Are you wondering what boils look like? We’ll show you some skin boil pictures so you can see for yourself what they usually look like. However, you should be aware that they can range greatly in size and they can appear on many different parts of the body, so they don’t always look the same. If you have a lump or bump on your skin, or any other skin abnormality, and you’re not sure what it is, we recommend seeing your doctor for a diagnosis.
Skin boils, technically known as furuncles, usually start out looking a lot like pimples. They grow much larger than pimples, however, and may get as large as a golf balls or ever bigger. Initially, boils are red in color but they usually develop a whitish-colored head as pus builds up inside them. The area around boils usually becomes red and swollen or inflamed-looking, as well. Boils look like they hurt and they usually do. They may also itch or cause a burning or stinging sensation.
Carbuncles are clusters of boils all connected by a single source of infection under the skin. If you think boils look painful, well, carbuncles look downright excruciating. The red, swollen, inflamed areas can be pretty large and may also have multiple heads. They may feel warm to the touch and may itch or sting, like single boils do. Carbuncles are most likely to appear on the back of the neck, on the shoulders or on the thighs, though they can appear elsewhere(1). They are more likely to leave scars than single boils.
Boils are particularly common on areas of the body with hair, because infected hair follicles and ingrown hairs often lead to the development of boils. Therefore they often occur on the scalp, in the armpits and in the groin area. Boils can occur on any part of the body, however. Here you can see some skin boil pictures of boils on different parts of the body and on people with different skin tones.
Notice how some are much larger than others and some have a white head on them, indicating they may rupture soon, while others do not. Some look much like pimples, though boils are usually painful and pimples are not.
If you’ve experienced some skin boils or a carbuncle and would like to share a picture, feel free to email it to us. We won’t publish any identifying information, but your photo could help others that are dealing with boils or carbuncles. Feel free to share information about the size of your boil, how long you had it, how painful it was and how it was treated, as well.
If you’re dealing with something similar to these pictures of skin boils, you probably want to know what to do about it.
If you have a carbuncle, you should see a doctor because the infection is likely to be more severe and more likely to require treatment such as antibiotics. You should also see a doctor if you have recurrent boils, if you have a fever and chills with a boil, if you have a very large boil (measuring more than two inches across), or if your boil is causing you severe pain. In some cases, boils need to be surgically incised and drained.
In most cases, though, boils can be treated at home. Warm compresses can relieve pain and encourage the boil to rupture and drain. Don’t squeeze or try to pop them, though. That can make matters worse by spreading the infection and increasing the pain and swelling.
There are some natural remedies that can help relieve discomfort and encourage boils to heal. Our favorite treatment for skin boils is a homeopathic remedy called BoilX. To learn more about how BoilX can help, just follow the links.
(1)Mayo Clinic: Boils and Carbuncles