Q&A: What Causes Boils?

boil under skinQ: What causes boils? I have them on my thighs. – J. P.



A: A boil is a skin infection that starts in a hair follicle or oil gland. At first, the skin turns red in the area of the infection, and a tender lump develops. After four to seven days, the lump starts turning white as pus collects under the skin.

The most common places for boils to occur are on the face, neck, armpits, shoulders and buttocks. A boil on the eyelid is called a sty. When several boils appear in a group it is called a carbuncle and that is a more serious infection.

Boils usually arise after a germ enters the body through a tiny cut in the skin or travels down the hair follicle. They are commonly seen on the thighs from shaving your legs.

Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if your infection is severe.

Here are some home remedies to help treat boils: