As a nurse who’s seen it all, I’m here to tell you that boils behind the ear can be a painful experience. Boils, or better known as furuncles, are caused by an infection of the hair follicle and can be incredibly uncomfortable. But, don’t worry – there are ways to treat and prevent boils behind the ear.
What Causes Boils Behind the Ear?
It’s not uncommon for boils to be found behind the ear, or in other areas such as the back of the neck, armpit, or groin. They are caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, which is commonly found on the surface of the skin. When the bacteria enters deeper into the skin, it can cause an infection.
What Are the Symptoms?
The most common symptom of a boil behind the ear is a tender, red bump that is filled with pus. It will be quite painful and may be accompanied by fever, chills, and swollen lymph nodes. As the boil grows, it may become more painful and you may notice a foul smell coming from the area.
Preventing Boils Behind the Ear
Prevention is key when it comes to boils. To reduce your risk, you should:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water
- Clean any cuts or scrapes and apply an antibiotic ointment
- Avoid sharing items such as towels, razors, or clothes with other people
- Keep the area clean and dry
- Avoid tight clothing that may trap sweat and bacteria
Treating Boils Behind the Ear
If you do develop a boil behind the ear, it’s important to take steps to treat it. Here are the steps you should take:
- Gently wash the area with soap and warm water
- Apply a warm compress for 15 minutes several times a day to reduce swelling and pain
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
- Do not squeeze or pop the boil
- See a doctor if the boil does not go away in 2-3 weeks or if it is accompanied by chills, fever, or other symptoms
When to See a Doctor
If you have a boil behind your ear that does not improve with home treatment, it’s important to see a doctor. The doctor can diagnose the boil and prescribe antibiotics or other medications to help reduce the symptoms and speed up the healing process.
Table 1: Commonly Prescribed Medications for Boils
Don’t let boils behind the ear get you down. Be proactive and take steps to prevent them. And if you do develop a boil, take steps to treat it quickly. It may be a bit of a pain, but you’ll get through it. As the 80’s band Europe once sang, “You can go the distance, you can run the mile, you can walk straight through the fire.”
You got this.
Now you know how to treat a boil behind the ear, so don’t let it ruin your day. Keep your chin up and you’ll be just fine.