Boils and carbuncles
These measures may help the infection heal more quickly and prevent it from spreading:

Apply a warm washcloth or compress to the affected area. Do this for at least 10 minutes every few hours. If possible, first soak the cloth or compress in warm salt water. This helps the boil rupture and drain more quickly.

Gently wash the boil two to three times a day. After washing, apply an over-the-counter antibiotic and cover with a bandage.

Never squeeze or lance a boil. This can spread the infection.

Wash your hands thoroughly after treating a boil. Also, launder clothing, towels or compresses that have touched the infected area.

Alternative medicine
Tea tree oil, which is extracted from the leaves of the Australian tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), has been used for centuries as an antiseptic, antibiotic and antifungal agent. It may help relieve discomfort and speed healing.

For best results, apply the oil to a boil several times a day. The oil can cause allergic reactions in some people, so be sure to stop using it if you have any problems.
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