A – Z of Illnesses & Conditions

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Boils:  Boils are skin infections that originate in hair follicles or in oil glands. At first the area becomes red and tender. Then it becomes hard. After four to seven days it turns white because of the pus that collects under the skin. The white blood cells collect at the center of the boil to eradicate the infection. Pus is a collection of white blood cells, bacteria and proteins. A boil is also referred to as a skin abscess. An abscess is a condition wherein the infection spreads deeper into the tissues of the skin.

Boils can occur all over the body. However, the most common places for boils to appear are on the legs, armpits, face, neck, buttocks and shoulders. Boils that occur on the eyelid are called stys. The common symptoms for boils include severe pain when it fills with pus, fatigue, fever skin redness around the boil and itchiness before the eruption of boils.

( A carbuncle typically consists of two or more interconnected boils; these are painful red nodules that form yellowish heads which burst to release pus and dead tissue, carbuncles may have to be surgically lanced and drained, a procedure that is often followed by antibiotic treatment. )

Most boils burst and heal by themselves without the need for medical treatment. However, you should visit your doctor if you have a boil: on your face, nose or spine; that gets bigger and feels soft and spongy to touch (as it may not burst and heal by itself); or that doesn't heal within two weeks.

Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking herbal remedies

Health Issues

Mother Nature could have the answer to treating several causes of blindness, according to a ground-breaking study involving scientists from the University of Surrey


A $5.7 billion global medical bill to restore sight for the estimated 45 million people with cataracts could be slashed in half by a diet rich in colourful fruits and vegetables, according to an international study.


UK-based trade group the Health Food Manufacturers Association (HFMA) has written a formal letter of complaint to the BBC about a controversial BBC2 Horizon programme about the food supplements industry.