Why do I keep getting boils?

Why do I keep getting boils? 

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What you need to know:

Other ways of managing premature ejaculation:

  • Strengthen the pelvic muscles using kegel’s exercises – Contract the muscles that stop urine flow 10 times and repeat at least three times a day
  • Stop-start technique – during intercourse, when you feel the urge to ejaculate, stop all activity until the urge passes, then start again
  • Pause and squeeze technique – during intercourse, when you are about to ejaculate, have your partner squeeze the penis where the head joins the shaft for several seconds until the urge passes

Hello Doctor,
I keep getting boils. What can be the cause and how can I prevent them from recurring? I always observe personal hygiene so I don't believe it when people associate the condition with poor hygiene. 

Dear MS,

A boil, or an abscess, is caused by an infection getting into the layers of the skin through tiny cuts or around a hair follicle, sweat glands or sebaceous glands (skin glands that produce "oil"). Because of the infection, pus forms and accumulates in that place leading to a painful swelling that may turn red. Sometimes a part of it will turn yellow due to the pus underneath.

Getting recurrent boils is associated with poor hygiene, dirty environments, being near people with some kinds of skin infections and poor blood circulation. It could also be a sign of a weak immune system, for example due to diabetes, long term use of steroids, cancer, blood disorders, alcoholism, AIDS and other diseases.

You can also get pimples that have pus in them as a result of other inflammatory skin conditions like acne, psoriasis and sometimes as part of a fungal infection.

If you are allergic to certain foods, then you can get an allergic skin reaction with a rash, swellings, and sometimes these swellings may have some fluid in them, but they are not boils. The rash or swellings can get infected due to scratching when some bacteria get into the layers of the skin.

For some people, however, there is no good reason for getting the recurrent boils.

Treatment involves opening the boil so that the pus can drain out. Sometimes, antibiotics are needed. If the swelling is small, less than 1cm diameter, you can press it with a cloth dipped in warm water several times a day for about 20 to 30 minutes. It would also be advisable to visit a skin specialist (dermatologist) when you have the boils so that you can get an accurate diagnosis and the best way forward.

Dear Dr Flo,

Thank you for the advice. you are a blessing to men like us who suffer in silence. What foods and medication would you recommend to increase testosterone levels. I suspect that masturbation has caused a decrease in my testosterone levels.


Dear Tonny,

Masturbation is a common practice amongst both men and women, though it is more common in men. Due to the hormones that are released (dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and testosterone), it has a pleasure and reward mechanism — it relaxes the mind and also bonds a person with the experience.

This can make it become a coping mechanism, which can lead to addiction. Excessive masturbation and addiction can lead to low self-esteem, depression, shame and guilt, anti-social behaviour, unrealistic sexual expectations due to use of pornography, loss of productivity because of using up a lot of time watching pornography and/or masturbating, relationship problems and genital irritation.

It can also lead to watching more “hard-core” pornography and may lead to engagement in sexually deviant behaviour in a bid to get new exciting ways to get sexual pleasure. For some people, it can interfere with normal sexual relations.

To manage excessive masturbation, the first step is to acknowledge that it is a problem then make deliberate efforts to stop it. It is best to get an alternative way to use your energy like exercise, creative arts or participating in volunteer programmes. Avoid being alone and interact with other people. Delete all pornographic material from your devices, and if possible, install a software to prevent access to unwanted sites, or one that notifies a trusted person which sites you are accessing.

It is also beneficial to get psychological and social support. Therapy includes stress management, identification of triggers, coping mechanisms, behavioural modification, learning to replace mental imagery; and couple therapy. Once you recover from negative psychological, social and behavioural effects of the habit, any physical effects will usually resolve without need for further intervention.

The normal male sexual response cycle involves desire, arousal, plateau, ejaculation, and resolution. The average time from beginning of intercourse to ejaculation is five minutes. If ejaculation happens sooner than you or your partner would like, it is called premature ejaculation. If it happens once in a while, then it is not a cause of concern. If it is frequent and is causing frustration, then it needs to be addressed.

It can occur due to psychological and physical factors. Psychological issues include early sexual experiences, worry about sexual performance, anxiety, depression, guilt, poor self-image or relationship problems. Physical factors include abnormal levels of hormones or brain messengers (neurotransmitters), inflammation of the urethra or the prostate.

To manage it, any psychological issues need to be addressed, if necessary, by visiting a mental health professional. It is also helpful to have a supportive partner. There are medications that can be prescribed when needed and topical creams that can be used that have a numbing agent.

Send your health questions to:   [email protected]


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