Abscesses and Boils
An abscess is an accumulation of pus that can occur anywhere in the body, includ- ing on the skin and inside of organs and tissues. When an abscess forms around a hair follicle, it is known as a boil. Boils often surface on the buttocks, the underarms, the neck, and the face. They ﬁrst begin as small, ﬁrm, and tender nodules that become red and swollen. Generally, boils do not spread. Within two to four days, a pustule usu- ally forms in the center of the infected area. Then, several days later, it tends to rup- ture and drain the white or yellow-colored pus. The abscess is called a carbuncle when the skin is red, painful, swollen, and warm, and it forms an elevated lump.
An abscess can occur on anyone at any age. No one is immune to them. They are generally triggered by an impaired immune system, trauma, improper drainage of tis- sues, bacterial invasion, poor nutrition, and other factors. Skin abscesses tend to develop in places where tight clothing rubs against the skin, as well as around small puncture wounds or cuts. The infected area becomes tender, red, and swollen, and fever may be present.
Delayed or improper treatment can lead to a spreading of the infection. People with a compromised immune system, such as those with HIV/AIDS or diabetes, are more susceptible to a serious infection. Depending on the severity and the location of the infection, antibiotics may be required. In some cases, the abscess will be cut and drained by your doctor. Consult your doctor about any skin abscess that appears on your face, contains red streaks, or is ﬁlled with ﬂuids. See your dentist regarding any mouth abscesses. If antibiotics are required, ensure a quicker recovery by simul- taneously using natural treatments.
Each of the following symptoms can appear on the face, the chest, or the back.
• Red spots, bumps, or white/yellow pustules, often inﬂamed and painful
• Swollen, red, and hot area around the lesion
The following tests will help to assess possible reasons for chronic abscess or boil formation:
Immune system imbalance or disease—blood
Vitamin and mineral analysis (especially vitamins C, E)—blood, urine Digestive function and microbe/parasite/candida testing—stool analysis Anemia—blood test (CBC, iron, ferritin, % saturation)
Food and environmental allergies/sensitivities—blood, electrodermal
• Poor diet and food allergies or sen- sitivities
• Impaired immune system
• Improper drainage of tissues
• Bacterial invasion, poor nutrition
• Clothing rubbing against the skin
• Puncture wounds or cuts
Dark-green or orange vegetables are especially helpful because they contain beta- carotene, which helps maintain and repair the skin. Eat them raw or lightly cooked to retain their nutrients and ﬁber.
A quarter of a cup of ground ﬂaxseeds provides helpful essential fatty acids and plenty of ﬁber for proper elimination. Take with at least 8 ounces of water.
Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds, are good sources of skin-healthy vitamin E and essential fatty acids.
Quality protein sources are beans, peas, lentils, eggs, and fresh cold-water ﬁsh, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines. The latter are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Meat products should be hormone- and antibiotic-free.
Drink a glass of clean water every two waking hours to ﬂush toxins out of the body and maintain good general health.
If you must use antibiotics, be sure to eat some live unsweetened yogurt every day. The yogurt will replace the “friendly” bacteria in your digestive tract, which are nec- essary for good health and which antibiotics destroy.
Food to Avoid
Eliminate chips and nachos, colas, sugar, and candy. These products suppress immune function.
Food allergies or sensitivities, such as an allergy to cow’s milk, can be a root cause. See the Food Allergies section for more information.
Avoid saturated and hydrogenated fats, which worsen skin inﬂammation. Stay away from fried foods and solid fats, such as margarine, lard, and vegetable short- ening.
Coffee and other caffeinated products may aggravate skin conditions. If they cause problems for you, cut them out and drink herbal teas instead.
People with carbohydrate sensitivity may notice skin improvement by reducing their carbohydrate intake and increasing their protein sources. This is because elevated levels of the blood sugar–regulating hormone insulin increase skin inﬂammation.
Detoxiﬁcation helps to cleanse the body of inﬂammatory poisons. A three-day veg- etable juice fast will sweep away toxic buildup. You should drink a variety of juices during your fast, but those made from carrots, apples, and beets with their tops, as well as green drinks (spirulina, wheatgrass, barley grass, chlorella), are especially sup- portive of a skin cleanse.
Super Seven Prescriptions—Abscesses and Boils
Super Prescription #1 Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil
Apply topically as a cream or 10 drops diluted in a half-ounce of water three times daily. Tea tree oil has antimicrobial effects and helps to draw the pus out.
Super Prescription #2 Colloidal silver
Apply 2 drops four times daily to reduce the infection. Colloidal silver has potent antimicrobial effects.
Super Prescription #3 Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) and goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)
Take 500 mg or 2 to 4 ml of tincture four times daily. Both herbs enhance immune function.
Super Prescription #4 Oregano oil (Origanum vulgare)
Take 500 mg in the capsule form four times daily, or take the liquid form as directed on the container. It can be applied directly on the lesions as well. Oregano has pow- erful antibacterial properties. Note: Do not take internally if you are pregnant.
Super Prescription #5 Vitamin C with bioﬂavonoids
Take 1,000 mg three times daily. Vitamin C supports immune function, and
bioﬂavonoids reduce skin inﬂammation.
Super Prescription #6 Burdock root (Arctium lappa)
Take 3 ml or 500 mg three times daily. Burdock root is used as a skin detoxiﬁer.
Super Prescription #7 Zinc
Take 30 mg twice daily, along with 2 mg of copper. Zinc supports immune func- tion and promotes skin healing.
Super green food supplements, such as chlorella, spirulina, or blends of green foods, support skin healing and detoxiﬁcation. Take as directed on the container.
Vitamin E is required for a healthy immune system and skin. Take 400 IU of a mixed complex twice daily.
Vitamin A supports immune function. Take 10,000 IU for ten days, and then stop.
Pick the remedy that best matches your symptoms in this section. For acute abscesses and boils, take a 30C potency four times daily. For chronic abscesses and boils, take a 6x, 12x, 6C, 12C, or 30C twice daily for two weeks to see if there are any positive results. After you notice improvement, stop taking the remedy, unless symptoms return. Consultation with a homeopathic practitioner is advised.
Belladonna (Atropa belladonna) is used in the initial stages of an abscess or a boil, where there is a rapid onset characterized by redness, burning, throbbing, and swollen skin. Pus is not usually present. Symptoms are worse from touch or jarring and at mid- night. A high fever may also be present.
Hepar Sulphuris is for abscesses that come to a head. The lesion is very sensitive and tender to touch, with a sharp, sticking pain. There may be a cheesy odor with the pus formation. Symptoms are worse in cold air or from cold applications and are better from warmth. This remedy helps to bring the pus out of the abscess or the boil.
The antimicrobial activity of oregano oil has been recognized for cen- turies. A test tube study at the Western University of Australia found that oregano oil had powerful antimicrobial activity against several types of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria commonly associated with skin infections.
Lachesis is used for boils with a purplish or dark-bluish color. Pustules may be bloody and very painful, with a burning sensation. Symptoms are worse at night; with touch, heat, and pressure; and on the left side of the body.
Mercurius Solubilis or Vivus is for burning and stinging pustular discharges. There is often a foul smell and swollen glands. Symptoms are worse at night. Warm appli- cations may make the pain worse.
Silica (Silicea) is a great choice for abscesses or boils that do not discharge pus and that fail to heal. It is often used in addition to or following Hepar Sulphuris, to ﬁn- ish the suppuration. Warm compresses feel good on the lesions.
• Spleen 10 clears heat from the blood.
• Large Intestine 4 relieves fever and inﬂammation.
• Work the kidneys and the liver to detoxify the blood.
• If acne is caused by a hormonal imbalance, work the endocrine glands.
• To prevent constipation and speed the elimination of toxins, work the colon.
Alternate a hot and a cold cloth over the affected area to help reduce pain and help expel pus, if the abscess is on the skin: thirty seconds hot, followed by thirty seconds cold, and alternate.
Red thyme helps to draw the pus out. Add 1 drop to a hot compress, and apply twice daily to the skin abscess.
The effects of stress can worsen skin conditions. Techniques to reduce stress will ulti- mately help with skin health and appearance. Exercise, prayer, reading, and many other techniques can be used to reduce the effects of stress.
Bach Flower Remedies
Select the appropriate remedy, and place 10 drops under your tongue. Hold the drops in place for thirty seconds, and swallow. Use as often as needed.
Try Crab Apple if your skin is causing feelings of shame about your appearance. If you’ve given up hope of ﬁnding a cure for your acne, Gorse will renew your spirits.
Larch is helpful for people who lack self-conﬁdence or who are embarrassed because of their skin condition.
Sunlight can inhibit bacterial growth. Get ﬁfteen minutes of sunlight daily, but never allow the skin to burn.
Do not squeeze a boil, and keep the area clean.