The furunculosis is the "disease of the furuncles". A boil is a deep, painful inflammation of the follicle of the hair (Hair follicle) and the surrounding tissue. Only when the entire hair follicle is inflamed is it called a boil. The result is a hard, red inflamed lump that fills with pus as the disease progresses. This pus can empty spontaneously, whereupon the boil usually heals and leaves a scar. Boils can appear anywhere on hairy skin. Do the boils persist or do they keep coming back (recurrent), one speaks of furunculosis.

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Causes of furunculosis

The cause of the development of a boil is usually one bacterial infection, mainly by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. The bacteria often come from the patient's body, for example from the Nasopharynx, but also from other people or infected objects.

They get into the hair follicle from the outside through tiny, barely visible injuries to the skin and call a Inflammatory response emerged. The skin is supplied with more blood and looks red. In addition, the vessels around the inflammation become more permeable, so that the body's immune cells can more easily reach the bacteria to fight them.

With the cells, water also escapes into the surrounding tissue and the skin around the inflamed hair swells. Certain Messenger substances (Cytokines) released by the immune cells lead to a painful reaction. When the inflammatory cells (White blood cells, Granulocytes) die off, pus eventually develops.

Patient with a weakened immune system are particularly at risk when boils develop. This includes, for example, patients Diabetes mellitus (Diabetes) or one Immunodeficiency (for example, a lack of white blood cells). Also one poor hygiene after shaving can lead to boils.

Diagnosis of furuncolosis

The typical appearance of the disease is usually sufficient to diagnose a boil. In certain cases, the doctor will make one smearto find out the exact pathogen. To do this, he cultivates the bacterium in the laboratory and simultaneously tests which one antibiotic is effective. This special diagnosis is only necessary in certain cases, for example if the boil in the face is localized, the patient a immunodeficiency has or who Boils do not heal despite therapy.

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Symptoms of furunculosis

The symptoms of a boil can be compared with the Inflammatory response of the body to explain. The skin on the infected area is red, swollen and overheated. Also, there are boils and the surrounding skin very painful.
In addition to the local symptoms, other non-specific symptoms such as high temperature or fever and general malaise occur.
If several boils lying next to each other combine and form a large focus of inflammation, it is called this carbuncle. In the worst case, the inflammation can spread from the hair follicle via the lymphatic system (Lymphangitis) and to swollen lymph nodes to lead.

Therapy of furunculosis

When treating a boil, it is particularly important that the patient does this touch as little as possible and especially don't try to express the boil! It can happen that the Bacteria from the encapsulated boil are scattered into the body and cause complications there.

This can be especially true for Boils in the facial area be dangerous. Therefore, patients with boils in this area should also try to move their head as little as possible and if necessary bed rest to be observed.
Against the pain of the boil can be a cooling provide relief to the affected area for the patient.
For small, uncomplicated boils, it may be sufficient to close them disinfect and to be treated with pulling ointmentwhich has an analgesic, anti-inflammatory and blood circulation-enhancing effect. This results in a "maturation“Of the boil. This may then heal on its own, but in some cases the pus has to be removed from the doctor with the help of a Scalpels be drained.
Risk factors for boils should also be addressed. So it is advisable to use the frequently recurring boils Measure blood sugar levels and initiate diabetes therapy.

Homeopathy for furunculosis

There are also various homeopathic remedies that can be used to treat boils, for example Belladonna, Silicea or Hepar sulfuris calcareum.

In addition, you can rub the surrounding skin with Myristica ointment to relieve pain. In addition to homeopathic therapy, adequate hygiene and disinfection of the affected areas should also be observed.

In addition, you should definitely see a doctor if there is no improvement after three days or if the pain increases despite treatment.

Red stripes that develop around the inflamed area indicate a complicated course with inflammation of the lymphatic system (Lymphangitis) and should also result in an immediate doctor's visit. Diabetics (people suffering from diabetes) and other high-risk patients should go to a doctor directly if boils occur and should not carry out any personal (homeopathic) therapy.

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Antibiotics for furunculosis

In severe cases, for example if boils keep recurring, the patient suffers from an immune deficiency or especially boils on the face, antibiotic therapy is necessary.

As a rule, penicillin is used for this, which is very effective against staphylococci. In the case of a penicillin allergy, the active ingredient clindamycin can be used as an alternative. The antibiotic should always be given directly into the veins via a drip, especially in facial furuncles, as it is more effective that way.

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When is surgery indicated for furunculosis?

Surgery may be necessary if it is always recurring boils acts where the Conservative (drug) therapy failed is.

The operation is the Splitting of the boil under local anesthesia or general anesthesia. In addition, the Rinsed wound, to the Remove pus. The doctor has to decide on an individual basis whether the operation can be carried out on an outpatient or inpatient basis. This depends, among other things, on symptoms, severity, location and possible risk factors.

Especially with boils on the face, it is appropriate to special caution to let go and, in case of doubt, to seek surgical therapy sooner rather than later. Because of the localization it can be Spread of the pathogen to very serious complications such as purulent inflammation of the eye socket (Orbital phlegmon), Meningitis (meningitis), and Cerebral vein thrombosis (Cavernous sinus thrombosis). The latter can be life-threatening due to the involvement of the brain.

Another common localization of boils is Inner thigh. Here, among other things, tight and chafing clothing can be a risk factor. In contrast to the face, possible complications are less likely to be life-threatening, Boils on the thigh should nevertheless be treated with the same care, because here too it can lead to Spread of bacteria and blood poisoning (sepsis) come. Whether an operation is necessary depends on the individual symptoms and the response to medication.