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What is the cure for recurrent boils?

Wednesday, 11 February 2004
Answered by: Suneet Sood
Consultant Surgeon,
Metro Multispecialty Hospital,
NOIDA, UP
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Q. I had a boil on my right cheek a month ago, it got big and was very painful, I took antibiotics from my doctor so the boil leaked with pus and got healed in 8 to 10 days, I was even giving hot water with a cloth as told by doctor. I got another boil on the same side half an inch away from the older one about 20 days after. And now I am having one more below my nose on my upper lip, this is third in a row and it pains a lot & leaves a mark too. Please tell me what to do & why it is happening to me. If I have to do any tests please let me know.

A.  Skin infections can develop into localised collections of pus. We refer to these as boils or furuncles. When the quantity of pus is more, this collection of pus is called an abscess. The abscess leaks bacteria into the blood, and more abscesses can develop in the body (wherever the blood flows). The name of the commonest bacteria causing this is Staphylococcus. Other bacteria may be involved, but rarely. You should get rid of the infection as soon as possible. Large abscesses should be drained surgically. Boils may be treated with antibiotics. The orally administered antibiotics that are useful against Staphylococcus are: Cloxacillin, Cefuroxime, Levofloxacin, Clarithromycin (or Erythromycin), and Clindamycin. Any one of these can be used, and I have made the list according to my order of preference. If the infection is not clearing quickly, you should consider also taking injectable treatment with Amikacin for about a week. The injectable drug is in addition to one of the oral medicines. You have not mentioned your age. If you are you a teenager, susceptible to pimples, then please consult a skin specialist, also. A blood sugar test may be required to rule out diabetes.

A.  Skin infections can develop into localised collections of pus. We refer to these as boils or furuncles. When the quantity of pus is more, this collection of pus is called an abscess. The abscess leaks bacteria into the blood, and more abscesses can develop in the body (wherever the blood flows). The name of the commonest bacteria causing this is Staphylococcus. Other bacteria may be involved, but rarely. You should get rid of the infection as soon as possible. Large abscesses should be drained surgically. Boils may be treated with antibiotics. The orally administered antibiotics that are useful against Staphylococcus are: Cloxacillin, Cefuroxime, Levofloxacin, Clarithromycin (or Erythromycin), and Clindamycin. Any one of these can be used, and I have made the list according to my order of preference. If the infection is not clearing quickly, you should consider also taking injectable treatment with Amikacin for about a week. The injectable drug is in addition to one of the oral medicines. You have not mentioned your age. If you are you a teenager, susceptible to pimples, then please consult a skin specialist, also. A blood sugar test may be required to rule out diabetes.

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