The Causes of Boils

Overview

A boil is an infection on the skin that begins in an oil gland or a hair follicle. The area infected begins to turn red and eventually a tender lump grows. A boil can also be called a furuncle. Boils are quite common and can occur on any part of the body, usually in areas where sweat and hair co-exist. Examples include:

  • Groin
  • Thighs
  • Neck
  • Buttocks
  • Facial area
  • Armpits
  • Shoulders

The formation of a boil on the eyelid is called a sty; while the appearance of several boils in a group is a more serious condition known as a carbuncle [1]. Boils may therefore appear individually or as a group. Boils are usually caused by the staphylococcus aureus bacteria, [2], although other fungi or bacteria present on the surface of the skin may also cause boils. Boils must open and be completely drained before they can heal completely. They however typically last for about 2 weeks before resolving on their own. There are several causes of boils, and factors which may make a person more susceptible. Some of these factors and causes include;