how do you care for a draining boil? Do you keep it covered, should you use wound cleanser?

Boils heal on their own after an initial period of itching and mild pain. Warm moist compresses encourage boils to drain, which speeds healing. Gently soak the area with a warm, moist cloth several times each day. Deep or large lesions may need to be drained surgically by a physician. Never squeeze a boil or attempt to meddle with it at home because this can spread the infection and make it worse. Apply warm compresses 3 times a day for 20 minutes, until the boil becomes soft. Once opened, the boil will drain pus for 2 or 3 days and then heal. Since the pus is infectious and contagious, the boil must be covered by a large 4 x 4 inch gauze bandage and tape. This bandage should be changed and the area washed with an antiseptic soap 3 times a day. Some important reminders when you have a draining boil:

  • Meticulous hygiene is vital to prevent the spread of infection
  • Draining lesions should be cleaned frequently. The hands should be washed thoroughly after touching a boil
  • Do not re-use or share towels
  • Clothing, washcloths, towels, and sheets or other items that contact infected areas should be washed in boiling water
  • Dressings should be changed frequently and discarded in a proper manner.

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answered by r k

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