Infections of the hair follicles, usually the work of Staphylococcus bacteria (also responsible for Food Poisoning) a carbuncle is a particularly large boil or close-knit group of boils sited somewhat deeper in the dermis than the average boil. As white cells attack bacteria, thick white or yellow pus accumulates, causing pain and swelling, and boil develops a head, after a day or two boil either bursts or slowly reduces and heals.
Recurrent boils can be a symptom of Diabetes. Orthodox treatment is antibiotics and, if necessary, lancing. Homeopathic treatment is constitutional, but specific remedies can be used to relieve pain and swelling.
Specific remedies to be given every hour for up to 10 doses
- Boil in early stage, Skin very red and tender Belladonna 30c
- If boil weeps easily and is sensitive to the slightest touch, or to bring boil to a head Hepar sulph. 30c
- To cleanse a boil which has burst, or to help heal a boil which has been slow to develop and slow to disperse Silicea 30c
- Skin over boil bluish, blistered, and very angry looking, with a black centre Anthracinum 30c
- Skin over boil burning hot, aggravated by application of heat Arsenicum 30c
- Boil weeps but causes little pain Gunpowder 30c
Self-help: At first sign of inflammation, bathe affected area with Hypericum and Calendula solution (5 drops of mother tincture of each to 0.25 litre [1/2 pint] boiled cooled water). A pad of cotton wool soaked in hot salt water (1 teaspoon to 0.25 litre [1/2 pint]) and applied to the boil every few hours reduces pain. Never squeeze a boil. If it bursts, let it drain by itself if possible, avoid handling food.