A boil is a skin infection involving an entire hair follicle and nearby skin tissue.
Boils are very common. They are generally caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, but they may be caused by other bacteria or fungi found on the skin's surface. Damage to the hair follicle allows these bacteria to enter deeper into the tissues of the follicle and the tissue underneath.
Boils may occur in the hair follicles anywhere on the body. They are most common on the face, neck, armpit, buttocks, and thighs. There can be one or many boils.
Habif TM. Bacterial infections. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 9.
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