A carbuncle refers to a collection of boils that drain pus beneath the surface of the skin. This is often the result of a bacterial infection, most commonly a staph infection. Interestingly, the formation a carbuncle is indicative of an immune system that is healthy and actively fighting against infection-causing bacteria. More importantly, however, is that fact that this infection may be passed on from one person to another so that people living together are at risk of getting the infection at the same time period.
Seeing as a carbuncle is a cluster of boils, the infection usually manifests as an infected pus-filled mass. In some cases, the mass drains on its own, but sometimes it is too deep-seated to drain independently. The mass may range from a pea-sized carbuncle to as large as a golf ball. The skin around the mass is usually red and may be painful to touch. Often, the mass may feature a white center that is itchy. Other symptoms that accompany carbuncle formation may include fever, bodily fatigue as well as overall discomfort.
While it may be difficult to establish the cause of a carbuncle, some of the predisposing factors include poor hygiene, aggravation of the skin usually resulting in hair yanked out as well as frictional forces from tight clothing. People with diabetes are also predisposed to carbuncle formation. The most common part of the body affected by carbuncle is the nape of the neck and the backside region. To treat a carbuncle, it is important to allow drainage prior to healing. Home remedies are available for this natural treatment, but it is important to seek medical intervention if the carbuncle persists after a fortnight, is recurrent or is accompanied by intense symptoms. Below are some of the appropriate home remedies for carbuncle treatment.
1. Tea Tree Oil
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Tea tree oil, cotton wool, dropper and olive oil (carrier oil). You will also need warm water to clean the skin prior to the application of the remedy.
Of all essential oils available for natural treatment, perhaps nothing comes as close to effective elimination of infections as tea tree oil. The oil has been shown to help tone the skin, thus prevent pimple formation whose drainage makes it easy to develop a carbuncle. In addition, the oil is packed with healing properties that speed up the drainage process and help get rid of the infection. This in turn, reduces the discomfort of the same, and overall enhances healing. Olive oil is added as a carrier oil in order to prevent skin irritation especially if one has sensitive skin. Follow the directions below to treat a carbuncle.
- Clean the skin at the site of the carbuncle using warm soapy water to open up the pores and enhance the remedy’s efficiency.
- Place 5 drops of tea tree oil on a piece of cotton wool and allow to soak.
- Add a few drops of olive oil, both for dilution purposes as well as for the olive oil’s benefits on the skin.
- Put the wet cotton wool on the affected skin and rub in gently.
- Wrap the affected skin using gauze. Repeat this procedure twice daily until the carbuncle heals.
NOTE: Remember to discard the used cotton wool to prevent infecting another part of the body or other people in close proximity.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Clean piece of cloth, warm salty water and cotton wool.
One of the symptoms that accompanies a carbuncle is the general discomfort and fatigue that results from the infection. To get rid of the discomfort, you may make use of hydrotherapy, a simple remedy that involves the use of warm salty water to offer much-needed relief. Using this remedy also has the advantage of enhancing the head formation of the carbuncle, in turn speeding up the healing process and easing the drainage process. Sometimes referred to as a warm compress, this remedy is both simple and effective. Other benefits of using this remedy include pain relief as well as softening the top layer of the skin for quick recovery.
- Put the clean cloth in the basin containing warm water and soak for a few minutes.
- Place the wet cloth on top of the affected skin for about 15-20 minutes. Be as gentle as you can in order to relieve the pressure and discomfort associated with a carbuncle.
- Repeat this procedure 5 times daily until the carbuncle heals.
- Remember to sterilize the clean cloth to prevent new infections from arising.
Time Required: N/A
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of turmeric powder and 1 glass of water/milk. Alternatively, prepare a paste using fresh ginger and turmeric for topical application.
Turmeric is a popular herbal remedy that has long been used to treat different skin conditions. The herb’s anti-inflammatory properties makes it a choice remedy as it offers pain relief from the tender and irritated skin. In addition to this, turmeric also has blood purification properties that help get rid of the infection when used consistently. There are two ways in which you may prepare this remedy: prepare a turmeric drink or opt for the paste applied topically. Ginger is added to the paste as its function compliments the healing properties of turmeric. Prepare your preferred remedy using the steps provided below.
NOTE: This remedy is not intended for persons with hypertension and conditions affecting the kidney. Additionally, its consumption must be regulated as high amounts of turmeric may cause constipation and dehydration.
Preparing Turmeric Drink
- Add 1 tablespoon of the turmeric powder to a glass of water and stir.
- You may add honey as a natural sweetener as well as for its healing properties.
- Stir the mixture and drink thrice daily.
Preparing the Turmeric and Ginger Paste
- Peel the fresh ginger and chop into small pieces.
- Crush using a pestle and mortar and then add the turmeric powder to the ginger mass.
- Mix the two ingredients well.
- Scoop some of the mixture and apply it on the skin.
- You may place gauze or bandage on top of the paste in order to secure it in place.
- Let the mixture remain on the skin for 20-30 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
- Use this remedy thrice daily until the carbuncle drains and is completely healed.
4. Raw Onions:
Time Required: 40 Min
What You Need: 2 Raw onions, water in a pan, a strainer, cotton wool and warm water to rinse.
Raw onions are one of nature’s most effective home remedies available for the natural treatment of a carbuncle. With more than 20 active ingredients present in the onion juice, it is easy to see why the remedy is a potent option. The onion’s essential oils, coupled with the flavanoids present help get rid of toxins found beneath the surface of the skin. These healing properties also soothe the skin and relieve the pain and discomfort linked to the carbuncle. Topical application of onion juice has also been shown to improve blood circulation, which in turn aids with pus extraction. Prepare the onion juice using the steps listed below.
- Peel the onions and then cut into small pieces before transferring them to the water in the pan.
- Bring the mixture to boil and turn off the heat after a few minutes.
- Pass the mixture through a strainer and allow the resulting onion juice to cool before applying on the skin.
- Soak some cotton wool in the warm juice and dab on the affected skin.
- Let the skin dry before rinsing with warm water.
- Use this remedy at least once daily until the carbuncle heals.
5. Black Seed Oil:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Teaspoon of black seed oil and preferred beverage (either hot or cold).
Black seed oil is a popular home remedy for varied skin conditions. The oil, which is extracted from black cumin, is laden with nutrients and healing properties which have long been used over the years. The oil is a potent anti-inflammatory, and is rich in a compound known as thymoquinone which is effective against carbuncles. The oil’s antioxidant properties also go a long way in restoring the skin’s health once the carbuncle has healed, helping avoid scar formation with regular use. Below are steps to follow when using black seed oil to treat this infection.
- Add the black seed oil to your preferred beverage and stir.
- Drink this mixture daily to treat carbuncle and prevent future occurrence of the same.
Time Required: 40 Min
What You Need: Raw garlic cloves, a few drops of water for paste preparation, a clean cloth and warm water to rinse.
Garlic and onion belong to the same family, the Allium family. By virtue of this, both have excellent healing properties that come in handy for the treatment of a carbuncle. Garlic is packed with sulfur-based compounds whose antibacterial properties are effective when applied topically. Regular use of garlic on the skin also helps prevent carbuncules from forming in the future. Prepare this simple remedy by following the directions listed below.
- Peel and crush the garlic cloves so that you have a paste. You may add a few drops of water and a pinch of salt to ease this preparation process.
- Apply the paste on the carbuncle and let it air dry for 15 minutes.
- Gently scrap the paste off and clean the skin using warm water and a soft cloth. Remember to sterilize the cloth afterwards to prevent new infections.
- Do this twice daily until the carbuncle drains and is completely healed.
7. Warm Epsom Salt Bath:
Time Required: 30 min
What You Need: Warm water in a basin, 2 cups of Epsom salt and a clean towel.
Eposm salt, which is simply a compound that contains magnesium and sulfate salts, is an excellent remedy for the home treatment of carbuncles. The heat present when this remedy is used allows for the formation of the head on the carbuncle-infected skin. The result is that it becomes easier to drain the pus.
In addition to these benefits, the epsom salts are known to draw out toxins and dirt accumulated beneath the skin. Other benefits of using this remedy include a reduction in the swelling and pain alleviation in the affected part of the body. Depending on the site of the carbuncle , you may need to prepare a warm compress for this remedy in place of a bath soak. Here’s how to use any of the application methods.
To prepare a Bath Soak
- Put two cups of Epsom salt in the bath tub and run warm water.
- Stir the mixture for complete dissolution and then soak in this water for half an hour.
- This remedy works best for carbuncles located in parts of the body that are hard to reach and therefore almost impossible to soak.
- Allow the skin to dry on its own and proceed to compliment with any of the aforementioned remedies.
Prepare an Epsom Salt compress
- Fill a small basin with warm water halfway and then pour in the Epsom salt.
- Stir to mix well and simply dip the affected skin in the basin.
- Let it dry on its own.
- Use this remedy twice daily until the carbuncle heals.
8. Castor Oil:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Castor oil, cotton wool and gauze.
Castor oil is extracted from the plant’s seeds, and is commonly used in treating carbuncles. The oil is rich in ricinoleic acid that works as an excellent anti-inflammatory. This provides pain relief and enhances the drainage of the carbuncle. The oil may be taken internally to boost the body’s immune strength as well.
- Place a few drops of castor oil on the cotton wool and place it on the tender affected skin.
- Hold the cotton wool in place with gauze and allow it to remain there overnight.
- Remove the remedy the next day and discard the cotton wool.
- Repeat this procedure the next day until the carbuncle heals.
Other effective home remedies that you can use to treat carbuncles include cumin seeds that help dry out the pus, Echinacea tea which both strengthens the immune system and treats the cluster of boils as well as raw potato. In addition to these remedies, it is very important to take preventive measures. Thsi means keeping items of personal nature, personal as well as cleaning all washcloths used in compression. You should also avoid poking at the carbuncle as this only increases the risk of new infections. If the carbuncle does not heal after more than 2 weeks, make sure you see a doctor for professional medical attention.