to drain things like boils & sebaceous cysts. You cover it with a hefty thickness of gauze (to collect any ‘runoff’). Check with your personal M.D., of course.