A red-to-purple, tender lump on an area of the skin that also has hair. The most common areas for boils to occur are places where there is friction and/or places that tend to be sweaty, such as the buttocks, armpits, groin, neck, shoulders, and face. The skin surrounding the lump may look swollen and red. The center of the lump eventually becomes filled with yellow or white pus that you will be able to see (“coming to a head”). The pus is a mixture of bacteria and infection-fighting white blood cells.
- You have multiple boils or if the boils increases in size or number.
- You have a fever or chills, severe pain, or otherwise feel unwell.
- The boil fails to drain.
- The area of redness surrounding the boil begins spreading.
- You have diabetes, a heart murmur, a problem with your immune system, or are taking immune-suppressing medications when you develop a boil.
- You have had repeated outbreaks of boils.