Who gets boils?

A London General Practice has studied all the people who came to see them over the course of a years with boils. As many of you know, diabetics are more commonly afflicted than their non diabetic friends. Is there anything you can do to reduce the chance of getting these blighters?

Well, according to the survey, not that much, if you are already pretty health conscious. Most of the factors associated with boils are not usually under your direct control. Some are, such as smoking, being overweight and having had an antibiotic prescription in the previous six months.

People who got them also tended to be from  socio-economically deprived groups. There were some gender differences but it is not well known whether this was due to true incidence or whether it was due to more tendency to consult a doctor.

Overall women attended more than men especially in younger age groups, but was this due to less tolerance for the boils?  Older men, over the age of 65 also attended more frequently, but was this because their wives made them?

There is a sharp increase in boils in adolescence onwards and then it tends to subside after men are 25 and women are 35, so hormonal factors have something to do with it. The bad news is that boils tend to recur and overall ten percent of those afflicted will be back to the doctor’s at least once in the year after they first attend.

Based on RCGP article by Laura J Shallcross October 2015.


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