Boil secondary prevention

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Yamuna Kondapally, M.B.B.S[2]


Secondary prevention strategies following boils include warm moist compresses on the boil, hand washing, and proper wound care.

Secondary Prevention

Secondary prevention strategies following boils include:[1]

  • Put warm moist compresses on the boil several times a day to speed draining and healing
  • Never squeeze a boil or try to cut it open at home. This can spread the infection
  • Continue to put warm wet compresses on the area after the boil opens
  • Clean boils and change their dressing often
  • Wash hands very well after touching a boil
  • Do not re-use or share washcloths or towels. Wash clothing, washcloths, towels, and sheets or other items that have touched infected areas in very hot water
  • Throw out used dressings in a sealed bag so that fluid from the boil does not touch anything else


  1. Mascitti KB, Gerber JS, Zaoutis TE, Barton TD, Lautenbach E (2010). "Preferred treatment and prevention strategies for recurrent community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus skin and soft-tissue infections: a survey of adult and pediatric providers". Am J Infect Control. 38 (4): 324–8. doi:10.1016/j.ajic.2009.11.007. PMC 2861049. PMID 20420965.

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