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Classification and external resources

ICD-10 L02.
ICD-9 680.9
DiseasesDB 29434
MeSH D005667

Boil (or furuncle) is a skin disease caused by the infection of hair follicles, resulting in the localized accumulation of pus and dead tissue.[1] Individual boils can cluster together and form an interconnected network of boils called carbuncles.



Boils are red, pus-filled lumps that are tender, warm, and extremely painful. A yellow or white point at the center of the lump can be seen when the boil is ready to drain or discharge pus. An abscess is also a contained collection of pus; however, it can occur anywhere in or on the body. A boil always involves a hair follicle.[2]

In a severe infection, multiple boils may develop and the patient may experience fever and swollen lymph nodes. A recurring boil is called chronic furunculosis. Risk factors for furunculosis include bacterial carriage in the nostrils, diabetes mellitus, obesity, lymphoproliferative neoplasms, malnutrition, and use of immunosuppressive drugs.[3]

In some people, itching may develop before the lumps begin to form. Boils are most often found on the back, stomach, underarms, shoulders, face, lip, eyes, nose, thighs and buttocks, but may also be found elsewhere.

Sometimes boils will exude an unpleasant smell, particularly when drained or when discharge is present, due to the presence of bacteria in the discharge.


Usually, the cause is bacteria such as staphylococci. Bacterial colonization begins in the hair follicles and can lead to local cellulitis and abscess formation.


Applying warm compresses to a boil can help it to drain. Large boils should be incised and drained. Antibiotic therapy is advisable for large or recurrent boils or those that occur in sensitive areas (such as around or in the nostrils or in the ear).[2]

See also


  1. ^ boil at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  2. ^ a b Blume JE, Levine EG, Heymann WR. "Bacterial diseases." (2003). In Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Rapini RP (Eds.), Dermatology, p. 1126. Mosby ISBN 0323024092
  3. ^ Scheinfeld NS. (2007). "Furunculosis". Consultant 47 (2)

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

Medical warning!
This article is from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica. Medical science has made many leaps forward since it has been written. This is not a site for medical advice, when you need information on a medical condition, consult a professional instead.

BOIL, in medicine, a progressive local inflammation of the skin, taking the form of a hard suppurating tumour, with a core of dead tissue, resulting from infection by a microbe, Staphylococcus pyogenes, and commonly occurring in young persons whose blood is disordered, or as a complication in certain diseases. Treatment proceeds on the lines of bringing the mischief out, assisting the evacuation of the boil by the lancet, and clearing the system. In the English Bible, and also in popular medical terminology, "boil" is used of various forms of ulcerous affection. The boils which were one of the plagues in Egypt were apparently the bubonic plague. The terms Aleppo boil (or button), Delhi boil, Oriental boil, Biskra button, &c., have been given to a tropical epidemic, characterized by ulcers on the face, due to a diplococcus parasite.

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Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

(rendered "botch" in Deut 28:27, 35), an aggravated ulcer, as in the case of Hezekiah (2Kg 20:7; Isa 38:21) or of the Egyptians (Ex 9:9, 10, 11; Deut 28:27, 35). It designates the disease of Job (2:7), which was probably the black leprosy.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Facts about BoilRDF feed

Simple English

To boil water is to make it hot so that it begins to make bubbles and turns into steam. Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit). At high altitudes in the mountains, water boils at a lower temperature, because of the lower atmospheric pressure in high places.

To boil food is to cook it in boiling water.

The word "boil" also has a different meaning. A boil can also be an infection of the skin. A boil of the skin is a red place on the skin that is very painful. The person also may have a fever. The infection is caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus.


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