A boil can take anywhere from 2–21 days to burst and drain on its own. However, if a boil grows in size, does not disappear, or is accompanied by fever, growing discomfort, or other symptoms, a person should consult a doctor. Boils are caused by bacteria that grow in the water supply and cause bubbles of gas and fluid to form inside your skin. The gas inside your body forces your skin to stretch, which causes the boil to become enlarged.
Popularity-wise, boils are common; many people will experience them during their lives. They are usually not serious, but sometimes they spread infection from one part of the body to another. This can happen if you touch the area around the boil and then use your hand to eat or drink something without washing it first.
People often ask how long it takes for a boil to pop. This depends on so many factors such as your skin type, where the boil is on your body, and more. However, generally speaking, you can expect your boil to pop when there's enough pressure built up inside it to force the fluid out. Fluid from within the boil will spill out and run down the side of your skin with some pus (clear liquid) mixed in. This is normal. The amount of time it takes for this to happen varies for each person.
A boil should burst and heal on its own, without the need for a doctor's intervention. However, if your boil persists for more than two weeks without bursting, you should consult a doctor. You have a boil and flu-like symptoms such as fever, fatigue, or general malaise. Your physician will be able to diagnose which kind of bacteria is causing the infection and give you an appropriate treatment plan.
Boils are bacterial infections that develop when bacteria multiply in the skin's oil glands. Glands secrete small droplets of fluid that collect under the skin's surface where they can be seen with the naked eye. If you touch or squeeze the boil, the fluid will drain down your finger rather than breaking out of the site of infection.
The most common cause of boils is Staphylococcus aureus, but other bacteria may also cause boils. Bacteria enter through a small cut in the skin, often getting into wounds from injury or surgery. They may also get into new sites within your body such as on your lips or in your nose. Once inside the body, the bacteria use your blood cells as food, growing large and plentiful until they're stopped by antibiotics. This causes them to waste away until they're eliminated from your body in stool or urine.
If you have a history of boils or if you're at risk for developing them, see your doctor before going on a hot summer vacation.
A boil will constantly "point" towards the skin's surface and finally break, emptying the fluid and reducing discomfort before healing. This entire process can take up to two weeks, and doctors will frequently "lance" the boil early—making an intentional hole in it to enable the pus to drain—to hasten the healing process.
Boils are most common on human bodies, but they also may appear on animals. They may be found anywhere there is fat beneath the skin, such as under the arm or around the buttocks. Boils can also appear on humans' faces. The boils of pigs, for example, are called "warbles".
Boils are caused by a bacterial infection that develops at the site of trauma from a object that has been contaminated with bacteria. As many as 100,000 people in the United States develop boils each year.
The severity of symptoms depends on how deep the boil goes under the skin. If the depth is less than 2 inches, then the patient may experience only mild pain and redness. However, if the depth reaches 3 inches or more, then the patient might experience severe pain when the boil bursts open. Also, if the poison arrow frog had developed this disease, then it would be unable to prey upon other insects due to the pain associated with its boils.
Doctors diagnose boils by taking your history and examining you.
Your boil's pus will begin to drain on its own, and it will cure within a few weeks. Your boil may heal without the pus leaking out, and the pus will be absorbed and broken down by your body over time. Your boil does not heal and either remains the same size or expands and becomes more uncomfortable. This usually indicates that you have a problem that needs medical attention.
Healing without drainage involves letting the heat kill off any bacteria that might be causing the problem in the first place. The higher the temperature of the water, the faster this will happen. As long as you keep the temperature of the water above 100 degrees F, you should be fine. Drinking plenty of fluids while you wait for the boil to heal is important because it helps keep the area clean and open to release any toxins that may be blocking the healing process.
Even if you do not drink the water from the lake, river, or tap where you found the boil, there is no need to worry about contamination. Boils are most likely caused by a bacterial infection, which is why they often go away on their own after being left alone to heal at room temperature. If you want to make sure that you do not spread the infection further, though, you should not be touching or trying to peel back the skin around the boil while it is healing.
Talk with your doctor about whether waiting to see if your boil heals on its own is enough treatment for you.