Skin abscesses are quite common and may form in warm and humid conditions. They are not difficult to treat. As soon as you notice a boil, wash it with a medicated soap and apply an antibiotic lotion on it. Soak it in hot water and apply hot packs on it. This will increase the blood circulation in that area. As more blood rushes to that area, more white blood corpuscles, which fight infection, will reach that area. Along with them will come antibodies. They will fight the infection naturally.
Do not try to puncture the boil when it is small and firm. Wait till a head is formed. A small boil will drain on its own. Adhesive perforated strips smeared with calendula ointment are available in the market. You can use them by placing them on the boil. After one or two days, the boil will drain by itself, the pus coming out through the holes. Remove the strip and clean the area. If the boil is big, consult a doctor to drain it. Homeopathic medicine Hepar Sulphuris and Silica can be tried to treat the boils.
When you visit the doctor, he will advise you to apply hot compresses several times a day to reduce swelling and pain. You will also be asked to keep the affected part raised. He will then make a small cut to drain out the pus. The area of the abscess will then be washed with a sterile salt solution to remove all traces of the pus.
If the abscess is very large, then after draining it will be packed with gauze for a day or so. By then, if the redness has reduced and no more pus is present, then no antibiotics will be given. However, if there are chances of the infection spreading, then antibiotics will have to be administered for at least five days. This is especially important if the abscess is on the face or the head to prevent infection from spreading to the brain.
The main aim of the treatment is to contain the infection. Maintain proper hygiene and complete your dose of antibiotic medicine. If you are diabetic or are taking medicines that suppress the immune system, then do not try to treat a boil on your own. Always consult your doctor and be wary of anybody from whom you can contact dermatitis.
Urea creams are sometimes recommended for treating the condition known as Keratosis Pilaris. It is a condition in which harmless goose bump-like skin appears on the arms or legs. Hard skin called keratin plugs the hair follicles resulting in the skin becoming rough. Urea is a waste product of the body formed during protein metabolism. It is thus not advisable to use urea creams. Vitamin E oil and borage oil can be used to moisturize the skin as they are healthier options.