Boils & Carbuncles
A boil is a local inflammation of a hair root or cut, due to infection. A cluster of boils is known as a carbuncle.
Constant reinfection of this kind calls for a general reassessment of diet and lifestyle to enhance the body’s resistance. Look for particular problems in the body, such as dental abscess or chronically diseased tonsils, which may by undermining your general health.
Use herbs internally that boost and stimulate the immune system, such as Goldenseal, Echinacea, Lavender, St. Johnswort, and Yellowroot, with those that fight infection, such as Burdock, Dandelion root, Garlic, and Thyme.
A hot poultice applied locally will help to draw a boil and cause it to discharge. Mix hot water with Slippery Elm powder to make a paste. Add a few drops of Lavender oil to the water to give the poultice antibacterial power.
Bloodroot tincture will draw the infection from a boil and cause it to discharge.
Blisters are usually caused by friction or burns. If the blister isn’t too severe or
painful, try to keep the unbroken skin intact. It provides a natural barrier to bacteria and decreases the risk of infection. Cover the blister with a small bandage to protect it.
If the blister is painful, drain the fluid while leaving the overlying skin intact by following these steps:
Wash your hands and the blister with warm water and soap.
Swab the blister with rubbing alcohol to kill germs.
Sterilize a clean, sharp needle by wiping it with rubbing alcohol.
Use the needle to puncture the blister. Puncture several spots near the blister’s edge. Let the fluid drain, but leave the overlying skin in place.
Apply a natural antibiotic, such as Goldenseal, St. Johnswort,
or Yerba Mansa, and cover with a bandage. (There are several antibiotic ointments that you can make yourself on the Salves & Ointments page.
After several days, use tweezers and scissors that have been sterilized in rubbing alcohol to cut away the dead skin. Apply more antibiotic.
Call your doctor if you see signs of infection around the blister — pus, redness, or increased pain.
The black eye is caused by bleeding beneath the skin around the eye. Sometimes a black eye indicates a more serious injury, even a skull fracture. Although most injuries are not serious, bleeding within the eye, called a hyphema, is serious and can reduce vision and damage the cornea. Follow these steps to take care of a
Using gentle pressure, apply ice or a cold pack to the area around the eye for 10 to 15 minutes. Be careful not to press on the eye itself. Apply cold as soon as possible after the injury to reduce swelling.
Be sure there is no blood in the white and colored parts of the eye.
Seek medical attention immediately if you experience vision problems, (such as double vision or blurring), severe pain or bleeding in the eye or from the nose.
Domestic pets cause most animal bites. Dogs are more likely to bite than cats, however, cat bites are more likely to cause infection. Bites from domestic animals that have not been immunized and bites from wild animals carry the risk of rabies. Rabies are more common in raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes. Rabbits, squirrels and other rodents rarely harbor rabies. If you or your child is bitten by an animal, follow these guidelines:
If the bite barely breaks the skin, treat it as a minor wound. Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. Apply an antibiotic to prevent infection and cover it with a clean bandage. There are three herbs that make great antibiotics and they are also anti-inflammatory. Goldenseal, St. Johnswort, and Yerba Mansa. Apply a poultice or tincture before covering the wound.
Note: There are several antibiotic salves that you can make yourself on the Salves & Ointments page. If the animal has not been vaccinated for rabies, see your doctor immediately.
If the bite is a deep puncture wound or the skin is badly torn and bleeding, apply pressure to stop the bleeding and see your doctor.
If you notice signs of infection such as swelling, redness, increased pain or oozing, see your doctor immediately.
If you suspect the bite was caused by an animal that might harbor rabies — any unprovoked bite from a wild or domestic animal of unknown immunization status — see your doctor immediately.