Q: I keep getting boils and I never seem to get totally rid of them. What could I do?

A: Boils are bacterial infections that form a pocket of pus. Most of the time, it needs to be opened so that the pus can drain out. You may need to put gauze in the cut, so that the boil will stay open and keep draining. You may need antibiotics. It is important to follow up with your doctor to make sure the infection has been totally treated. Follow up is the key to get rid of boils, and may take more than one round of antibiotics. You can apply a warm compress or a hot water bottle, three times per day. Keep a cloth between the heat source and your skin. Do not stop taking your antibiotics until they are all done. Keep your bandage clean and dry. Change it whenever it gets wet or dirty, at least daily. If the abscess was packed with gauze, keep follow up appointments to have the gauze changed or removed. After the gauze is removed, soak the area in warm water twice a day, for 20 minutes.

Dr. Rick Casey

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