Once the baby arrives, there are a zillion things a mom needs to be careful about. When the weather turns hot, you may notice tiny red marks or rashes on your baby’s skin. These are nothing but boils. it is essential to keep the baby cool so as to avoid boils which if left unattended might be quite painful. Read here to know more about boils on babies and some ways to treat them.
What Are Boils?
To put in simple terms boils are nothing but skin infection due to bacteria (staphylococcus aureus) that begins at the hair follicle or an oil gland. When it appears, the area becomes red first. Gradually the lump becomes tender and finally gets filled with pus and turns white. Usually boils appear on the face, neck, armpits, shoulders, back and buttocks. Sometimes, the appearance of a boil is accompanied with fever. Usually these are nothing to panic about. Simple boils can be treated at home. However, if the area around the boil gets infected and turns red, or the lymph nodes swell, more boils appear and the pain becomes severe, it is best to get an opinion from the pediatrician for further action.
Why Do Babies Get Boils?
Babies can be prone to boils for several reasons. Sometimes, it could be extreme heat or a simple infection but at other times, the reasons could be:
- Exposure to chemicals that irritate the sensitive skin. This could be from soaps used for bathing or harmful detergents used to wash clothes
- Poor immunity
- Poor food intake and consequently poor nutrition
- Sometimes, iron deficiency could be a contributing factor too
10 Simple Treatment for Boils On Babies
- The simplest method you can use for immediate relief is to apply a warm compress at the seat of the boil. This helps the boil to open up to make way for the pus to ooze out. Heat water and wet a soft cotton cloth. Place it on the boil for a couple of minutes. Repeat it several times in a day and remember to wash your hands once you finish
- Whatever be the reason, never squeeze the boil. This could affect the surrounding area and the infection can spread. Some people use a needle to pierce and cut the boil. This could be dangerous
- Honey is known to be the best antiseptic and a natural remedy for boils. Applying it on the boil prevents spread of infection
- Another simple and natural remedy is use of porridge. Place the porridge in a clean cotton cloth, soak it in hot milk and place it on the boil to give a warm compress. It helps the boil to heal faster and is very effective to treat inflammation
- Make sure to keep the area clean otherwise the infection may spread fast. If the boil bursts, take a little cotton and clean the area with an antiseptic lotion. Dry it and cover it with a plaster to avoid the baby touching it
- If the boil seems to be spreading or not going away, it is a good idea to show a doctor who may suggest antibiotics to alleviate the pain and an anti-infective cream for the boil
- If the boil is on the head, rub the area with alcohol. If you notice multiple boils due to heat, apply coconut oil. That’s the best remedy
- Boil a few leaves of parsley until they become tender. Drain excess water and make a poultice with it and apply it on the boil. This is known to give relief and heal the boil faster
- Turmeric is also known to help heal boils. Once the boil bursts, put a little turmeric powder on it to speed up healing
- Another interesting home remedy for boils is a mixture of garlic juice and onion juice. When the boil bursts, clean the pus with cotton and apply the mixed juice to speed up healing and kill bacteria from the seat of the boil
If the boils continue to spread or becomes a carbuncle and refuses to go, the doctor may suggest a surgery. This is not common though. What you need to remember is that boils with pus are contagious and can spread. So you must always remember to wash hands after cleaning it.
How Long Will A Boil Last?
Without any treatment, a boil on your baby will start turning soft and filled with pus within a week of its appearance. It will start to fade away within 8 to 10 days. If the boil persists more than 10-12 days of its appearance or its recurring, check with your baby’s doctor.
When To Seek Medical Help?
Usually boils on babies do not cause any complications and do not need any medical intervention. But do take your baby to his doctors if:
- He has fever
- His lymph nodes are swollen
- There are red streaks around the boil
- Your baby experiences severe pain
- Pus does not drain out from the boil
- Boils are spreading
Recurrent Boils On Babies
Sometimes your baby may suffer from recurrent boils, which can be contagious. This is because various bacteria live on the surface of the skin of your baby which can easily cause infections on any broken skin even a minor cut or scrape. These bacteria easily spread from person to person. It is important that you check if anyone in the family have boils so that they are timely treated to stop the infection from spreading.
Your baby’s doctor may also take a swab of the boil to check if your baby has any underlying medical condition.
Here are some ways you can treat or reduce boils on your baby:
- Use an antiseptic wash for a week or two
- Wash all your baby’s towels and bedding in hot water
- Wash your hands before and after you hold your baby
- Keep checking for appearance of any new boils
Babies could get boils due to many reasons but if you practice proper hygiene and keep your baby clean, boils may not a thing to worry at all.
Did your baby experience boils? Do you have any tips for treating boils on babies? Please share it in the comments section below.