While garlic pills have been touted on various alternative health websites as a natural cure for boils and face abscesses, this capability has not been evaluated or tested by the FDA. Garlic pills may be useful for treating other conditions, but you should follow your doctor’s advice for treating face abscesses.
Abscesses, also known as boils, are most commonly found on the face, neck, armpit, butt or thighs, according to Medline Plus. An abscess is a skin infection caused by a bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus that enters your skin through a damaged hair follicle. While an abscess may begin as a small, itchy, reddish area, it swells up and becomes full of pus. It can be painful, and may be accompanied with other symptoms like fatigue and fever.
Before a boil or abscess can heal, it must be drained. Boils may ooze pus or drain on its own. You can encourage this by applying warm, damp compresses several times a day, to speed healing. Do not try to cut it open at home, since this can cause the infection to spread and lead to scarring. Clean the area frequently, and wash your hands after touching the abscess. Do not reuse washcloths, sheets, towels or anything else that touches an oozing boil.
If an abscess does not drain on its own, you may need to seek medical treatment. A doctor should be able to drain your abscess with a small incision in a sterile environment. See your doctor if your abscess lasts longer than a couple weeks or is on your spine or in the middle of your face. In addition, if it is accompanied by other symptoms like a fever or is caused by a reoccurring infection, your doctor may need to prescribe antibiotics, according to the Mayo Clinic.
While garlic pills are not a proven remedy for abscesses, they can be used for other conditions. Garlic seems to be an effective treatment for high blood pressure and atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, according to Medline Plus. This seems to be due to the chemical allicin, which is produced by the garlic plant. However, it can also irritate your stomach and prolong bleeding, so use caution if you have a condition like a bleeding disorder or irritable bowel syndrome.