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Video

Dr Pixie:

There are loads of you out there who are being bothered by boils and you’re asking the question, what is causing these boils? Well, boils are simply caused by bacteria often a germ called staphylococcus which sits in a crack in your skin and creates a nice collection of puss. Now, who tends to get boils? Well, they are very common in people whose immune system is challenged. So, for example, people who are stressed or run down or who suffer from conditions such as diabetes. We also see them more frequently in people who are overweight and in people who carry a high count of bacteria on their skin. So they may carry bacteria along the surface of the skin or up their noses. By and large, many of us who suffer boils, only suffer them once off but for those of you who have them recurrently it is vital to go and have a check from your GP that this isn’t the sign of an underlying medical problem.

If you’re unfortunate enough to have developed a boil, rest assured it will probably resolve of its own accord. To encourage all of that puss to pop out then why not warm up a clean face cloth, place it over the boil for about 10 minutes 3 or 4 times a day and that will encourage it to heal. If however you are generally unwell, you’ve got a temperature or a fever or its incredibly large or painful, or if you have other medical problems for example diabetes do go and see your GP because it may well be that you require antibiotics to get a faster resolution.

I’ve had a message through from a teenage girl who’s got a boil and she wants to pop it. Please do not ever pop a boil, I suggest you go and see your GP because this could actually be an abscess, a little collection of puss which needs to be drained and treated with antibiotics. By probing it yourself you could make the infection worse and you could make yourself very ill indeed.

I’ve had a post in from someone whose getting boils in the vaginal area and she’s worried this is linked to shaving. This certainly could be linked to shaving because very often bacteria which naturally live on the skin can sit in cracks in the skin that are caused by shaving and this can cause an infection in the hair follicle and this can subsequently turn into a boil or an abscess. If you are someone who suffers from recurrent boils in this area then do please go and see you GP because it may be that you need a cause of antibiotics and an antibacterial wash. If this is a recurrent problem then we often prescribe a longer course of antibiotics to try and break the cycle.

Read the video transcript

Doctor Responses: Boils

Dr Pixie has scoured the Embarrassing Bodies website to find out your most common concerns about boils. In this video she uses her medical expertise to answer your biggest concerns.

Most of the questions that Dr Pixie answers were posted in the comments section of our boils condition guide.

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Comments and Questions

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I have a boil on my vagina after I shaved it was big and I put a hot compress on it. It popped this morning and it had white discharge coming out. What does it mean the boil has went down now and it's a little tender but not uncomfortable anymore





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Recently i notice boils near my penis.... and my genitals burn like hell.. . I can barely walk.. these boils are also on my scorbal sack and there is also redness.. could you help me with some home remedies/medicine? Plz help... it pains a lot...





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Im 29 and I was diagnosed with HS early last year when pregnant with my first child. As you all know it was awful, I felt so down and antibiotics or anything I tried seemed to work. Now although my condition has not completely gone away it has vastly improved! I'm using a combination of different things such as tee tree oil and turmeric etc that I learned from sites such as http://curehidradenitissuppurativanow.com and the articles and ebooks they have. I definitley think the key to treating this condition is education and finding out what works for you. Hope this helps!





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I Have a Large Boil on My Vagina and its really painful and hurts when i walk which makes it hard to move around I've used heat compress and after i had my bath i realised the boil had puss and blood coming out so i just cleaned off the puss and blood and after that it still really hurts badly and i can not walk properly What should i do now?





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Whatever you do not squeeze it, continue with putting moist heat on it and keeping it clean. More than likely you need antibiotics so you should make an appointment with your doctor, if there still is puss he might have to lance it, but don't afraid, you will feel so much better after all the built up pressure of the puss will be released. Good luck!

I get them a lot they really hurt and they go for a bit then they come back but I'm 53 I also get these under my breast they just keep going and cumin back

I have had this boil for bout a week now and it's very irrating how do I get rid of it





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I was using the bathroom as usual and like I was wiping and found a bump. My mom said it was a boil but I'm scared. I'm 13 and I've never been sexually active and I'm scared. It doesn't hurt but I do t know what it is.





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I have got a large red boil outside of my vagina its very sore and its bleeding abit wot can i use never ad 1 before





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I have a boil by the side of my penis, in the public hair region, its not painful and also not the hard. Its been there for about four days now. Please what could this be?





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I'm 22 I'm from Australia, at first I thought they were ingrowns just on my inner thigh near my vagina, but now they are two red lumps and one is the size of Aus 5c piece the other the size of a baby pea there no longer painful only when I squeez them but nothing comes out what on earth is it please help





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I am 46 years old and have never had boils until now. In the last 3 days I have one under my arm, one on top of my head and one now on my lip. What the heck is going on? I dont know what to do.





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