After sitting in lockdown for quite a while, my mother gently asked if anyone was up for getting this week’s grocery. I was quick to volunteer and armed myself with full-sleeve clothes, masks, gloves, along with a sanitiser in my pocket.
I took the grocery bag and walked to the nearby store only to remember that we had to stand in long queues now. For a minute, standing in the queue seemed refreshing considering that it was the only human contact I had experienced in months. But slowly, the excitement of seeing people and soaking in the sun simmered out.
Standing directly under the classic Indian summer sun, my whole body covered in protective gear started to sweat profusely. My arm, though, had suddenly started to itch uncontrollably. I rolled up my sleeve only to see that a patch on my arm had turned red. After I got back home, I took a bath and noticed I had a little red lump on my arm. As I launched an attack to squeeze it out, my mother quickly stopped me.
My mother came to the rescue with soothing antibacterial goodness, neem oil
While I grimaced in pain over touching it, my mother came running with a bottle of the fragrant neem oil. She told me to wash my hands and apply a few drops of neem oil over the hot boil.
It did seem to sting lightly but after applying it three to four times per week for a couple of weeks, the pus began to drain out by itself. Along with keeping myself hydrated and wearing loose clothes, the neem oil helped soothe it down while helping it fade away.
What’s a heat boil though?
A heat boil is a skin infection that starts on a hair follicle or oil gland on the skin. This tender pus-filled lump is commonly found on the face, neck, armpits, shoulders, and buttocks. A heat boil may induce symptoms like high fever, swelling in the area of the boil, severe itching and pain.
How is it caused?
Well, most hot boils have the germ- staphylococcal bacteria to blame! Due to different causes, this germ manages to sneak in our body through tiny nicks or cuts in the skin or can travel down the hair to the follicle.
Research suggests that heat boils are caused due to excessive consumption of foods that heat our body up. In this summer heat, wearing tight clothes, drinking an insufficient amount of water, or eating non-vegetarian food every day can cause it.
But how did the neem oil actually work through?
According to the National US Library of Medicine, the Indian lilac a.k.a neem oil has antiseptic, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties that help treat skin infections. It is particularly known to treat boils faster. Along with the antibacterial properties, research suggests that it can also help combat skin damage and ageing along with preventing any scarring.
What can one do if they don’t have neem oil?
If you don’t have the oil, you can use neem leaves instead. To create the soothing magic boil healer you can grind some neem leaves and apply the paste to the affected area.
To protect the skin from a further infection you must cover the area with a clean cloth or bandage. Applying the paste directly on your boil twice a day shall help you get rid of those pesky painful lumps.
Please remember to not touch or burst the boils as the released pus can flare up the infection. Keep your body clean and sanitised with a gentle cleanser. Remember to keep yourself hydrated through healthy food and drinks.
With this ancient wisdom from mother dear, bid adieu to the pesky hot boils, ladies.