A boil is an inflamed swelling normally caused by infection to the hair follicle. They are filled with pus and are often sore and painful. They generally occur in places where there is friction between the skin and clothing, and particularly where there sweat catches, such as under the arms and between the buttocks. If a network of boils joins together, it can form a super boil, known as a carbuncle. The causes of boils are many, some occur naturally as a result of high occurrence of staphylocooci bacteria, but others may be caused by a weakened immune system (as a result of diabetes or stress) or by irritation to the skin caused by conditions such as eczema. Most boils will disappear on their own, but in serious cases they can be treated by a medical professional, who will normally drain the pus from the boil using a needle and syringe. Bursting boils is not recommended, as this can spread the infection on to neighbouring skin.
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