Open all pages about Boils
The main symptom of a boil is a painful, pus-filled lump on your skin. A carbuncle happens when a group of boils form together.
A boil will often get better on it's own. Things you can do to help include holding a warm cloth on it, putting a dressing on it and keeping it clean.
Boils do not always need treatment. If treatment is needed, it can include draining the boil and antibiotics.
You can catch boils. You may be more likely to get them if you have a health condition like diabetes, eczema or HIV, or if you're a man.
Boils are hard and painful lumps filled with pus. They often go away on their own, but treatments can help ease them and stop them coming back.
Page last reviewed: 20/06/2023
Next review due: 20/06/2026