Furunculosis is a condition familiar to every one. A furuncle or boil is a deep-seated septic affection of the hair follicle in which the hair rootis completely destroyed and comes out as the core of the boil. Multiple boils are given the anme of furunculoses. A carbuncle is a big conglomeration of boils, the inflammation spreading from one follicle to another under the epidermis. The intervening corium is destroyed and pus is discharged through multiple holes.
Boils are a rather more deep-seated infection of the skin, often caused by Staphylococcus. They can cause painful red swellings. They are commoner in teenagers and often recurrent. Recurrent boils may rarely occur in diabetes mellitus or in immunosuppression. Large boils are sometimes called 'carbuncles'.
The causative organism in these conditions is Staphylococcus aureus, less frequent other staphylococci. Furunculosis is a common skin problem, very prevalent in the tropics. It is more common in the summer, especially the monsoon season. Maceration of the skin, dusty and dirty environments, and the ingestion of too many carbohydrates, predispose to furunculoses. The eating of too many mangoes has a similar effects (mango boil). A stye is a boil around an eyelash.
Treatment is with oral antibiotics (e.g. erythromycin 500 mg four times daily for 10-14 days) and occasionally incision and drainage. Antiseptics such as povidone iodine, chlorhexidine (as soap) and a bath oil (e.g. Oilatum plusT) can be useful in prophylaxis.
In acute cases, the treatment consists of:
In chronic cases the treatment of furunculosis consists of:
Diet - Carbohydrates and fats should be cut down and extra proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables added.
Improvement of general health - A holiday by the seashore has cleared up many an intractable case. Sunbathing, tonics, UVR exposures and sulphur spring baths are also beneficial.
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