painful, embarrassing boil


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
Question: I had a painful, embarrassing boil. How can I prevent another one?

A boil is a hair follicle that’s become infected with the highly contagious Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. These "staph" bugs live on the surface of human skin and even in our respiratory systems. Normally, the immune system keeps them in check. You can’t wipe them out, but there’s plenty you can do to prevent their spread.
Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water, and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer gel when you can’t get to a sink.

Bathe or shower daily and after using a hot tub, a swimming pool, a sauna, or a steam room. Use a mild antibacterial soap and clean towels and washcloths.

Don’t use oils, oily moisturizers, or greasy sunscreen -- they can trap bacteria. Opt for oil-free lotions and sunscreens instead.

If boils return in an area that you shave, use a clean razor blade every time you shave. That means replacing the blade or soaking it in alcohol before reuse. Or opt for a hair-removal cream instead.

Rinse scrapes and cuts, apply an antibiotic ointment, and keep them covered with clean bandages until healed.

Avoid using powder in those areas that seem to build up sweat. The powder holds onto moisture, which breeds bacteria.

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