23 February 2012

How to prevent pigsa (matagtiki)?

Pigsa is a Filipino word for boils. Boils usually form when one or more hair follicles — the tube-shaped shafts from which hair grows — become infected with staph bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus). 

Staph bacteria that cause boils generally enter through a cut, scratch or other break in your skin. As soon as this occurs, specialized white blood cells called neutrophils rush to the site to fight the infection. This leads to inflammation and eventually to the formation of pus — a mixture of old white blood cells, bacteria and dead skin cells.
Anyone can develop boils, but the following factors can increase your risk:

Poor general health. Having chronic poor health makes it harder for your immune system
 to fight infections.
Diabetes. This disease can make it more difficult for your body to fight infection, including bacterial infections of your skin. 

Clothing that binds or chafes. The constant irritation from tight clothing can cause breaks in your skin, making it easier for bacteria to enter your body. 

Other skin conditions. Because they damage your skin's protective barrier, skin problems, such as acne and dermatitis, make you more susceptible.

Immune-suppressing medications. Long-term use of corticosteroids, such as prednisone or other drugs that suppress your immune system, can increase your risk.

Boil prevention is not always possible, if you have a compromised immune system. The following measures may help you avoid staph infections:

Thoroughly clean even small cuts and scrapes. Wash well with soap and water and apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment.

Avoid constricting clothing.

If you suffer from boils frequently, it is suggested to make an apointment with your doctor soon. Blood tests can be done to see if you have an underlying condition that may be contributing to this problem. Typically, if your immune system is healthy, boils shouldn't be a problem.




Joyce Lansky February 25, 2012 at 12:41 PM  

I've recently developed a problem with these. My doctor has treated me for them but more come back in other places. I wonder if I could be diabetic. I have a strong genetic predisposition for it but haven't been tested since July. Thanks for the information.



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