New Telegraph

February 23, 2024

Of the 6th Plague of Egypt

The setting was that of ancient Egypt (Exodus 9, verse 8-12) where 10 plagues were unleashed on the Egyptians for their unwillingness to let the children of Israel go. This piece is about the 6th one; it is called Boils!

Another scene

Miss KK is known for one thing; boils! She bear the scars at different parts of her body over the years. The last she had chose her forehead; large, hard, shiny, extremely painful and even gave her a fever. It had to be drained eventually, leaving a bad scar on the face she adores… 1. Out of hair follicle I evolve , Inhabit there via Chauffeur Staph aureus, An abrasion my entry, A cut my doorway 2. The skin I discoloured, A painful lump I form, I whitened the redness, An apex I mold 3. Tempting it is, but, Squeeze, scratch nor needle pop me not! To keep contagion at bay, Boil is my epithet!

What it is

A boil (also called a furuncle) is a collection of pus that forms in the skin. It starts in a hair follicle or oil gland when a bacteria (usually Staphylococcus aureus) enters the body through cuts or abrasions in the skin (from shaving or wearing of tight clothing) and travels down to the hair follicle. Inflammation of hair follicles is called folliculitis, which can develop into a boil. This is common in the pubic area, especially after shaving. A group of boils is called a Carbuncle.

Myths

• Lack of sexual activity cause boils in the genitals!

• Boils located on the forehead or nose tip imply the person is mean!

These have no scientific basis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Progression

Initially the skin may turn red at the site of infection and a painful tiny lump develops and gradually increase in size. After a few days, it turns white as there is pus accumulation under the skin. The pus later form a ‘’head’’ which can drain on its own or has to be opened up. The spread of infection to deeper skin tissues may give rise to an abscess.

Common sites found

• Face (one on the eyelid is called a sty)

• Armpit

• Buttocks

• Genital area

• Under the breasts

• On the thigh

• In the back

What give boils away

• Localised painful lump/swelling in the skin

• There may be obvious pus accumulation under the skin

• Redness may be present

• Localised warmth at the site

• Fever

Why you may have boils

• Poor personal hygiene that leads to dirt plugs on the skin

• Diseases associated with weakened immune system (the natural barrier against infections).

These include;

a. Diabetes

b. Kidney disease

c. A.I.D.S

d. Diseases in which there is inadequate antibody production

• Medications like Steroids and those used in cancer chemotherapy also suppress the immune system and can result in boils.

• Some have reported a link between their diet and boils’ occurrence. Cheese, Yogurt or milk have been mentioned in this regard. • Poor nutrition is a strong factor because it weakens the immune system.

• Boils could also be stress related • Exposure to skin irritating chemicals

• • Friction from tight clothing

• Close contact with pus from an infected person (until it drains and heals, an active skin boil is contagious).

• Ingrown hair; a condition where hair curls back or grow sideways into the skin-very common among people with coarse or curly hair

• Obesity

• Athletes participating in contact sports or using shared equipment

What not to do

• Resist the urge to squeeze the boil

• Avoid popping open the boil with a sharp/pointed object These would likely worsen infection

When to seek help

• Unresolved fever despite medications

• Severe/Undue pain

• The boil does not drain

• A second or multiple boils appear

• A very large painful boil

• Recurrent boils

• A boil on the spine Treatment of Boils aim to soothe the pain, eliminate the offending organism and prevent complications. For most healthy people with normally functioning immune systems, a relatively small boil will come to a head and drain on its own within two weeks. The easiest of natural treatments for how to get rid of a boil is to simply leave the boil alone. If you truly can leave it alone, a boil will likely break and drain on its own over time, typically within two weeks.

Advice

If you’ve had a boil, you know how tempting it is to try to pop it, but don’t! If you pop the boil yourself with a pin or needle, you may make the infection worse. Whatever you do, don’t pop, squeeze, scratch or open the boil. Squeezing can actually push the infection down deeper into your skin.

Likely outcomes of boil infection

The outcome of treatment is usually very good. Most boils can be successfully treated if prompt care is taken. However, scarring may be a complication after a particularly large boil heals. In rare cases, complications of boils occur when the infection spreads. Cellulitis, a secondary infection of the deeper layers of the skin, may occur. Other less common secondary infections may include impetigo (a skin infection), septic arthritis (joint infection), osteomyelitis (bone infection), endocarditis (heart infection), septicemia (blood infection), or brain abscess.

Ways out

Though not absolutely preventable, the following may help keep boils at bay;

• Good personal hygiene

• Use of sponge to wash especially the back region and under the breasts; this helps remove oil/dirt plugs built up around hair follicles

• Proper handwashing or use of sanitizers reduce the bacterial load on the skin.

• Avoid skin contact with pus from an infected person

• Avoid sharing clothing, towel or razor with an infected person

Read Previous

UK-based Nigerian DJ launches fitness app to promote wellness

Read Next

Structural defects will not make Nigeria function properly –Monday Ubani

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *