Boils are infections of hair follicles or oil glands, and they can be both painful and awkward. They most commonly develop on the neck, shoulders, armpits or thighs, but boils on buttocks or in the groin area are also possible. As many people have discovered, boils that develop in intimate spots can be particularly embarrassing. A better grasp of why they develop is helpful in avoiding them and in inhibiting their spread once they have already formed.
Why Boils Occur
Staphylococcus aureus is the bacteria most commonly responsible for causing boils to develop, but fungi and other types of bacteria can also serve as the culprit. Bacteria or fungi enter the tiny opening on the skin from which the hair grows, and the follicle becomes infected. Infections can also be the result of other incidents that cause a breakage of the skin. Small cuts or insect bites, for example, can break the skin and allow entry of bacteria or a fungus. Certain physical conditions and circumstances can also make people more susceptible to developing boils.
- A compromised immune system often makes a person more vulnerable to infections such as boils.
- Obesity presents physical difficulties that can make people susceptible to developing a boil.
- Type 2 diabetes is one common cause of skin issues, including boils.
- People who have difficulty with personal hygiene are also sometimes prone to developing them.
- People suffering from malnutrition also have weakened defenses against these types of infections.
Developing Boils on Buttocks
A few different circumstances conspire to make the buttocks a common spot to develop boils. Because friction is one way bacteria can penetrate hair follicles, areas such as the buttocks are vulnerable to infection. Staphylococcus bacteria is known to be carried in the cleft of a person’s buttocks, and that also puts the bacteria in close proximity to an area subject to friction. Sitting on towels, sheets and other fabrics that have had bacteria transferred to them can also expose hair follicles to infection.
Areas such as the buttocks and armpits tend to be somewhat moist and humid, and that creates conditions in which bacteria can thrive. With bacteria flourishing in an optimal environment, the chances of infection will increase. When hair follicles swell due to irritation from friction, the bacteria residing on the skin is primed to penetrate the opening to the hair follicle and cause an infection. The sharing of towels and linens can also cause bacteria to spread to another person.
Minimizing Discomfort and Preventing Recurrence
A homeopathic over the counter remedy can be of help in hastening the process of boils naturally bursting, draining and healing. It is important, however, to avoid deliberately pricking or lancing boils at home. This can inadvertently cause the bacteria to spread, and more boils could form. In addition to over the counter medications, home treatments can include warm, moist compresses and botanical remedies that have antiseptic properties and that reduce inflammation.
Cleanliness is crucial in preventing boils on buttocks from recurring. Be sure to wash towels, sheets and other fabrics in hot water if they could have come into contact with infected areas. Washing with antibacterial soap during and after healing can also minimize the chances of boils recurring.
Taking preventive measures and trying home remedies will often prove sufficient in treating boils, even when they occur on the buttocks. If the pain persists and the boils fail to properly drain and heal, however, it might be time to seek medical care. Although it can certainly be embarrassing when boils have formed in a personal place, a doctor is the best course of action for infections that have not healed as expected.