A skin abscess is another name for a skin boil, a severe, pus-filled infection deep in the skin. Skin abscesses often involve a hair follicle and occur in moist areas of the body, such as the groin area and back of the neck. Boils can take two weeks to fully heal, and most will not heal until they burst and drain. Try home remedies to get rid of a boil, but if your efforts fail, you will need to see a doctor. Remember, home remedies may not work for everyone.
Though its website makes no claims about the efficacy of Campho-Phenique with regard to healing skin abscesses, its antiseptic gel formulation gets high marks from users for relieving pain and causing a head to form and burst, as claimed on the My Home Remedies website. This over-the-counter product, which can be found in any drugstore, contains phenol and an antiseptic agent. Per Campho.com, phenol has a temporary numbing effect on the skin, and the antiseptic stops micro-organisms from growing. One user who weighed in on My Home Remedies put a small amount of gel on a band aid and covered the boil. Pain relief came fast and within a few hours, the boil burst.
Turmeric is a bright orange-yellow spice commonly used in Indian food. Some studies of curcumin, the active component in turmeric, have had conflicting findings, but turmeric has shown promise for use in reducing inflammation and fighting infection, according to the University of Maryland Health Center. People with boils have taken turmeric as a drink, making a tea by adding 1 or 2 tsp. of the powder to milk or water, and drinking that concoction three times a day, and drinking it for three days. Another suggestion is to mix turmeric with milk or water to make a paste and apply it to the boil directly. Skinverse.com states that drinking the tea will clear the internal infection, and the paste will clear up the boil itself; you can use both methods at the same time.
You can slice a 1-inch thick slice off a raw potato and secure it to the boil with tape. The potato draws the poisons from the abscess. Using scrapings of raw potato wrapped in gauze and applied to the boil works well, too, according to My Home Remedies.
Onions have antiseptic chemicals that can draw blood to the area of the boil. Thick slices of raw onion can be placed on the boil and covered with a cloth. The onion should be replaced every three hours until the abscess comes to a head and bursts, according to homeremediesweb.com.
Gina Skurchak, a writer and editor since 1990, specializes in medical content. Her work has appeared in "New England Farm Journal," "Healthy Today," "Health Journal" and "Well Advised Over 50," among other publications. Skurchak holds a Bachelor of Arts in French and education from Cedar Crest College and a Master of Arts in writing from Northeastern University.