Carbuncles

Carbuncles is the name given to a cluster of interconnecting boils that cause an infection that spreads underneath the skin. The infectious organism is usually Staphyloccus aureus.

Carbuncles are similar to boils, but develop more slowly and are localized over a larger area. They are extremely painful, swollen, and red, and may be accompanied by general feelings of fatigue, debilitation, and fever. A great amount of pus is usually also associated with carbuncles, which can be slow to heal and can cause scarring.

What To Consider

Carbuncles occur more frequently in men than in women, primarily at the nape of the neck, buttocks, or thighs. Even though they can occur in very healthy people, they are often associated with diabetes mellitus and other debilitating chronic disease conditions, and are also occur more frequently in the elderly.

Carbuncles are very contagious, and should be cultured to identify the infectious organism. Antibiotics may be needed to achieve complete healing. This is especially true of both carbuncles and boils in the nose, as the infection can easily spread to the brain.

Self-Care Tips

Diet
Drink plenty of filtered water, and eat a diet of whole foods with lots of green, leafy vegetables, and grains such as buckwheat.

Nutritional Supplementation
To help prevent and speed the healing time of carbuncles, supplement with vitamin A, vitamin C, acidophilus, chlorophyll, garlic capsules, and proteolytic enzymes (taken on an empty stomach away from meals).

Flower Essences
Rescue Remedy Cream can be applied (a minimum of four times a day) on unbroken skin around, but not directly on, carbuncles. Crab Apple can be used to help alleviate stress and for low self-esteem and negative body image caused by the condition.

Herbs
A blend of the tinctures of echinacea, cleavers, and yellowdock in equal parts, taken one teaspoonful three times a day can help speed the healing time for boils. Additionally, drinking a cup of an infusion of nettle, preferably fresh herb, twice a day, can be helpful.

Homeopathy
Ledum, Belladonna, Arsen alb., and/or Lachesis are all useful homeopathic remedies.

Hydrotherapy
Contrast application (hot and cold water packs applied at least once daily).

Juice Therapy
The following juice combinations can be helpful: Carrot, beet, celery, and garlic; wheat grass juice; and/or cucumber juice.

Topical Treatment
Apply a mixture of honey, the oil from vitamins E and A, and zinc oxide to the infected areas. Do this several times a day, up to once per hour. Other effective topical treatments include a poultice of goldenseal root powder paste, hot Epsom salt pack (two tablespoons in one cup water), tea tree oil, or a poultice of one part sesame oil and one part lime juice mixed and applied externally.

Caution

If your symptoms persist despite the above measures, seek the help of a qualified health professional.

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