Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"How can I prevent infected boils from appearing on my buttocks?"

ZocdocAnswersHow can I prevent infected boils from appearing on my buttocks?


Hello, I am a 16 year old teenage girl and have, for the past several years, had clusters of infected boils on my buttocks. I have gone to my doctor several times and I am advised to (for the particular boil I have at the time) apply heat until it drains, which works for the short time. Yet, I want to know how I can prevent these from appearing in the future?


Sorry to hear that you have had this problem several times now! Boils are a form of skin infection causes by certain bacteria that colonize the surface of the skin. If you have had recurrent boils, then the first step would be to work with your primary care doctor to develop a good skin cleansing regimen to keep the amount of bacteria on the surface of the skin down to a minimum. Often, simply regular application of a standard antimicrobial soap and frequent showering might be enough. In addition to regular cleansing, it can be helpful to take measure to keep the skin dry and free from moisture. This might include wearing loose fitting clothing, and absorbent cotton underwear. If the problem persists, your doctor might want want to test you for presence of MRSA, which is a particular form of resistant bacteria that often colonize the skin and frequently can lead to recurrent skin infections, such as boils and abscesses. If you are found to be colonize with this bacteria, and you are having recurrent infections, then your doctor may want to consider more aggressive treatment designed to rid yourself of this bacteria. Book and appointment with your doctor as soon as you can, and good luck!

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.