What to Do When Your Boil Becomes Unmanageable

If you have a large and painful lesion, such as a boil, in your armpit, you might try several things to address the infection. But if your efforts make the boil worse, you'll need to try a new strategy to find relief. Here's what you can do if your boil becomes unmanageable. 

1. Stop Aggravating the Boil

Boils take about two weeks to come to a head, drain, and go away. But some skin lesions can last longer if you aggravate them. The bacteria inside the lesion can increase if you don't cleanse your skin properly or if you do something to aggravate the lesion. 

If you use deodorant, refrain from doing so now. Some deodorants can build up in the pores and skin in your armpit. If deodorant gets inside your boil, it may make the infection worse. You want to gently wash your armpit with antibacterial soap or a mild cleanser instead. Also, avoid detoxing your armpit until the boil or lesion goes away.

In addition, don't try to open up the boil with a sewing needle, safety pin, or anything else sharp. The object may only succeed in pushing the infectious material deeper into your skin. If the infectious material does enter your bloodstream, it may pass to other tissues in your body. Instead of picking at the lesion to open it up, contact a medical clinic or center to have a doctor perform this step.

2. Consult a Medical Center

Some boils can increase in size and severity over time. A physician can lance, or surgically open up, the lesion for you. However, a physician may take samples of your blood before they drain the boil. If the infectious bacteria are inside your bloodstream, a doctor will treat it with strong antibiotics. 

If your blood is clean, a medical center's doctor will lance, drain, and clean your wound with saline. A physician may place gauze inside the wound to help it drain and heal appropriately. Don't remove the gauze unless a doctor instructs you to do so. 

Before you leave a medical center, a physician may provide instructions on how to avoid getting boils in the future. For example, a doctor may suggest you use a mild antiperspirant instead of a powder deodorant. You may also want to bathe regularly to keep your skin free of bacteria. 

For additional information about skin lesions and how to manage them, contact a medical clinic. 

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