Diagnosis and Treatment
Health care providers can usually diagnose a boil by looking at it. A sample of cells from the boil may be taken to look for staphylococcus or other bacteria.
Boils may heal on their own after a period of itching and mild pain. More often, they become more painful as pus builds up.
Boils usually need to open and drain in order to heal. This most often happens within 2 weeks. To help aid draining you can apply warm, moist compresses to speed up the draining process. You should never squeeze or cut a boil as this can cause the infection to spread.
If a boil lasts longer than 2 weeks, comes back, or causes pain you should get treatment from a healthcare professional. Also see a professional is you have a boil on your spine or face or if you have a fever and other symptoms with the boil.
Antibacterial soaps and creams cannot help much once a boil has formed.
Antibacterial soaps, antiseptics, and maintaining good hygiene can help to prevent boils.