Do you have a painful red bump on your leg? A boil is a common skin infection that can develop anywhere on your skin. It can occur on your leg due to various factors, especially bacterial infection, fungal infection or STDs. Explore pictures, causes, signs and symptoms of a boil on leg. Also, learn how to get rid of them using medical treatment and home remedies.
Summary of Page Contents
- Signs and Symptoms
- Boil on Leg Pictures
- Causes of Boil on Leg
- How to Get Rid of Boils on Leg
- When to See a Doctor
- Sources and References
Signs and Symptoms
A boil is a type of skin infection that shows up as a painful bump or lump that are filled with pus. These bumps are also called pustules, furuncles or abscess. A cluster of boils on the skin is usually described as a carbuncle.
These bumps can occur on your skin as a result of an infection of the hair follicles or oil glands on the skin. The infected hair follicle develops into redness, inflammation, and tenderness in the affected area of the skin.
Boil infection can occur anywhere on your skin. However, they are common on the thighs, buttocks, genital area, groin, armpits and lower legs. Boil infection can attack anybody regardless of the age, gender and color of the skin.
Furuncles on the skin can vary in size and color depending on the causal agent. They can range from pea-sized bump to large lump on the skin that is about the size of gal ball. Boils can take red, pink, yellow, white or dark color in their appearance.
The initial stage of boil infection starts with small pea-sized bumps that gradually develop into large lumps. The large bump becomes filled with pus that shows up a yellow or white spot on the top of the bump. After few days or weeks, the boil ripe and ooze out the pus.
Sometimes, a boil on your legs might have same similarities as other types of skin bumps such as pimples, acne, and rashes. This may make it difficult for you to make a clear difference between a boil infection and other skin bumps.
Boils on the skin of the leg are usually characterized by the following signs and symptoms that include:
- Painful Small or large bumps, lumps or blister that are pus-filled on the legs
- red, pink, white or yellow bumps on upper and lower legs
- redness, tenderness, and inflammation of the affected area
- skin bump that has a yellow or white color on its head
- a pea-sized lump or large golf ball sized bump
- weeping blister that crust over the skin
- a cluster of bumps on the upper or lower legs
Apart from these signs and symptoms, you might also experience fever, fatigue, headache, swollen lymph node or any other strange symptoms.
Boil on Leg Pictures
How does a boil on the skin a leg look like? To see how they might appear, we have inserted descriptive pictures of a boil on the leg in relevant parts of this post to show you how it can look like. This picture or images might have a slight difference from the view of your skin condition.
You can use the provided pictures or photos to evaluate your skin condition and get a clue if it has a boil infection. Nevertheless, you should not use it as a reference for self-diagnosis and treatment without the assistance of a dermatologist.
Causes of Boil on Leg
Basing from the American Academy of Dermatology, there are several factors that can lead to painful lumps or bump-like boils on upper and lower legs. The size and nature of the boil on the skin depend on the causal agents.
Here are some of the causes that can lead to the formation of boils on the skin of the legs.
1. Bacterial Infection
Your skin can develop boils as a result of bacterial infection. Staphylococcus aureus is a known type of bacteria that can lead to boils on the skin. These bacteria usually live on the skin surface of human beings and on the mucous membrane of the nasal cavity.
Staphylococcus bacteria can live on the skin of a healthy person for long period of time even without causing any infection. Once a crack or cut forms on your on the skin, it can allow the entry of the bacteria into your body. This could lead to the formation of boils in the affected area of the skin.
After staphylococcus inhabited inside your skin tissue, it damages the hair follicles and the oil gland on the skin. During the time of an infection, your body finally responds to the strange pathogenic microorganism by forming raised spots in the affected area.
The staphylococcus is a contagious bacterium. This means that it can spread easily from the infected site to other parts of the skin. Puncturing and squeezing the boils by your fingers is a risk factor that might spread the boil infection to the adjacent skin tissue.
Besides spreading to other parts of your skin, Staphylococcus can as well spread from the infected person to another through various ways. The boil infection can spread through direct skin contact with an infected person.
Also, you can be infected by boils through direct skin contact with the contaminated material and surface such as seats and toilets. Also, sharing of the same cloth, soap, towels, washcloth and other sanitary items might spread the staphylococcus bacterial from one person to another.
In addition, a boil on leg and other parts of the body can present itself when you are exposed to risk factors that encourage the growth and the infection of the staphylococcus bacteria. The possible predisposing factors that might encourage the spread and infection of a boil include:
- Having cuts, cracks or injuries on that might form an entry that allows staphylococcus into your skin tissue.
- Poor skin hygiene that leads to the accumulation of dirt, sweats, and grease on the skin that can provide a favorable condition for the growth of harmful bacteria that causes boil
- If you have awakened immune system due to the use of stronger antibiotics in the body or because of other underlying diseases in the body such as HIV, diabetes, liver infection, lung diseases, and kidney disorders.
- The deficiency of nutrients in the body that may lead to a weakened immune system which may not be able to protect the body against the infection of staphylococcus.
- When you have other skin condition such as psoriasis, eczema, and rashes that can lead to wounds, sores or blisters.
- When you are the carrier of the staphylococcus bacterial on your skin can increase the risk of developing the recurrent boil infection on your skin.
2. Ingrown Hairs
An ingrown hair might be the reason behind the development of a painful boil on leg. Ingrown hair cysts and boils is a common problem that often affects people with the curled hair on the skin. However, it can also occur to people who have non-curly hair on the skin.
An ingrown hair bump can develop on the skin when the hair inside the hair follicle curls or grows sideways under the skin surface. As the ingrown hair inside the hair follicle continues to grow and curl, it also leads to the development of raised bump on the skin.
The problem of ingrown hair boils can show on your legs after shaving or waxing the hair using the inappropriate procedure. Ingrown hair can also be infected by bacteria and develop into painful boils that are known as razor bumps.
Occasionally, soft skin parts of the legs and inner thighs can develop ingrown hairs boils that are relatively large as the size of gal ball. These bumps can worsen to painful pus-filled bumps when they are infected by harmful bacteria.
3. Clogged Skin Pore
A boil on leg can appear as a consequence of clogged skin pore on the affected area. The problem of blocked skin pores can happen due to the accumulation of grease, sweats, dirt and skin debris on the opening of sweat glands.
Blocked skin pores can lead to boils when the sweats and oil glands become swollen or inflamed. This is due to accumulation of harmful skin excretes inside the sweat gland that is supposed to be released out of the skin regularly.
The problem of clogged skin pores and boils are correlated with poor hygiene practices on the skin surface. If you don’t wash your body regularly to remove excess grease, sweats, and dirt, you should be surprised when you develop strange boils on the skin due to clogged skin pores.
Also, wearing too tight cloth that exerts pressure on your skin can lead to the problem of clogged skin pores that can lead to boils. It is advisable to avoid wearing too tight cloth that does not allow free flow of air around your skin. This can help you to escape the problems of the clogged pores on your skin.
According to Web MD, folliculitis is a skin condition associated with inflamed and swollen hair follicles. It is usually caused by the infection of the hair follicle by bacteria or fungi. This condition can occur on legs, arms, face, scalp or any other parts of the skin. Similar to other parts of the skin, a boil on leg can appear as a result of folliculitis.
During the initial stage of folliculitis, it shows up as a small red, pink or white raised bump around hair follicles. After few days, the bumps increase gradually in sizes into a large lump that develops into an open sore that can spread, crust over and refuse to heal faster.
5. Hidradenitis Suppurativa
Similar to folliculitis on the skin, Hidradenitis suppurativa is also characterized by painful fluid-filled bumps on the skin. Your skin can develop Hidradenitis suppurativa when the oil gland is infected by bacteria or fungi.
6. STD Bumps on Leg
The sexually transmitted disease (STD) is another factor that can lead to painful boils that might spread from the genital area to inner thighs and other parts of the leg. Genital warts, syphilis, genital herpes, and HIV are an example of STDs that can cause a boil on legs and other parts of the body.
If you notice a strange boil on the upper parts of your legs, inner thighs or on private area after unprotected oral, virginal or anal sex. This could be a symptom of one of the STD that needs diagnosis and treatment with the help of your doctor.
7. Allergic Reaction
Hives is a type of boils can show up on the skin surface as a result of an allergic reaction on the skin. These bumps can appear suddenly on your skin once you are in contact with a strange substance that can stimulate allergic reaction on your skin.
Hivers are red painful boils that can appear on your skin for few hours or days before they go away. These bumps can make you feel discomfort but they might not advance into a more serious health problem. You can help to relieve hives on your skin by taking anti-allergic drugs or painkillers form over the counter.
How to Get Rid of Boils on Leg
Puncturing and squeezing the boil on leg is not the appropriate method you can use to get rid of boil infection. This can encourage the boil infection to spread to other areas of your body hence it might advance into health complications.
It is advisable to use home remedies for small bumps on your skin caused by minor causes such ingrown hair and allergic reactions. Alternatively, you can go for medical treatment by visiting a health provider if you notice that your skin condition has large chronic bumps that are likely to be a serious skin condition.
You can see your doctor to help you in diagnosis and treatment of a boil infection on your skin. After visiting your doctor, he/ she will decide the suitable diagnosis and treatment method to use depending on your skin condition.
Some of the treatment methods that your doctor might use to treat your skin problem include the following:
- Surgical excision that helps to remove the boils, bumps, and lumps on the skin
- Prescription of antibiotics for boils and antiseptic reagents you can use to clean your body
- Dressing the boil by using a gauze that can help to make the boil ripe faster and collect the pus to initiate the healing process
Home remedies are effective treatment methods for a tiny and mild boil on leg and other parts of the skin that are caused by harmless causes such as ingrown hair and allergic reaction. You can try the following natural treatment methods:
- Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is an effective natural herb that can help to heal boil infection the skin. The herb has the antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory property that can help in the healing of skin bumps.
How to use:
- Clean the affected area with warm water and pat dry it with a towel
- Apply the Aloe Vera gel, cream of juice on the affected area
- Leave it to stay on your skin the whole day
- Repeat to apply it three times in a day for few weeks until the boil on the skin dry up
- Salt solution
You can use the salt solution as a home remedy to get rid of a boil on leg or any other parts of your body. Salt has natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory abilities that can help to facilitate the healing of boils on the skin.
How to use:
- Mix 2 teaspoons of table salt into 1 glass of warm water
- Use a cotton ball to apply the solution to the affected area of the skin
- Allow it to stay on your skin about 20 minutes before rinsing it off
- Repeat this treatment three times in a day for few weeks until the boil go away completely
- Baking soda
Baking soda is an effective astringent reagent that can help to drain up the pus from the boil and facilitate the healing process. It can also help to soothe itchy boils on the skin and relive the inflammation.
How to use:
- Get one teaspoon of baking soda and add few drops of water and mix to make a smooth paste
- Apply the paste to the affected area of the skin with boils
- Leave the paste to dry up before rinsing it off with water
- Repeat this procedure two times in a day
- Castor oil
Castor oil is an excellent home remedy you can use to heal the boils on the skin faster. The oil has the natural antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help to kill disease-causing microorganism.
How to use:
- Clean the affected area with warm water and pat dry it with a towel
- Apply the castor oil to the affected area
- Leave the oil to stay on your skin for the whole day
- Apply the oil three times in day for few weeks
- Warm compress
Warm compressing the boil can help to increase blood circulation in the affected area. This help to bring the white blood cells around the affected area that can fight against boils infection. it also helps to relieve inflammation of the skin.
How to use:
- Soak a washcloth in a basin of warm water
- Use the soaked washcloth to warm compress the affected area of the skin several times
- Repeat this procedure three times in a day until the boil go away
How to Prevent Boil on Leg
Tips to prevent boil infection include:
- Maintain proper hygiene practices by washing your body and cloth using a suitable antiseptic soap
- Ensure you stay away from individual infected with boils on their skin
- Cover any cracks, cuts or wound on your skin to prevent the entry of staphylococcus infection
- Avoid the sharing of cloth, soap, towels or any other sanitary items
- after having a boil infection, use the disinfect soap to wash your cloth, towels, and beddings
- eat a balanced diet to make the body immune strong
- treat any other underlying condition in your body that can weaken your immunity
- treat other skin infection that may cause cracks, sores, and bumps on the skin
When to See a Doctor
You can see your doctor over the boil on leg if you notice the following condition
- if the boils on your skin has persisted for more than three weeks without healing
- when the boils on legs are spreading to other parts of the body
- when the boils are making it difficulties in walking due to inflammation of joints
- if the boils are large chronic lumps that look worrisome
- when the bumps are causing severe scarring that makes your skin looks less attractive
- when your baby, child or toddler has strange boils on the leg that you don’t understand its causes