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WikiProject Medicine / Dermatology  (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
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Isn't this more of a dictionary definition than an encyclopedia article?Average Earthman 16:46, 11 Mar 2004 (UTC)

from VfD[edit]

On 10 Feb 2005, this article was nominated for deletion. See Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Boil (disambiguation) for a record of the discussion.

Uniting boil and abscess[edit]

This is basicly the same thing, I think, instead of deleting it we should join the two articles together. Boil is just a form of abscess. --Friðrik Bragi Dýrfjörð 18:54, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

A boil is an infection of a hair follicle, while it can progress into a skin abscess if intreated, they are not the same and should remain as separate articles.[1] BSW-RMH (talk) 01:53, 18 July 2010 (UTC)


Someone seems to have put in nonsense phrases into the article. (Test0zero 20:23, 15 November 2006 (UTC))

Apparent contradictions[edit]

The text says that boils are swellings of the hair follicles... that can occur on the lips, and are caused by tiny cuts allowing in bacteria. Because it's such an ancient word and condition there may be multiple, inconsistent definitions running around, so it will be important to carefully source and describe specific meanings. 17:41, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Boils can occur anywhere not just in hair follicles. A Furuncle is the name for a boil that occurs within a hair follicle. See = — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:26, 30 November 2013 (UTC)


If the pores still exist on the swelling, what's keeping the contents from coming out? Oil or skin plug? Surface tension? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:15, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Hair follicles go deeper under the skin than pores, so the pus wouldn't be able to escape through a pore. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:03, 14 January 2009 (UTC) the swelling hurt's really bad —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:44, 30 June 2010 (UTC)


I removed the following text as it appears to be a home remedy and lacks any citation "One known treatment that is successful is to warm a small glass of milk until hot, then taking a small piece of white bread and dunking it in the milk, then placing it over the surface of the boil and applying pressure until the area becomes warm and the milk drains from the bread. With several appliances throughout the day in the early stages of the infection, this treatment can stop the growth of a furuncle. In some cases, in a period of six hours or so, the boil has disappeared completely." Bfootdav (talk) 06:33, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

The part about intralesional steroid injections is 100% incorrect, and the citation provided does not support the claim made in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:04, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

External Review Comments[edit]

Hello, Boil article writers and editors. This article currently a priority article for the Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Medicine/Google Project. The goal of this project to is provide a useful list of suggested revisions to help promote the expansion and improvement of this article. I have added references throughout the article.

BSW-RMH (talk) 03:43, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Sign & symptoms[edit]

I replaced the Dorland’s Medical Dictionary reference with MedlinePlus, an approved source in line with the Wikipedia:Reliable sources (medicine-related articles) guidelines. I also added the Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy and Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas & Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology references.

I removed the information about odor because I did not find this in my references.

I moved the risks information to the ‘causes’ section

Green tickYBSW-RMH (talk) 03:43, 18 July 2010 (UTC)


I added the information about risks to this section and a reference (Tamir) for myiasis.

Green tickYBSW-RMH (talk) 03:43, 18 July 2010 (UTC)


This article would benefit from addition of a section on complications. The most common complications are scarring and infection or abscess of the skin, spinal cord, brain, kidneys, or other organs. The infection may also spread to the bloodstream (sepsis) and quickly become life-threatening.

Habif, TP. Furuncles and carbuncles. In: Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Inc; 2004.

Wolf K, et al. Section 22. Bacterial infections involving the skin. In: Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas & Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology, 5th ed. McGraw-Hill Companies Inc; 2005.

BSW-RMH (talk) 03:43, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Green tickY This section was added BSW-RMH (talk) 04:16, 10 August 2010 (UTC)


This section could be expanded.

All furuncles must drain in order to heal. Draining can be encourages by application of a cloth soaked in warm salt water. Washing and covering the furuncle with antibiotic cream or antiseptic tea tree oil and a bandage also promotes healing. Furuncles should never be squeezed or lanced without the oversight of a medical practitioner because it may spread the infection.

Furuncles at risk of leading to serious complications should be incised and drained by a medical practitioner. These include furuncles that are unusually large, last longer than two weeks, or are located in the middle of the face or near the spine.

Furuncle at MedlinePlus,

Wolf K, et al. Section 22. Bacterial infections involving the skin. In: Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas & Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology, 5th ed. McGraw-Hill Companies Inc; 2005.

Tree tea oil. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Accessed 7-17-2010.

BSW-RMH (talk) 03:43, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Green tickY These changes were made. BSW-RMH (talk) 04:21, 10 August 2010 (UTC)


Regarding the statement "It was reported that frequent hand and body washing with water and antimicrobial soap solution decreases staphylococcus skin colonization" Who reported this, and why is 'antimicrobial' soap necessary? Regular soap kill Staph just fine and does not promote resistive strains like Antibacterial soap does. Compare to common soap if you wish to leave this in...

Msjayhawk (talk) 21:02, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

poor personal hygiene[edit]

The references to poor personal hygiene are important but become repetitive in the article. If too great an emphasis is placed on a single cause the explanation can appear a little one dimensional. Other more general causes could be mentioned such as general health for example. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:52, 19 December 2010 (UTC)



A previous study reported that MRSA infection was significantly associated with poor personal hygiene.

What has MRSA got to do with boils? Myrvin (talk) 20:47, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

MRSA is a kind of Staph, and speaking of someone who had a boil that became a abscess, which I lost a chunk of my back to, was a MRSA infection. It happens. I inserted a couple of "citations needed" because MRSA isn't necessarily attributed to poor personal hygiene. Apparently we all harbor either normal staphylococcus aureus or MRSA in our noses and the way to tell is to get a nose culture done. It is slowly becoming the dominant version. The anti-microbial soap thing needed a citation-needed too because alcohol based washes do a better job and don't selectively breed MRSA, or so I thought. If someone could put in the cites, it would be helpful.

Hidradenitis Suppurativa[edit]

I think that this skin disease should be discussed within this article. I just would like to say that I have had boils from age 12 - 29 (current) they have progressively gotten worse so I finally went to a dermatologist who has diagnosed me with Hidradenitis Suppurativa. I come from caring parents who had adequete Health Insurance for me. I grew up in Washington, DC so of course like most Washingtonians I seen a pediatrician at George Washington University Medical Center. Their staff wasnt able to identify my Hidradenitis Suppurativa and just gave me antibiotics for 6 yrs straight! I stopped taking them after 2 yrs. I grew up, moved out on my own and was still having problems withthe boils so after a many of days of internet research I ran across a person with the exact same symptoms and they felt important to educate people with boils on Hidradenitis Suppurativa. After reading this I went to a dermatologist who was able to idnetify Hidradenitis Suppurativa. I apologize for posting in this area as I do not know how Wikipedia actually works, but I felt the same obligation to inform the internet readers about a condition of boils called Hidradenitis Suppurativa. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:04, 30 March 2011 (UTC)


"In contrast to common belief, boils do not need to be drained in order to heal; in fact opening the affected skin area can cause further infections.[12]" The Reference 12 doesn't support this statement, should it be removed? -- (talk) 13:14, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

fixed to better reflect the mayo article — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:00, 14 August 2012 (UTC)


I am thinking that we can present an image of the skin lesion if we contrasted the photo and tilted the patient's site about 30-45 degrees from the intersecting plane. The current image is not all the visually descriptive. The major aspects missing are contrast and depth of the lesion. I propose substituting the current image. 400 Lux (talk) 01:18, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

A good source to get[edit]

My dermatologist recommended me this website called [1] for information about dermatology. On this website, search any dermatology-related things and a lot of pages in the website can show you some good information about dermatology. A reliable primary source.

This article could do with more improvement with the amount of information and THEN start using more secondary and tertiary sources. That is what I recommend.

Qwertyxp2000 (talk) 03:37, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Hair follicles, gumboils, etc[edit]

If a boil can occur anywhere, not just in a hair follicle, perhaps the introduction stating that a boil "is an infected hair follicle" might be changed?AnnaGoFast (talk) 21:50, 9 August 2016 (UTC)

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