What Does a Boil Look Like

What does a boil look like? It's certainly not something you want to see on your skin. A boil is a skin infection that can be caused by anything from sweat and dirt to an ingrown hair, splinter or cut. If you have a boil, your skin may be red at first and will then form a small tender lump. Catching a boil early on will allow you to seek treatment so that the boil does not become so large and painful that you need to seek medical treatments.

A boil will first appear as a hard bump that is red in color and painful to touch. A boil may be quite small at first: less than an inch in diameter. However, after a few days, the boil will become larger, softer and quite painful. This is because pus has formed in the boil. The pus is full of bacteria and white blood cells that are trying to fight the infection.

Boils tend to affect specific areas of the body. Some common places for boils to pop up are a person's face, armpit, shoulder and neck areas. Boils are common in such places because they are more visible than other parts of the body and because they often experience more sweat production than other areas.

Boils often form as a result of intense sweat production, an ingrown hair or a minor cut or scrape. The condition is contiguous - you can pass your boils on to other people. Additionally, if you have a single boil, you could soon form many other boils, too. This happens when a boil's pus or bacteria spreads to other areas of the body. Thus, if you have a boil, it is important to treat it as early on as possible.

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