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The first indication that a boil may be forming is pain on a specific area of the skin only when touched. Soon after, a tender lump will appear on the skin’s surface. The surrounding skin will most like appear red, and continue to feel sore to the touch.
The skin will appear swollen and red because the body sending additional blood to the area to fight infection. Blood carries oxygen and bacteria-fighting cells. The infected area will also feel warmer than surrounding skin.
The lump of a boil is initially hard, but over a few days it will begin to soften and grow larger. In late stages, the size of a boil can range from as small as a pea to as large as a golf ball.
Eventually the pain will become more consistent, even when not touched. A pocket of pus with form on the top of the boil, and appear as a white or yellow tip on the top of the lump.
When the body is having trouble fighting the infection, it will raise overall body temperature. A boil accompanied by fatigue and fever, may be signs of a serious infection. Symptoms of serious infection are:
After 10 days, a boil should naturally burst and drain on its own, and the healing process will begin. It is important to keep the erupted area clean with antibacterial soap and medicated ointment. Never pop a boil with a needle at home. If the boil does not drain itself, medical attention may be necessary. Contact a doctor if symptoms persist.
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