Preventing Boils?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by jillianjiggs, Sep 7, 2004.

  1. jillianjiggs

    jillianjiggs Well-Known Member

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    Is there anything I can take to prevent boils? I sometimes get boils on my face. They're ugly, and verrrry painful. I'm getting married in 2 1/2 weeks. Is there anything besides prescription antibiotics that might help my system fight any infection off to prevent them?
     
  2. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Start taking foods rich in iron (raisins, etc.) or taking an iron supplement.
     

  3. Bink

    Bink Well-Known Member

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    My skin acted up worse when I smoked, and it still will act up when I drink alcohol or coffee. If you use any of these, you might try cutting down and see if it makes a difference.
     
  4. jillianjiggs

    jillianjiggs Well-Known Member

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    No smoking, no drinking, and only the occasional coffee. I'm trying to keep up with a good skin care regimen...I wash twice daily with a cleanser with salicytic acid, and at night I put on a medicated clearing gel with zinc, rosemary, and salicytic acid. (2%) I try to use a mask a couple times a week and exfoliate once a week or so. I'll try the iron and see if that helps.
     
  5. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Some people seem to be predisposed to getting boils. My oldest brother is one --- he also has deadly allergies to a number of things, including eggs, strawberries, seafood, etc. So I've always assumed the two were related. If you look at allergies as being the result of an overactive immune system, then it kind of makes sense they'd be related to boils --- meaning boils as a body's overreaction to bacteria, etc.

    He washes his face with Phisohex, alternated with regular soaps --- bear in mind, you shouldn't use any antibacterial wash regularly. He avoids the *fancy* stuff --- uses just plain ordinary shaving creams, etc, which also seems to help. And he learned to basically just leave his face and neck alone --- IOW, he washes once-twice a day, using Phisohex every few days, uses nothing else fancy, and basically just doesn't mess with his skin a lot.

    If you switch to something like Phisohex, don't overdo it immediately, as that can be counterproductive.
     
  6. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    Waaaaaaaaay too much cleaning. The more you strip your face with acids, exfoliants, and masks, the more oil your face makes. A gentle cleanser (try Phisoderm) twice a day, a light exfoliating astringent solution applied with a cotton ball to oily spots (I like Burt's Bees Tomato), and one little drop of virgin olive oil warmed in the palms and patted onto the drier parts of the face should be fine. You're being way too invasive and probably causing more problems than you're solving. Save the zit products for when zits actually appear, and make sure you only apply them to the actual blemish and avoid the areas around them.
     
  7. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Yup. After reading jillian's post, I absolutely agree.

    People predisposed to boils need to be very gentle with their skin and basically leave it alone as much as possible.
     
  8. jillianjiggs

    jillianjiggs Well-Known Member

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    If I don't wash twice a day in this heat, I'll have zits and boils all over my face. During the winter, I could wash once a day and never be able to tell the difference. Washing once a day just isn't an option during the summer. I also get blackheads and whiteheads during the summer, which the relatively mild gel helps. It's the only product that doesn't dry out my skin and make it feel like it's on fire. In fact, if I use anything other than salicytic acid, I break out with a rash.

    I usually get them in the winter, or when the seasons change. What treatment is there for one when you DO have them, besides antibiotics? Do cortisone treatments work? I've heard that acne or boil prone brides are usually put on oral antibiotics 6 weeks before the wedding as a preventative. That seems a little extreme for me. I guess if I DO get one, I could call the doctor asap...
     
  9. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Jillian, I have very thick, oily skin. And I learned long ago, the more I mess with my skin, the oilier it gets.

    I learned from my brother and also my mother, who also had very thick and oily skin. She did NOTHING and ended up even into her seventies with the most gorgeous skin you can imagine. The only thing she ever directly taught me about skin care was KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF YOUR FACE -- leave it alone!

    It was great advice.

    In the morning, I literally just splash with water. Throughout the day, I just splash with water and dry. I use a heavy duty cleanser at night to get the grunge off, but that's it.

    I spent some time in my late teens-early twenties doodling around with all kinds of stuff and turned into a virtual Pimple-Blackhead Farmer. :haha: It all finally clicked for me after a nasty bout with the flu or something when I was about 24 --- got sick, ended up spending a week in bed without washing my face --- woke up to gloriously, beautiful skin.

    And that was the end of my use of skincare products. :)

    Try plain washing products and plain ordinary water during the day, and see if you see a difference --- my bet is, you will.
     
  10. sapphira

    sapphira Well-Known Member

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    Jillian - My older sister's daughter used to get htem and finally my sis got totally fed up because they can be so painful and serious. She had the country family doc do a swab and send the sample to a lab to specifically culture for the germ that caused this. It turned out to be a specific not-usual germ that was treated with special antibiotic and has never occured again. Just a sugestion. MIght be worth it. And we CAN ask for treatment like this. Sapphira
     
  11. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    Just some brief comments.

    Any time you get boils, you've got bacteria. Obvious, huh?

    Any time you're getting recurrent boils, you're getting re-infected. Also obvious.

    So... the obvious question is - WHAT is re-infecting you?

    Sometimes it might be contact with an animal - including maybe another person who is a carrier but is not susceptible to infection themselves. If you're going to get swabbed for bacterial infection, maybe you should have your fiancee done as well. You ARE leaving your skin in a condition that's susceptible to infection, so expose it to bacteria you're susceptible to and you'll get exactly what you're getting.

    The other obvious source of infection is something else that touches your face - likely fabric. You should boil every fabric that significantly touches your face, because it has built up bacteria from previous infections. NOTE THAT I DID say BOIL. Nothing else is good enough at this stage. Face washers, handkerchiefs, pillowslips. Even bedsheets if you sleep under them. You can't boil your pillows, so replace them. If you or the fiancee have a favourite jacket that touches your face a lot, wash it, then stop using it for a while.
     
  12. Big Sky Country

    Big Sky Country Well-Known Member

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    Have you ever looked into seeing if you have Hidradenitis Suppurativa? It's when you have boils all the time. I would do a Google search and find out more information on that. I know people that have it and it's NOT fun!

    Leslie
     
  13. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Another important thing to remember is that we're all walking around with the critters that cause boils --- staph, whatever, all over all of us, crawling all over our skin, just waiting to do something!!

    :eek:

    And if you dont have the disease Big Skye mentions, and if you're not constantly messing with your skin, thereby compromising its integrity (don't do that!!) there's something else going on --- some kind of immune impairment, IOW.

    You can boil everything in your house 20 times over, but if you don't take care of the underlying reasons for the boils (immune impairment of some sort plus futzing around with your skin so much [naughty! stop that!], it won't matter one whit. You'll keep getting the boils.

    For now, though, because you're a bride-to-be and already have too many things to think about and already much too stressed to have all of us giving you lectures about it, I'd say just go to the doctor and do the antibiotic treatment.

    But once you're married and all settled in and the honeymoon's over, you need to address the underlying issues causing the boils, which are: your immune system and futzing around with your skin too much!
     
  14. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have Rosacea and my face used to break out all the time. For over a year now I've been on 75 mg of Adoxa (antibiotic) and I wash my face once a day with Dove soap (soapy hands to wash my face with...I NEVER use a bathcloth or scrub my face in any way) and a light moisturizer at night. My face has never been so clear. I don't even wear make-up much any more...but I ALWAYS wear sunscreen.

    I suggest a gentle cleaning routine, an Iron supplement and possibly seeing a doctor or dermatologist for an antibiotic.
     
  15. jillianjiggs

    jillianjiggs Well-Known Member

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    I've got a few autoimmune conditions, and one of them makes me prone to boils. I mostly get them on my face, but I've had one on my hip and one on the top of my hand before. So, it could just be an over-reaction to the bacteria that is already on me. I won't normally get the flu or a cold, but if I'm exposed to the virus I'll get sicker than all-get-out with an 'outbreak.' That's oral ulcers, severe migraines, arthralgia, etc.

    I have noticed differences in birth control...what I've seemed to get more with what I'm on now. I'll be switching in Nov. when my insurance changes but until then I've got the hormones already in my body.


     
  16. Jaclynne

    Jaclynne Well-Known Member Supporter

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    jillianjigs - You gotten a lot of good advise so far. Yes, lighten up on the washing. You can splash your face a dozen times a day w/ water to freshen it, but too much soap/cleaner and you compromise your skins ability to protect itself.

    You don't have time before wedding to make a dif by changing meds, but you do have time to start drinking plenty of water. PLENTY of water. I'm surprised no one else suggested this. It can make a big difference in a short time.

    Make sure you take your vit too.


    Life is good! :) :) :)
    Halo
     
  17. desnri

    desnri Well-Known Member

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    My nehpew had a problem with getting boils a lot. My sister-in-law took him to the doctor and he said it was because of a lack of iodine. You can buy liquid Kelp from the health food store, it is liquid iodine. It doesn't cost much. You put four drops in your morning water and there you go...all iodined up.
     
  18. jillianjiggs

    jillianjiggs Well-Known Member

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    I called the advice nurse, and here's what she had to say:

    -Wash twice daily with an antibacterial facial cleanser
    -Rinse well
    -Keep hands clean
    -Eat a balanced diet
    -Try to rest (heh...funny...resting right before a wedding!)

    If I get one:
    -Use a warm compress for 20-30 minutes several times a day
    -Call doctor if it's too painful, big, etc.

    If I get one before the wedding:
    -Call doctor immediately so I can get treatment asap


    (I just had my vitamin levels checked..the tests came back with my nutrients at the high end of the normal range)
     
  19. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like you have a lot of contributing factors to having boils, hormones, autoimmune problems and staph. They all need to be adressed, so it will take time.

    When my sister worked on a dairy farm and started getting boils, and lots of them, the ancient country doctor prescribed more than just antibiotics. He also wanted her to take blood purifiers. He wrote a prescription for Italian red wine for her to take to the local winery and another for the local herbalist for dandylion root and violet tea. 1 glass of each, once a day. Also, no sugar in the diet.

    It still took awhile for the boils to go away, but she never got any new ones.
     
  20. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like good advice, and I'll add, as another poster did, that water is essential. I'm talking pounding a pint of water every hour--just stand at the sink, pound it, and walk away--don't just sip it as you go along because you'll forget. Set a timer and do it. Any time I had dermatologic issues when I was younger, even if it was hormonal, the water would clear things up in a matter of days.