Current Research

Due to continual spread of MRSA infections in healthcare and community facilities, medical researchers are looking at different ways of treating these infections, especially by avoiding the overuse of antibiotics. These 'super bugs' can be deadly in vulnerable people like small children and the elderly so more clinical research is vital.

Clinical Trials

If you are interested in helping research to discover a cure, or at least a better treatment for boils, you might want to apply to participate in a clinical trial. Researchers run both observational trials and treatment trials in order to assess the benefits of the different drugs and procedures they are interested in. In order to do this they need volunteers who are prepared to participate in the research. Volunteers need to fit certain criteria determined by the researcher department and usually live fairly near the research center.

Observational Trials

These trials usually just take samples and measurements and may need to observe any infections over a period of time. Although they usually don't offer any treatment they still need volunteers so that they can assess the factors that lead to infection.

Treatment Trials

These types of trials compare or assess new drugs or procedures. By trying different techniques and medications, researchers hope to find the most effective treatment for any particular condition. The best treatment trials are what they call double-blind trials. This means that neither the patient nor the doctor administering the treatment know who is receiving the test drug or procedure and who is getting the regular treatment or a 'placebo'. A placebo is an inert substance or 'sham procedure' which should have no effect. However about 30% of people improve when taking a placebo that they believe is an actual treatment. This is known as the 'placebo effect'. A new medication or procedure has to do better than a placebo to be considered an effective treatment. There are also safety trials which are necessary before getting FDA approval for new treatments.

Taking Part

If you have serious boils which are not responding to treatment and you live near a trial center why not ask your physician to refer you. However there may be some risks in taking part in a research trial so make sure that the researchers explain things fully before you agree to participate.

Trials In Progress

At present there are boil treatment trials going on in various parts of the world including Brazil, Tunisia and Sweden. In the United States there are trials in Denver CO, Winston Salem NC, Houston TX and New York.

In New York a trial at Bellevue Hospital is studying the benefits of wound packing after incision and drainage of children's boils. Whereas in North Carolina they are looking at whether it is better to just drain an abscess without using antibiotics. If patients do just as well without the antibiotic it makes sense not to use them and help prevent the development of more drug-resistant bacteria, especially these 'superbug' MRSA's.

Bleach Remedy

In Texas the researchers are looking at whether a bath twice a week in a mild solution of household bleach, 1 teaspoon of bleach (Clorox) to 1 gallon of water, will help prevent reoccurring infections.

If you don't live in Texas, why not try this bleach remedy at home. Whatever you do make sure you keep the bleach/water proportions exact and see if this helps to keep away your boils.

Check out the rest of our website for more tips about dealing with boils.