Skin Boils

Who Is At Risk for Skin Boils?

Boils occur more often in teenagers and young adults. People in communal living situations are also at higher risk. This includes:

  • People living in military barracks
  • People living in homeless shelters
  • People living in other types of close-quarters housing

The spread of the infection in these places can be prevented with antibacterial soaps and good hygiene.

People with certain health conditions are also more likely to get boils. These conditions include:

  • Diabetes, a disease that affects your body’s ability to control blood sugar
  • Skin conditions like eczema
  • Poor nutrition
  • Obesity, or having an excessive amount of body fat
  • A weakened immune system, such as in people taking drugs that suppress the immune system

Athletes who play contact sports or share equipment also have an increased risk of spreading the bacteria that cause boils.

It is possible for boils to occur only once. Some people, though, get them repeatedly. 

One study found that up to 10% of people who get a boil will develop another one within a year. Some conditions, like diabetes, make recurrence more likely.

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