ZocdocAnswersI have these boils under the skin on my neck. What should I do to completely get rid of them?

Question

I have these boils under the skin on my neck. What should I do to completely get rid of them?

I have had them for a couple of months now and they will not go away, sometimes they flare up to a nice size but for the most part i keep it cleaned.

Answer

Thanks for this interesting question. Recurrent skin infections and abscesses can be difficult to treat properly, and I recommend discussing this with your doctor. You are correct in noting a correlation between the cleanliness of the area and the recurrence rate of the infections. In general, if there is an area of the body that is more moist and dark, bacteria can have a chance to proliferate more freely. For that reason, it is important to keep the regions clean and do this regularly, so that the bacteria don't proliferate and cause infections. Once you have abscesses or boils in your skin, they can be more difficult to treat. If they are small and superficial, they will sometimes drain themselves by popping and oozing out. Other times, they may extend more deeply and will require removal by a surgeon or doctor. If this is the case, simple drainage procedures (lancing them to let the pus out) can be helpful, but they will often not cure the problem. This is because a deeper layer of the abscess remains underneath the skin, and can continue to grow and cause infection. In these cases, it is often necessary to remove the entire cyst, which can mean a small surgery. Please speak with your doctor about these symptoms you are describing.

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