How to get rid of a boil overnight?

Usually, boils are not serious condition but they can be a nuisance. If you want to get rid of them quickly, there are ways.

How to get rid of a boil overnight?
Viktor Simunović, Viktor Simunović
21 March 2024.

A boil, medically referred to as a furuncle, is an acute infection of a hair follicle and surrounding skin, typically caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. It results in a painful, pus-filled lump.

Boils can occur anywhere on the body where hair follicles are present, but they are most commonly found on the face, neck, armpits, shoulders, and buttocks.

The development of a boil begins with tenderness and redness at the site, followed by a firm nodule that becomes softer, larger, and more painful as pus accumulates beneath the skin. So, how do you get rid of it quickly?

Applying heat

Applying localized heat is an efficient method for promoting drainage and reducing inflammation associated with boils. Employing a warm compress as a remedy for boils offers a non-invasive, therapeutic approach to managing this type of skin infection.

The process involves gently pressing a cloth soaked in warm water against the affected area for 10-15 minutes several times a day. This technique facilitates the natural drainage process of the boil by increasing blood circulation and bringing antibodies and white blood cells to the site of the infection.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil, an essential oil derived from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia, exhibits potent antimicrobial properties that are beneficial in treating boils. Its efficacy is attributed to its ability to combat bacterial infections that contribute to boil formation.

However, it is essential to dilute tea tree oil with a carrier oil to prevent skin irritation. This method of application not only mitigates the infection but also assists in alleviating discomfort associated with boils, thereby facilitating a faster recovery process.


Turmeric, a widely recognized spice, has been traditionally used to treat skin conditions, including boils. Its active component, curcumin, has been shown to effectively reduce inflammation and combat bacterial infections, which are pivotal in the management of skin abscesses. In the context of boils, applying a turmeric paste directly to the affected area or consuming turmeric orally can expedite healing, complementing conventional treatments like antibiotic ointment.

Castor oil

Castor oil, known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, offers an alternative approach to managing boils. Its unique composition allows it to reduce the microbial load and inflammation associated with boils. Applying castor oil directly onto the affected area, ideally, three times a day, can facilitate healing.

While the direct application of castor oil may offer relief, it is advisable to cover the area with a sterile bandage post-application to maintain hygiene and effectiveness. In conjunction with castor oil treatment, the use of an antibiotic cream recommended by healthcare professionals can further aid in the expedited resolution of the boil, ensuring a thorough approach to management and care.

Neem oil

Neem oil, derived from the seeds of the Azadirachta indica tree, is esteemed for its potent antiseptic properties, making it another effective remedy for treating boils. Its bioactive compounds, including nimbidin and quercetin, exhibit bactericidal and analgesic activities and are pivotal in managing bacterial infections and inflammation associated with boils.

Applying neem oil to the affected area can facilitate pus drainage and accelerate healing by preventing further bacterial proliferation. Clinical studies have substantiated its efficacy in wound management, underscoring its therapeutic potential in boil treatment. However, conducting a patch test before application is imperative, as certain individuals may exhibit sensitivity to neem oil, leading to dermatological reactions.

Raw onion

Another remarkable option is the application of raw onion, which is known for its ability to draw out infection from wounds. The efficacy of raw onion can be attributed to its rich content of quercetin, a potent antioxidant, and sulfur compounds, which have been documented to possess anti-inflammatory and bactericidal effects. These compounds facilitate the purging of bacterial infection from the boil, thereby accelerating the healing process.

Clinical observations suggest that the topical application of sliced raw onion directly on the affected area can create an environment conducive to healing by promoting autolysis of necrotic tissue and enhancing granulation.

Fresh garlic

Fresh garlic, renowned for its allicin content, offers antimicrobial properties that may significantly contribute to the treatment of boils by targeting the underlying infection. When crushed or chopped, the compound allicin is released from garlic, manifesting potent antibacterial and antifungal capabilities. This biochemical phenomenon enables garlic to serve as a culinary staple and a therapeutic agent in the context of infectious skin conditions such as boils.

Applying crushed garlic or its extracts directly onto the affected area may accelerate healing, leveraging its natural antibiotic properties. However, direct application should be approached with caution to prevent skin irritation.


Ginger presents itself as an effective natural remedy in the treatment of boils. The bioactive compounds in ginger, such as gingerol, exhibit significant antibacterial activities against various pathogens, including those responsible for skin infections.

Research delineates that applying ginger extracts can reduce skin bacterial colonization, thereby accelerating boils' healing process. Ginger's anti-inflammatory effects also contribute to alleviating pain and swelling associated with boils, enhancing patient comfort. For practical application, a poultice made from freshly grated ginger applied directly to the affected area or using ginger-infused topical solutions is recommended.

Tridax daisy

Tridax daisy, another effective natural remedy, has garnered attention for its potent antibacterial and wound-healing properties, making it a valuable adjunct in the management of boils. Scientific studies have identified several bioactive compounds within Tridax procumbens, particularly flavonoids and tannins, contributing to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory actions. These compounds have been shown to inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, a common bacterium responsible for skin infections such as boils.

Moreover, Tridax daisy promotes collagen synthesis, angiogenesis, essential tissue repair, and wound healing processes. Its application on skin abscesses, thus, not only aids in mitigating infection but also accelerates the recovery of damaged tissues.

Devil's horsewhip

Similarly to Tridax daisy, Devil's horsewhip offers significant therapeutic benefits for treating boils. Scientifically known as Achyranthes aspera, this plant has been utilized in traditional medicine across various cultures for its potent healing capabilities.

Studies have shown that the phytochemicals present in Devil's horsewhip, such as saponins, flavonoids, and tannins, contribute to its efficacy in reducing inflammation and combatting microbial infections. A poultice made from the leaves or the direct application of extracts could potentially accelerate the healing process of boils, reducing discomfort and preventing further infection.

Epsom salt

Epsom salt, scientifically known as magnesium sulfate, is a valuable adjunct in the management of boils. When applied through warm compresses or soaks, it can facilitate the drawing out of pus and reduce swelling, thereby accelerating the healing process. The osmotic effect of Epsom salt helps drain the abscess naturally, alleviate pain, and promote recovery.

Clinical practice supports using Epsom salt soaks as a complementary treatment, suggesting immersion of the affected area in an Epsom salt solution for 15 to 20 minutes several times a day.

Over-the-counter ointment

In addition to home remedies such as Epsom salt soaks, incorporating an appropriate over-the-counter ointment can significantly enhance boils' management and healing process. Topical antibiotics like Neosporin or Bacitracin serve as efficacious adjuncts by providing a direct antibacterial effect on the skin's surface, mitigating the risk of secondary infection. These ointments create a protective barrier, maintaining a moist environment conducive to healing while preventing the ingress of further pathogens.

Antibacterial soap

Utilizing antibacterial soap is an important strategy for reducing the bacterial load on the skin, thereby minimizing the risk of infection and promoting the healing process of boils. Antibacterial soaps contain agents specifically designed to eliminate bacteria and other pathogens from the epidermis. When applied to areas surrounding a boil, these soaps can help prevent the spread of infection to adjacent tissues or other individuals.

Clinical evidence supports using such soaps as part of thorough skin hygiene protocols, especially in scenarios where the risk of bacterial transmission is high.

What not to do?

When treating boils, it is crucial to recognize certain practices that should be avoided to prevent exacerbation of the condition or further infection. Applying inappropriate topical agents, such as harsh chemicals or unapproved creams, can irritate the skin and aggravate the lesion.

Using unsanitary objects to lance or compress the boil risks introducing additional pathogens, complicating the infection.

Additionally, excessive manipulation or squeezing of the surrounding tissue may lead to the dissemination of infection into adjacent areas or the bloodstream, potentially resulting in sepsis. It is also advisable to avoid covering the boil with tight, non-breathable materials that can retain moisture and heat, creating an environment conducive to bacterial proliferation.

Can I pop boil?

Medical professionals strongly advise against this practice due to the high risk of infection and the potential for scarring.

When a boil is forcibly ruptured, there is a significant chance of spreading the infection to adjacent skin tissue or introducing new pathogens into the wound. Also, improper drainage may lead to deeper abscesses, necessitating more invasive medical interventions.


Hidradenitis suppurativa

Complications associated with Hidradenitis Suppurativa can profoundly impact a patient's quality of life, ranging from severe pain to an increased risk of secondary infections. This chronic inflammatory skin condition, characterized by painful, boil-like lumps under the skin, can lead to significant morbidity.

Complications include the formation of sinus tracts and scars, which can result in restricted movement due to scar formation, particularly in areas such as the armpits and groin. Additionally, there is an elevated risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma in chronic, non-healing wounds.

Psychological impacts, including depression and anxiety, are also prevalent due to the chronic pain and social stigma associated with the visible manifestations of the disease. Management strategies should, thus, encompass both physical and psychological aspects to address the patient's holistic needs.

How to prevent boils?

Maintaining proper hygiene and a healthy diet plays an important role in preventing boils. Regular bathing, especially after sweating, and the use of antibacterial soap can reduce the proliferation of bacteria on the skin. Ensuring the cleanliness of personal items, such as towels and bedding, and avoiding sharing these with others can further mitigate the risk of infection.

A nutrient-rich diet supports the immune system, enhancing the body's defense against bacterial invasion. Adequate hydration and the consumption of foods high in antioxidants are recommended. Maintaining a healthy weight and managing conditions such as diabetes effectively is crucial, as these factors can predispose individuals to developing boils by compromising the skin's integrity and immune function.

When to see a doctor?

It is essential to consult a healthcare professional if a boil does not improve with home treatment within a few days, becomes more painful, or is accompanied by a fever. Systemic symptoms such as fever may indicate a more severe infection that could require antibiotics or further intervention.

Medical evaluation is also warranted if the boil is located in a sensitive area, such as the face or spinal column, where it might pose a risk of complications. Additionally, individuals with compromised immune systems, diabetes, or other chronic conditions should seek medical advice promptly, as their ability to fight infection may be diminished. Persistent or recurrent boils warrant a medical consultation to rule out conditions like hidradenitis suppurativa or other underlying health issues.

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