Treatment for Facial Boils

Oh My! What Is That Thing On My Face?

Facial boils, those mean, painful red swellings that can appear on the face, are most frequently caused by a condition called folliculitis - infection and inflammation of hair follicles.  These infections intensify and manifest as furunculosis, or boils.  The bacterium responsible for these infections and inflammations is staphylococcus aureus, or staph, which are found everywhere, including on the face.  Most boils can be quickly and easily treated at home; however there are times when medical help is necessary.

Boils affect people of all ages and conditions, including young children.  If a child is affected with a boil near the nose or mouth area, consult their pediatrician as these types of infections can lead to blood poisoning which can potentially affect the child's brain.  The doctor can check and treat the boil quickly.  Adults should also heed the advice to consult a physician if a boil appears in the same areas of the face or if it doesn't heal after two weeks.  There may be more to the situation than meets the eye.

What Can I Do To Get Rid Of It?

Providing the above situations are not issues, there are some tried and true treatments for facial boils which can help speed draining and healing.  Salicylic acid applied immediately to the area in which hair has been removed, especially on the face, can help immensely in the control and prevention of facial boils and folliculitis.

Compresses work especially well to ease discomfort and speed drainage.  Soak a washcloth in hot tap water and hold it against the boil for several minutes.  Repeat this throughout the day and you can draw the infection to the surface.  Including Epsom salts in the hot water seems to add an extra measure of effectiveness.  After using the compresses, it may be advisable to cover the boil with a band-aid or perhaps some gauze and medical tape to hold the gauze loosely in place over the boil.  Once the boil begins to ooze, the opportunity for spreading the infection is at its highest point.  To protect yourself and others, it is best not to have it open or to touch it with hands while it is draining.  Remember - never squeeze the boil.

Don't Spread It Around

To prevent spreading infection, use clean towels and facecloths, don't share them with others, and change the pillowcase daily until the boil has cleared. Keeping the skin clean, reducing the amount of make-up or oily skin products used (oil seals in infection) and keeping the skin clean with antibacterial soap can greatly aid in healing.