I have absess growing on my leg or an ingrown hair. It feels hard and is about the size of a dime and is red in color.

A boil or skin abscess is a collection of pus that forms on the skin anywhere on the body. There are many causes of boils including an ingrown hair, foreign material that lodges in the skin and blocked sweat glands. At times, the exact cause of a boil can remain a mystery.

The treatment for boils usually involves applying hot packs to the boil and draining it. The latter is referred to as lancing, but is usually resorted to only when the boil is soft and ready to be drained. Most boils usually resolve on their own or with the help of simple home remedies. In some cases, antibiotics may also be required to treat the infection.

While the boil in itself is not contagious, the bacteria that have caused the boil are. For this reason, great care must be taken while lancing a boil to prevent the infection from spreading.

Simple observation is usually enough to make a diagnosis of a boil without the need for blood tests. However, in case of a widespread infection, your doctor may order a pus culture to identify the strain of bacteria causing the infection. This will help in the selection of a suitable antibiotic.

In most cases, treatment at home is the choice recommended by doctors. The earlier treatment begins the better as there is less likelihood of complications setting in.

Applying a heat pack to the boil is the best way to start. The application of heat increases the flow of blood to the affected region. The increased blood flow brings greater amounts of antibodies and white blood cells which help to fight the infection.

The heat also allows the boil to ripen faster. In its initial stages, a boil will be small and firm and the skin covering it will be hard. As the boil ripens, a small pustule or "head" forms. This means that the boil can be drained. Smaller boils will usually drain on their own with the application of the hot packs.

You should take care while draining a boil. Pricking it to burst the boil should be done with a sterile needle. The surrounding area must be cleaned thoroughly with an antiseptic solution to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Larger boils may require medical treatment so it would be better to consult your doctor before attempting to treat the boil at home. These boils usually contain many pockets of pus that need to be drained separately.

answered by S E

It sounds like you may have the starting of a boil. if this spot feels warm to the touch or very sore when you press on it than it neds to take its course to heal.You should apply a warm  moist wash rag to the area with a hot rubber water bottle or you can use a heat in the microwave wet towl.You may need to see a doctor to get antibotics if you let it get out of hand. also take vitamin C pills twice a day.Drink lots of water.

answered by f

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