A boil (referred to as a furuncle by medical professionals) is a round, tender, infected nodule on the skin with a central core of pus surrounded by inflamed and swollen tissue. It usually begins as a painful red lump, then hardens and forms a yellow head. It may be caused by an airborne or food allergy, stress, poor hygiene, an illness, a lowered resistance, inadequate nutrition, certain drugs, excessive consumption of junk foods, an infected wound, eczema, scabies, diabetes, obesity, a toxic bloodstream, thyroid disorders, or where the skin has been weakened by chafing. It may also be caused when the deepest portion of the hair follicle and sebaceous gland becomes infected (often by staphylococcus aureus) and the inflammation spreads to the underlying dermis. Carbuncles are composite boils and occur when the infection spreads. The formation of a carbuncle may be an indication of immune depression.
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