Boils, also known as furuncles, are generally caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus or other fungi found on the skin’s surface.
Damage to the hair follicle is what causes this infection to grow deeper into the skin’s tissue. The webpage MedlinePlus explains that boils can occur in any part of the body, but they are most common on the face, neck, armpits, buttocks and thighs. This condition can occur only once or it can be an ongoing, chronic problem. See also, Seven keys to healthy skin.
Some of the most common symptoms of a boil include the appearance of a bump the size of a pea (which may be as large as a golf ball), a white or yellow center, it can spread to other areas of the skin or join other boils, as well as fatigue, fever, general discomfort, itching before the boil develops and reddish skin. See also, Erysipelas: bacteria that attack the skin.
Boils may heal on their own after a period of itching and mild pain. As pus accumulates, however, it is common for them to become more painful, in which case it may be necessary for a medical professional to open and drain them so they may heal. It is best to not squeeze a boil or cut it open at home. If the boil is opened at home, however, the recommendation is to apply moist, hot compresses several times a day to accelerate the draining and healing process. It is also important to visit your doctor to get the most appropriate treatment.