Tiny red marks or rashes appear often on your baby’s skin, due to some infection or an allergy. These are nothing but boils. You may contemplate changing their bath soap, lotion or their talcum powder. If the boils on babies are more and bigger, you are worried thinking if something went wrong in their diet, or if it implies some underlying condition.
Before you make any changes in your baby’s routine, read our article on boils. It will help you take a better decision.
What Is A Boil?
A boil, also known as a furuncle, is a tender and red lump on your baby’s skin. It is not a serious condition, usually body’s defences fight it out with the boils. Boils usually appear on the face, neck, shoulders, thighs, armpits and buttocks. However, at times, they spread to other parts of the body causing infection.
Causes Of Boils In Babies:
Boils occur when a sweat pore or hair root gets infected with bacteria, especially Staphylococcus aureus. Some health conditions can also increase your child’s risk of developing boils. They may be:
- Problems related to the immune system
- Poor hygiene
- Poor nutrition
- Exposure to chemicals that cause skin irritation
- Iron deficiency or anemia
[ Read : How To Prevent Anemia In Babies ]
Certain medications also weaken your baby’s immunity. Therefore, it is good for you to understand the side effects of any medication you give your child.
Symptoms Of Boils On Babies:
In most cases, you may notice a hard and red lump on your baby’s skin. This will usually be less than 4cm in size. As the days progress, the boil will get softer and larger. It can also start getting more painful for your baby, making them uncomfortable. You will also notice the formation of pus on the top of the boil.
Here are some symptoms that may be present in case the boil starts getting severe:
- The skin around the area of the boil will swell more and become redder.
- More boils may appear in and around the area where the first boil came up.
- Your baby may develop a temperature or run a high fever.
- Nearby lymph nodes will get swollen.
[ Read: Allergies In Babies ]
When You Should Seek Medical Help:
Boils do not need any medical intervention, but you should take your baby to a doctor when he or she has:
- A running fever
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Red streaks around the boil
- Severe pain
- Boil that does not drain pus
- Boils spreading
if your baby has diabetes or any problem with immune system
Diagnosis And Tests:
Your baby’s doctor will have a physical examination and diagnose the problem. Infection might be spread to other parts of the body as well, a thorough check of the entire body will help address the issue.
[ Read : Heat Rash In Babies ]
Treatment For Boils On Babies:
Most of the boils will clear up on their own. You can also speed up the healing process by following the below home remedies and treatments.
1. Prepare A Compress:
Applying a warm compress will help the boil to open up and drain away pus. Wet a soft cloth with warm or hot water and place on the boil for a few minutes. It will help reduce the pain and drains the pus towards the surface. Repeat this a few more times in a day. Wash your hands before placing a compress.
2. Practice Good Hygiene:
Boils quickly spread because they are infectious. When you see a boil draining, you should clean the area with a piece of cotton dipped in an antiseptic solution. Wash the area, dry and cover it with plaster. It not only avoids spreading but also stops your little one from touching it. Rinse your hands using soap and dry them before and after you touch the boil.
Wash your baby with soap water or an antiseptic solution. You can even apply an antiseptic cream to the infected area. Use a separate towel for them and wash their clothing with hot water.
[ Read : Hygiene Tips For Babies ]
3. Keep A Check On The Boil:
If the boil seems to grow bigger and causes more pain or if you see other new boils popping up, you should immediately take your little one to a doctor.
4. Do Not Squeeze The Boil:
Do not try to squeeze the boil as it can affect the surrounding area, causing infection and more pain. Also, do not attempt to pop it using a needle. The infection can turn worse.
5. Honey Remedy:
Honey is the best natural antiseptic. Applying it on the ripened and drained boil will help prevent the spread of infection.
6. Porridge Remedy:
Porridge or poultice made of bread is another great remedy. Place the porridge in a cloth, soak in hot milk and keep over the boil. It helps treat inflammation and heals the boil quickly.
[ Read : Warts In Babies ]
If the boil on baby get worse and no pus drains, you may take your little one to a doctor for a medical treatment including:
- Your child’s doctor may suggest you to apply an anti-infective cream to the boil.
- If there are many painful and large boils, the doctor may recommend antibiotics.
- It is always important to finish the entire medical course as prescribed by the doctor even if the boils disappear.
- If antibiotics do not work, the next treatment will be an incision and draining the pus.
2. Incision & Drainage:
It is a surgical treatment that is performed by giving anesthesia.
- The surgeon will pierce the boil to take away the pus. Then he places a sterile dressing over the cut to absorb the excess discharge.
- He may give an antibiotic through an intravenous drip.
- Once the surgery is done, you may take your baby home.
- The dressing needs to be frequently changed and remember it has to be kept dry all the time.
Treatment For Boils On Baby’s Head:
Babies develop boils on scalp due to various reasons. For treating those boils:
- Disinfect the area by rubbing alcohol, which is completely harmless to the baby’s skin. Sometimes, this alone helps to get rid of boils that may have been caused by a simple infection.
- If there are multiple boils on the scalp, it can be because of heat and weather. In this case, apply coconut oil on them which has cooling and moisturizing properties. It effectively removes heat boils in babies.
[ Read : Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Babies ]
Are Your Baby’s Boils Contagious?
Pus boils are contagious. They spread to other body parts or even to others. To avoid infection, you should:
- Regularly wash your hands when you play with your baby.
- Wash your baby’s washcloths, towels and bed linen with hot water.
- Change the dressing frequently and throw it off to avoid spreading.
- When the boil bursts, make sure that the pus will not touch any other body parts.
What If My Baby Keeps Getting Boils (Recurrent Boils)?
Reasons For Recurrent Boils:
Your baby may be affected with boils regularly, but this does not mean there is something wrong with his immune system. There is nothing to worry unless there is a recurring pattern with your baby’s other infections. Various bacteria and germs live on the surface of our skin and in our intestines. This is known as colonization.
If your baby is affected with recurrent boils, it may mean that your baby is colonized with Staphylococcus aureus. These bacteria are passed very quickly from person to person. It is very common that your baby keeps picking up the infection from someone in the house or the proximity.
Prevention Or Reduction Of Boils On Your Baby:
Once you notice the appearance of boils on baby’s skin, try doing the following to help ease them:
- Check the boil daily to see if there are any signs of infection.
- Verify the area for the appearance of any new boils.
- Make sure you clean the boil properly every day.
- Soak a clean cloth or towel in warm water and place it on the boil. Do this for about ten minutes or as long as your baby allows. Make sure you do not apply any pressure.
- If your child’s boil has burst and you notice pus or any other fluid or even blood, do not panic. Take a sterilized cotton pad and soak it in warm water. Add a few drops of antiseptic liquid to the water. Now apply this to your baby’s boil and clean the area gently.
- Ask everyone else in the family to check whether they have boils.
- Wash the towels and your hands regularly before and after you hold your baby.
[ Read : Tips To Take Care Of Your Baby’s Skin ]
How Long Will A Boil Last?
In case you are not treating your baby’s boil, their body will automatically start fighting the infection. Within a week of its appearance, the boil will start turning soft and get filled with pus. You should check if the boil is fading within eight to ten days of its appearance.
A boil can be quite painful, but it will soon go away on its own. In case, the boil persists for more than ten to twelve days or is always coming back, schedule an appointment with your baby’s doctor.
Complications On Your Baby From Boils:
Pus boils will not lead to any complications. But sometimes scarring occurs if the boil is popped. If the boil enlarges, it can turn into cellulite. It is when the infection passes into the deeper layers of the skin and can be treated using antibiotics.
Has your baby experienced boils anytime? Do you have any tips you would like to share with the fellow readers? Do tell other moms all about treating a boil on a baby in the comments section below.
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