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Normal healing for a boil?
An_242442 posted:
I have 2 boils on my right buttock. 1 is small the other decent sized. I didn't know they were boils until Christmas eve when they both started draining unexpectedly. I went to see my doctor on 11/7/11 because of painful lumps I had deep in my buttocks on both sides. He examined me and told me it was deep bruising because I don't have a lot of body fat and I also made several long road trips for work in October (pain started back in October and became unbearable in November). He prescribed me levaquin and told me to cushion all the places where I sit. I did not tolerate the levaquin well which is typical for me (I get crazy and miserable side effects from all prescription drugs). I toughed it out and took it for the full 10 days. about 4-5 days after the levaquin the lump on my left side disappeared and the pain with it. The right side seemed to get smaller and much less painful. Around 12/22-12/23 the right side started to get much more painful but smaller and harder until it seemed to form 2 heads and drain on its own. I put neosporin on it since novemebr but no bandage. Once they started draining on 12/24 it continued to drain heavily 24/7 until about 12/30 when it was off and on then stopped draining completely as of yesterday morning (1/3 didn't drain over night either). During the draining process I soaked once a day and used neosporin and covered with a gauze pad which had to be changed every hour. I was also taking 900mg of turmeric which I think has probably helped the most. So yesterday (1/3) as a precaution I still covered with gauze and applied neosporin. After work I applied drawing salve (icthamol?) and covered with gause then again before bedtime. This morning when I woke up still no more draining but the larger boil has a very soft hollow center that seems pretty deep. Still slightly painful but the best it has ever felt since the pain started. The outside edges still are a little hard and are the most painful spot. The smaller boil seems a little soft in the center as well but is mostly non-existent. The larger boil is between 1/4"-1/2" in diameter. When I went to the doc he did check to make sure I didn't have any fistulas and that checked out OK. Is this normal healing or should I be concerned? Again I do feel much better and would love to not have to tape gauze on my butt any longer. It is rather uncomfortable but I don't want it to start draining again while I am at work. I really don't want to go back to the last doctor again as I told him I had a very severe reaction to cipro once and I wasn't a huge fan of levaquin either. That and he just told me I had deep bruising. Really want to avoid any more meds but will take them short term if I have to avoid surgery or if I can get this to heal quickly. I have a ski trip planned in early February and I am worried I might have to cancel this if it doesn't heal soon. About me: I am a 35 year old white male. 5'-11", #168. Never any poor health history but I don't live the healthiest lifestyle, I am a pack a day smoker. I am not currently on any medication other than my turmeric supplement. I have very healthy eating habits and I exercise about twice a week. Thanks!
Mary Ruth Buchness, MD responded:
Dear An_242442,
Congratulations on doing everything right! If you have no pain and no more drainage, then the boils are probably finished. The softness may be because when a boil or cyst drains, there is empty space where the pus originally was. My concern is that if the pain and/or drainage resumes, it could indicate infection with MRSA, and that does require antibiotics. So if your symptoms come back, go to a new doctor and insist on a bacterial culture.
kevink1976 replied to Mary Ruth Buchness, MD's response:
I went to see my Dr on 1/6/12. At this time the smaller boil was definitely healed up completely. He said everything was fine and I should be OK in 2 days. The 1 that was left was very small and almost unnoticeable if it weren't for the small hole and the fact that it drained every now and then. He prescribed me Bactrim and said it was optional to take since it was not infected. Since it was optional and he also said it wouldn't help it heal faster I decided to take the option to not take it (hate meds for good reason unless they aren't optional). Well 10 days later I am seeing the following. Seems fine and no drainage for several days then all of the sudden it'll drain on it's own for 30 mins to a few hours then nothing again for a few days. The softness is starting to go away and I feel no pain. The drainage sometimes has a pus color and sometimes is clear and watery but it is never heavy drainage at this point. Is this a normal part of the healing process? I'm just never confident that it has completely drained and I'm honestly worried about leaking at work without a dressing on it. How will I know that it is done and no longer need to dress it?

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