How to Treat Boils


Tomato Paste

Boils, or skin abscesses, are pimple-like skin infections that can swell into large, pus-filled sore-to-the-touch growths. To treat a boil before it gets too big and painful to handle without a doctor, try this easy home remedy that uses tomato paste. (Yep, tomato paste!) Apply a coat of tomato paste over the boil, and the veggie’s acids will lessen the pain and encourage the boil to “come to a head”—meaning, it’ll soften and be ready for popping. Don’t attempt to pop a boil until it’s soft and you can see a small yellow dot of pus at the center.

Epsom Salts

To reduce the pain and inflammation from a boil, treat yourself to a nice soak in Epsom salts. The salts will help draw out extra moisture from the area, so that the boil drains more quickly.


You can also apply a warm bag of black tea to the boil. Black tea contains tannins, which draw out excess moisture from the boil. Plus, it has antibacterial qualities, and the warmth will soothe the pain. Hold the bag against the area for five minutes or so several times a day for best results.

Turmeric-Ginger Paste

Turmeric and ginger are powerful anti-inflammatories and can be used to treat boils. Pound a small amount of ginger in a mortar and pestle until it’s smooth, then mix in some turmeric to form a paste. Apply the mixture to the boil for relief. (Note that the turmeric will temporarily color your skin an orangey-yellow color, but it’s worth it if it works!) You can also drink a turmeric-ginger tea.


Here’s another great remedy from the kitchen. Boil a green cabbage leaf until it softens, usually about a minute, then remove from the boiling water. When it’s cool enough to touch, cover the boil with the leaf and wrap with a clean cloth for 30 minutes at a time. If you repeat this every day, your boils will soon be long gone!


Once the boil bursts, cover it with a thin layer of honey. Not only is honey known for its antibacterial qualities, but amazingly enough, when it dries on the skin it will form a protective bandage over the raw spot!

Keep It Clean

Boils are often caused bacteria, so you want to make sure to keep the affected area clean. Dab antiseptic tea tree oil on the boil a few times a day until it goes away.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.