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Of the 6th Plague of Egypt

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Of the 6th Plague of Egypt

 

 

The setting was that of ancient Egypt (Exodus 9, verse 8-12) where 10 plagues were unleashed on the Egyptians for their unwillingness to let the children of Israel go. This piece is about the 6th one; it is called boils!

Another scene
Miss KK is known for one thing; boils! She bear the scars at different parts of her body over the years. The last she had chose her forehead; large, hard, shiny, extremely painful and even gave her a fever. It had to be drained eventually, leaving a bad scar on the face she adores…
1. Out of hair follicle I evolve ,
Inhabit there via Chauffeur Staph aureus,
An abrasion my entry,
A cut my doorway
2. The skin I discoloured,
A painful lump I form,
I whitened the redness,
An apex I mold
3. Tempting it is, but,
Squeeze, scratch nor needle pop me not!
To keep contagion at bay,
Boil is my epithet!

What it is
A boil (also called a furuncle) is a collection of pus that forms in the skin.
It starts in a hair follicle or oil gland when a bacteria (usually Staphylococcus aureus) enters the body through cuts or abrasions in the skin (from shaving or wearing of tight clothing) and travels down to the hair follicle. Inflammation of hair follicles is called folliculitis, which can develop into a boil. This is common in the pubic area, especially after shaving.
A group of boils is called a carbuncle.

Myths
Lack of sexual activity cause boils in the genitals!
Boils located on the forehead or nose tip imply the person is mean!
These have no scientific basis.

Progression
Initially the skin may turn red at the site of infection and a painful tiny lump develops and gradually increase in size. After a few days, it turns white as there is pus accumulation under the skin.
The pus later form a ‘’head’’ which can drain on its own or has to be opened up.
The spread of infection to deeper skin tissues may give rise to an abscess.

Common sites found
Face (one on the eyelid is called a sty)
Armpit
Buttocks
Genital area
Under the breasts
On the thigh
In the back

What give boils away
Localised painful lump/swelling in the skin
There may be obvious pus accumulation under the skin
Redness may be present
Localised warmth at the site
Fever

Why you may have boils
Poor personal hygiene that leads to dirt plugs on the skin
Diseases associated with weakened immune system (the natural barrier against infections). These include;
a. Diabetes
b. Kidney disease
c. A.I.D.S
d. Diseases in which there is inadequate antibody production
Medications like steroids and those used in cancer chemotherapy also suppress the immune system and can result in boils.
Some have reported a link between their diet and boils’ occurrence. Cheese, Yogurt or milk have been mentioned in this regard.
Poor nutrition is a strong factor because it weakens the immune system.
Boils could also be stress related
Exposure to skin irritating chemicals Friction from tight clothing
Close contact with pus from an infected person (until it drains and heals, an active skin boil is contagious).
Ingrown hair; a condition where hair curls back or grow sideways into the skin-very common among people with coarse or curly hair
Obesity
Athletes participating in contact sports or using shared equipment

What not to do
Resist the urge to squeeze the boil
Avoid popping open the boil with a sharp/pointed object
These would likely worsen infection

When to seek help
Unresolved fever despite medications
Severe/Undue pain
The boil does not drain
A second or multiple boils appear
A very large painful boil
Recurrent boils
A boil on the spine
Treatment of Boils aim to soothe the pain, eliminate the offending organism and prevent complications.
For most healthy people with normally functioning immune systems, a relatively small boil will come to a head and drain on its own within two weeks. The easiest of natural treatments for how to get rid of a boil is to simply leave the boil alone. If you truly can leave it alone, a boil will likely break and drain on its own over time, typically within two weeks.

Advice
If you’ve had a boil, you know how tempting it is to try to pop it, but don’t! If you pop the boil yourself with a pin or needle, you may make the infection worse. Whatever you do, don’t pop, squeeze, scratch or open the boil. Squeezing can actually push the infection down deeper into your skin.

Likely outcomes of boil infection
The outcome of treatment is usually very good. Most boils can be successfully treated if prompt care is taken. However, scarring may be a complication after a particularly large boil heals. In rare cases, complications of boils occur when the infection spreads. Cellulitis, a secondary infection of the deeper layers of the skin, may occur. Other less common secondary infections may include impetigo (a skin infection), septic arthritis (joint infection), osteomyelitis (bone infection), endocarditis (heart infection), septicemia (blood infection), or brain abscess.

Ways out
Though not absolutely preventable, the following may help keep boils at bay;
Good personal hygiene
Use of sponge to wash especially the back region and under the breasts; this helps remove oil/dirt plugs built up around hair follicles
Proper handwashing or use of sanitizers reduce the bacterial load on the skin.
Avoid skin contact with pus from an infected person
Avoid sharing clothing, towel or razor with an infected person

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