Boils on babies – Causes,Symptoms & Treatments

Babies are more prone to infections and allergies because of their underdeveloped immune system. Therefore, when it comes to the health of the baby, there are zillions of matter you should be aware of to keep away from unwanted complications.

Babies are more prone to skin issues. This is because their skin is so tender and getting exposed to any out of ordinary circumstances will put a toll on it. Once you find some tiny red marks or rashes on baby's skin, you may consider changing their soap, applying some lotions, etc. However, not all the skin rashes caused due to same reason and therefore the method you used to discard one type may not work on other.  Skin boils, especially, need to be treated very soon appropriately because if left unattended, it might turn out to be quite painful. Continue reading to know more about boils on babies and some ways to treat them.

What are boils in babies?

Boils are nothing to panic about as they are skin infection caused by bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, and the body's defenses are usually able to eventually get rid of the bacteria from the system. The infection begins at the hair root, oil gland or sweat pore. It appears as a tender red lump on the baby's skin. Gradually the lump gets filled with pus and turns white. Sometimes, the appearance of a boil is accompanied with fever.

Where do the boils appear on babies?

More often than not, the most common places for boils to appear in babies are on the face, neck, armpits, shoulders, and buttocks.

What puts my child at risk of getting boils?

Boils are quite common among the babies. Boils never signal your baby is having a health issue. Still, your baby can develop boils anytime. Here are some triggering factors that increase the odds of your baby developing boils:

  • Broken skin (which allows bacteria to enter)
  • Eczema
  • Weakened immune system due to some health conditions
  • Iron deficiency
  • Some medicines that bring down the body's ability to fight against microbes

How long will it take the boils on babies to disappear?

Without any treatment boils on babies will start to fade away within 8 to 10 days. If the boil persists more than 10-12 days of its appearance or if it shows a tendency of recurring the baby require medical interventions. 

When should I seek medical attention?

As already mentioned boils are not a serious issue, nor cause any complications. It usually will resolve its own as well.  In spite of this fact, you should consult your baby's pediatrician:

  • If the boil starts to spread to other parts of the body.  The signs of spreading of infection are  fever, redness starting to spread, and increasing pain at the spot of the boil
  • If the pain becomes severe hindering with the baby's activities
  • If the baby develops a fever
  • If the pus is not draining out from the boil even after a week.
  • If the lymph nodes of the baby start swelling
  • If the size of the boil increases significantly
  • If your child has diabetes or an immune problem
  • If the boil appears near the eyes of the baby.

What should I do if my child gets boils?

  • Never try to squeeze out the pus. It not only will create lots of pain for your baby it also intensifies the infection.
  • Boils can spread fast. Therefore, once the boil opens on its own and drains, swab away the pus or blood with an uncontaminated cotton ball soaked in an antiseptic solution. 
  • Wash your hand thoroughly before and right after touching the boils.

What are the treatment options for boils on babies?

  • Stubborn, multiple painful boils are treated with antibiotics prescribed by the pediatrician. In this case, always remember to complete the course, even if the boil starts to disappear soon.
  • For some babies, the antibiotics may not give the desired result. In that case, the pus needs to be surgically drained from the boil - this is called incision and drainage

Normal boils on baby can be treated at home itself.  Here are three effective ways to treat boils on babies at home:

  1. Apply a warm compress at the site of the boil. This speed up the process of opening up and oozing out of the pus. You can soak a soft cotton cloth in warm water and place it on the boil for one to two minutes. Repeat it several times in a day and don't forget to wash your hands every time you finish the process.
  2. Apply honey on the boils. With its antiseptic property, honey will ease the boil and prevent the infection from spreading.
  3. Boil a few parsley leaves until they become tender. After draining the surplus water, make a paste and apply it on the boil. This will have a soothing effect and also speed up the healing process.