A boil is a painful localized swelling filled with pus in the skin. In the beginning it is tender area which rapidly develops into inflamed, indurated nodule. After few days it fills up with yellow thick material that we call as pus. Boils can occur anywhere in the body, but areas which remain moist or prone to frictions and minor trauma are more susceptible, such as axial, thighs and legs, buttocks, and groin. Boils or furuncles are usually caused due to infection of hair follicles. Most often the organism responsible for boils is staphylococcus bacteria.
When multiple hair follicles in the same area are infected they result into carbuncle. Suppuration occurs and the pus is discharged from multiple openings.
What are the Causes of Boils on Legs?
Boils on legs is common especially due to friction of the hair follicles due to rubbing of thighs. The most common organism to cause boils is staphylococcus aureus bacteria. The bacteria enter through the damaged hair follicles, cuts and scratches in the legs. Another reason for leg boils is blockage of sweat glands due to excess secretion of oil an accumulation of dirt.
Wearing tight fitting clothes can cause frequent friction with the skin and the hair follicles break down. The bacteria can invade the hair roots and go deep inside to develop a boil on leg.
Malnourishment, unhealthy lifestyle, poor hygiene and suppressed immune system are the predisposing factors for development of boils on legs.
There is increased frequency and severity of boils in patients suffering from diabetes or those on systemic steroid therapy.
How to Effectively Treat Boils on Legs at Home
Though boils on leg are self limited infection, you may need to accelerate the process of healing to alleviate the pain and inconvenience.
A boil deep inside the tissue needs to be surgically drained by a health care professional.
If you are suffering from diabetes or your immune system is low, do not try to squeeze the boil as there is risk of spreading the infection; rather talk to your doctor. He may prescribe you antibiotics and medicines to control diabetes and if necessary drain the boil taking all aseptic precautions. On your part you can complement the treatment by restricting sugar intake as well maintaining hygiene and boost the immunity with healthy food habits and diet rich in vitamins and minerals.
Recurrent boils on leg requires additional care to eradicate staphylococcus aureus, with frequent washing of entire body and finger nails with medicated soaps. Regularly change and wash your bed sheets and towels. Do not share your clothes with anyone as staphylococcus organisms are contagious.
Certain home remedies are beneficial in preventing and facilitating early drainage of boils on leg. Apply castor oil on the boil and cover the area with a gauze piece. After few applications the boil will mature and the pus will drain from the center of the boil.
Raw bacon is another effective home treatment for boils in leg. Apply raw bacon on the boil and keep it overnight. The boil becomes ripe within one or two days. It facilitates easy draining of pus.
Turmeric is a time tested home remedy for treating boils on leg. The anti bacterial property of turmeric prevents boil to spread further. Mix 1 tsp of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk and drink it daily two to three times. Turmeric soon helps to alleviate the symptoms of pain and inflammation and hastens the healing process.
Due to its antibacterial properties aloe vera gel is also effective in healing boils on leg.