Boils are painful bumps that develop on the skin. They occur when bacteria get trapped inside of a hair follicle or opening where hairs grow. Your body reacts to the presence of the germs by causing inflammation, and that’s what produces the redness, swelling and pus. In most cases, a boil will go away on its own within 1 to 2 weeks. Waiting for a boil to heal means having to deal with pain and the unsightly look of the boil. Home remedies for boils can help to ease your discomfort and could even help the bumps disappear more quickly.
1. Warm Compress
Doctors often recommend this home remedy for boils to patients who develop the problem. Using warm compresses will not cure a boil or make it disappear, but the heat can draw out the fluid that accumulates in the boil to help it drain and heal more quickly. Warm compresses can also take some of the discomfort out of a boil. Heat has a soothing effect that eases inflammation. Warmth also increases circulation, which can aid in the healing process.
- Heat water on the stove in a kettle or pot until it boils.
- Fill a hot water bottle with the boiling water. You may want to use a funnel to prevent spilling.
- Place the cap on the hot water bottle and tighten it all the way.
- Wrap the hot water bottle in a towel.
- Hold it against the affected area for at least 15 minutes.
- Repeat 3 to 4 times per day.
2. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is the extract from a tree called Melaleuca alternifolia, having various benefits for your skin. While its name is similar to tea that you drink, the plants are unrelated. Using tea tree oil as a home remedy for boils is beneficial because tea tree oil has proven antibacterial benefits. It has the ability to kill some of the bacteria that are known to cause boils. In addition, tea tree oil causes a tingling sensation that can soothe some of the discomfort associated with boils, and also pimples.
- Shake the tea tree oil bottle well.
- Use a medicine dropper to dispense 4 to 5 drops of tea tree oil onto a clean cotton ball or dip the tip of a cotton swab into the oil.
- Dab the tea tree oil directly onto the boil using a cotton ball or cotton swab. Use a gentle touch and avoid the skin surrounding the boil.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water when done.
- Repeat the process 3 to 4 times per day until the boil heals.
Scientists have discovered that a substance in turmeric called curcumin has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits. It’s for these reasons that turmeric may be beneficial when used as home remedies for boils. The spice may help to reduce discomfort and fight the bacteria, so that you feel more comfortable and the boil heals more quickly.
Do not use turmeric based remedies if you are pregnant, suffer from low blood sugar or take medications for diabetes.
- Place 8 ounces of water or milk in a pan. If you’re lactose intolerant or allergic to milk, use water.
- Put the pan of water or milk on the stove over medium high heat. Allow it to come to a boil.
- Remove the pan from the heat and pour it into a mug.
- Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and stir for 1 minute.
- Allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes.
- Drink the turmeric mixture 3 times per day for 4 to 5 days as a home remedy for boils.
4. Rubbing Alcohol
This boils home remedy is intended to be done once the boil begins to drain. You’ll know the time is right when the boil is no longer a hard bump. The soft tender feeling means that some of the fluid is starting to dissipate.
As a boil home remedy, rubbing alcohol can help to combat the germs that are causing the infection to help the boils heal more quickly. Plus, alcohol cools the skin as it evaporates, and the sensation can temporarily alleviate discomfort.
- Soak a clean cotton ball with rubbing alcohol.
- Gently brush the boil with the rubbing alcohol, wetting it with the liquid. You may experience some stinging but this is normal.
- Throw the cotton ball away and wash your hands.
- Repeat this procedure 2 to 3 times per day until the boil heals.
5. Bread and Milk
Draining is an important part of the healing process with boils. The boil cannot heal until all of the fluid drains out of it. This home remedy for boils is intended to encourage drainage by drawing out the fluid that is causing the boil.
This home remedy for boils can help to temporarily ease some of the inflammation as well, giving you temporary relief from discomfort.
- Place 1 cup of milk in a pan.
- Heat it over medium-high heat until the milk starts to boil.
- Remove the milk pan from the heat.
- Place one piece of sandwich bread in the milk and let it soak.
- Remove the bread from the milk and put it directly onto the boil and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Remove the bread and throw it away.
- Repeat the home remedy for boils twice daily until the boil heals completely.
6. Onion and Garlic
Using onion and garlic as home remedies for boils has a long history. Both of the foods can be used alone as a standalone boil home remedy, but applying them together is believed to be more effective. Additionally, garlic is a recommended home remedy for warts, as well.
The biggest downside to this boils home remedy is that it will leave behind an odor on your skin.
- Mince one 1/4-inch slice of a medium onion and one medium-sized clove of garlic.
- Put the ingredients together in a small microwave safe bowl and heat it up for 30 seconds.
- Mash the mixture with the back of a spoon to create a mushy paste.
- Take the onion and garlic mixture and spread a thick coat over the boil.
- Cover the area with a sterile gauze pad. Allow it to remain in place for at least 15 minutes.
- Rinse off the paste. Wait at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before showering, taking a bath or washing your arm with soap and water to take away the scent.
- Repeat this process 3 to 4 times per day until the boil heals.
Neem is a popular home remedy for many skin issues and it works wonders for boils, as well. The leaves have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation and infection.
- Take a handful of neem leaves and grind them.
- Add water until you make a thick paste.
- Apply the paste to the affected skin area.
- Leave the solution on for 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse with clean water.
- Use this remedy daily for best results.
8. Black Seed Oil
Black seed, also known as black cumin, is a plant that is full of nutrients, being a great remedy for skin problems. The oil contains antioxidants and nutrients, also having an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
The active element in black seed called Thymoquinone has anti-fungal properties, and that is the reason why this plant is on our list of the best home remedies for boils.
- Heat up a cup of milk or tea if you are lactose intolerant.
- Add ½ teaspoon of black seed oil to the warm beverage.
- Mix the drink well and then drink the solution.
- Drink the beverage twice a day for the best results.
9. Egg White
Egg white is an unexpected home remedy for boils, but people who have try it swear by it. The process of preparing this remedy is simple and inexpensive, so you should definitely give it a go as egg whites are said to drain the pus from the infected area.
- Take an egg and place it in boiling water.
- Leave the egg on the stove for five minutes to make sure it is hard boiled.
- Peel the egg and separate the yolk from the white.
- Take a piece of egg white and place it on the boil.
- Seal it with medicinal gauze and leave it there for 1 hour.
- Remove and rinse the area with warm water.
Nutmeg is a spice that stimulates blood circulation which makes it an ideal ingredient for home remedies for boils. With its anti-inflammatory properties, nutmeg helps reduce swelling produced by boils and fight the infection.
- Heat up a cup of water or milk in a pot.
- Wait for the drink to get hot, but not boiling and remove.
- Add ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg to the warm water or milk.
- Stir the solution and drink it every day until the swelling reduces.
Potatoes may seem like one of the most unusual home remedies for boils, but people who have tried this solution were happy with the results. Although potatoes don’t make the boil disappear, they help reduce the swelling and speed up the healing process.
- Take a potato and wash it thoroughly.
- Cut a thin slice that can cover both the boil and the surrounding red area.
- Place the potato slice over the boil and fix it in place with clean gauze.
- Leave it overnight and then remove.
- Apply this remedy every day until you see results.
Although it does not have medicinal properties, cornmeal is often recommended as an alternative treatment for boils. Because of its absorptive texture, cornmeal can help drain the boil and reduce swelling.
- Boil ½ cup of water in a pan.
- Add 3 spoons of cornmeal to the boiling water.
- Stir over the stove until you obtain a thick paste.
- Apply a thick coat over the boil and cover with clean washcloth.
- Leave it on for 20 minutes and then rinse.
- Repeat the process twice a day.
Warning: Never lance, pop, squeeze or try to break the boil as you will risk a serious infection. If natural home remedies for boils didn’t work, you should have the boil checked by your dermatologist.
Using these home remedies for boils can help with the healing process, but they are not a substitute for a doctor’s care. If your boil does not start to heal within 1 to 2 weeks, you get a fever, your lymph nodes swell or you have diabetes, you should see your doctor about the problem and not just rely on boil home remedies. Do you have a great remedy for boils that you’d like to share? Tell us about it in the “Comments” section.