Carbuncles are red and swollen clusters of boils that occur under the skin.

Normally they occur as an infection of a hair follicle so they are commonly found in areas where hair grows thickly - such as the back or the nape of the neck. 

Other common areas where carbuncles can grow include the buttocks, thighs, groin and armpits.

Active carbuncles are contagious so they must be treated with care during this period. 

Carbuncle signs and symptoms:
Carbuncles begin as red and painful bumps which then develop white or yellow tips. They may burst and ooze or crust over. Swelling is common around the around of infected skin. 

Sufferers may also feel feverish, tired and have general sickness while the carbuncle is active. 

Lifestyle tips:
Any person can suffer from carbuncles during their lifetime, even those who are otherwise fit and healthy. Most carbuncles begin from a skin irritation caused by wearing tight clothing, cuts or insect bites.

It’s advised that people who are prone to ingrown hairs might also be susceptible to developing carbuncles. If you feel one forming under your skin, try to keep the area clean. Using a hot compress will help the carbuncle to drain and heal but make sure it’s covered with a sterile dressing if it begins to weep. 

Wear loose clothing which is made of material that allows the skin to breathe.

Most importantly, don’t pick or squeeze the swelling as this will cause the carbuncle to scar your skin.  

Diet tips:
Carbuncles can develop at any time on any person but it is important to maintain a healthy, balanced diet to keep your immune system strong and your skin cells protected.

Eating plenty of proteins is essential for rebuilding damaged skin and collagen that gives the skin elasticity. Lean meats, fish, beans and eggs are packed with protein so make sure these are included in your diet.

Vitamin C also helps the skin produce collagen, that supports skin cells during the healing process. These work with proteins so the presence of both in your diet can help improve the speed that wounds heal. 

Citrus fruits and watery vegetables are rich in vitamin C. This includes strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, spinach and cabbage. 

Akoma recommends:
Carbuncles should be treated with care to prevent further infections spreading.

Akoma Tea Tree Essential Oil is rich with the antibacterial ingredients that treat many skin infections. The oil also has antifungal and antiseptic properties so it’s been used across the world for years to treat carbuncles.

Use a swab and apply the oil directly onto the carbuncle a couple of times a day to stop the infection spreading and help its recovery.

Vitamins also play an important part in the recovery of carbuncles. Akoma Vitamin E Oil helps to destroy the skin cells damaged from the initial infection and protect your top layer of skin from external damage.

Applying pure vitamin E straight to the affected area helps the recovery of the carbuncle. Massage it into the recovering area before you go to bed to calm and hydrate the skin overnight while fighting the infection.