If you have an area of skin that is prone to boils or carbuncles, keep the area clean and dry, and avoid wearing tight clothing that doesn't allow the skin to breathe. Washing daily with an antibacterial soap also can help. At the earliest sign of irritation or a bump at a hair follicle, use warm compresses to open up the blocked pore and drain any early infection. If you develop signs of inflammation or infection at a hair follicle (folliculitis) as a result of shaving, you should avoid shaving in that area to prevent bacteria from being spread from this area to other parts of the skin.
Small boils can be treated with moist heat (usually a warm, wet washcloth) applied for 20 to 30 minutes, 3 or 4 times a day. This will help the boil drain on its own. Once the boil drains, cover it with a clean bandage to protect the skin and absorb draining pus. Wash the affected area daily with antibacterial soap to prevent the infection from spreading. Anyone who helps care for the infected area should also wash his or her hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap.
Carbuncles and large boils may be treated with antibiotics. In many cases, the doctor will drain the infected area through a small incision. This will relieve pain, speed recovery and limit scar formation. If the infection is completely drained, antibiotics may not be necessary. If the infection is deep, your doctor may fill the empty pocket that previously contained pus, using a strip or piece of sterile gauze. This gauze can keep the incision open which will allow pus to continue to drain. The pocket can then heal slowly, becoming shallower over time until it is only a superficial wound. You may need to return to the doctor a few times to have the gauze and dressing changed. .