How to naturally treat Staph / MRSA infections: Boils, Carbuncles, ingrown hair infection, abscesses

I've always had body acne, but boils, carbuncles, ingrown hair infections only started after my first visit to Pakistan.

Due to hormonal imbalances, my immune system wasn't the best at the time. The environment and atmosphere in Pakistan wasn't very kind to my body, so I was hospitalised a lot while I was there. I believe all that along with the bad habit of doctors there to treat EVERYTHING straight with antibiotics, along with exposure to unsanitary conditions is what must have led me to get my first carbuncle while I was there.

Several years later, and I was still having them off and on, really painful, gigantic disgusting things, full of pus and blood and always accompanied with high fever. I still have huge scars on my legs from some of them.

I was getting them in all the worst places: my legs, my groin and my nose!!! 

It took many years for me to understand what it was and how to treat it. Unfortunately, the modern medicine can only prescribe antibiotics, and most of the strains of this bacteria (MRSA) are antibiotic-resistant. But what's worse is that it can spread in other parts of the body, such as the heart and cause cardiac arrest, or release toxins in the bloodstream and cause toxic shock syndrome or septicaemia. As you can imagine, it can turn lethal!

So this is definitely something that we must treat as soon as possible. Now I don't recommend taking antibiotics, not only because they don't work, but antibiotics will also kill whatever good bacteria you have that can help you with infections like that.

After lots of research, trial and error, this is how I'm dealing with it. These can be used for both prevention, cleanup, treatment and boosting your immune system so it can fight the infection.

Cut out sugar, sugar alcohols, artificial sweeteners and unhealthy carbs

Bacteria, infections, endometriosis, cancer all feed off sugar. So the more you raise your blood glucose, the more the staph will thrive in your body. So do this first before doing any kind of treatment if you want to see any results. 

I noticed this when my condition got worse after eating anything with processed sugar or sweetener. Even fruits like the Pakistani mangoes were causing more boils to appear and kept the fever chronic. So until you're absolutely certain you got rid of the infection, some foods have to go.

Another thing I must note, your boils or carbuncles can also be a sign of diabetes, PCOS or a part of menopause. Cutting out sugar, processed foods and unhealthy carbs and maintaining a low carb diet will help keep those ugly things away.

The magic potions (yes there are 2 of them)

I know some of you don't believe that nature's gifts can be better than antibiotics for such a serious infection, but believe me, they are. And if you don't believe me, check out the study done about one of the ingredients we will be using for these herbal teas. And if you want to know more about what ajwain (ajowan / carom seeds) can do, get your geek glasses on and read up here.

Now both of these teas, will help treat the problem at its root, but also if you currently have a painful boil / carbuncle and fevers, then you definitely must use these to make the symptoms go away quicker. I found that a painful boil or carbuncle that would stay for 2+ weeks on my skin, would pop and drain on its own in just 2 days with those teas. You may want to be proactive and have a huge bandaid on the boil so it doesn't stain your clothes when it pops. 

The ajwain treatment

Ajwain tea is generally safe to take on a daily basis and you only need a cup a day of it (only half a teaspoon of the seeds). You can find it in your local Indian or halal shops, and they're generally very cheap, or you can buy them online on Amazon and eBay. You may even find them in your local health food store. Just make sure you get the name right. Ajwain or carom seeds.

So just like any other tea, you boil water, and you add half a teaspoon of the seeds. For a much bigger effect, you can also add a drop of Neem oil to the tea, which is antiseptic. Neem oil is again found online or your local halal and Indian shops.

The turmeric treatment

This you can take either with hot milk or as tea. I found tea to be stronger and faster. This will again not only boost your immune system, but also treat the root of the problem as well as any current boils and fever. You can get the spice mix ready and you can find it as Golden Mylk or Golden Milk. Prozis (sports supplements company in Portugal), Celeiro (health food and herbal supplement store) and my local grocer have this. 

And you may of course, find it again through halal or Indian shops or buy it online. But you can definitely make it yourself:

For each cup (use hot milk or make it as tea):

  • Half teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of black pepper
I realise this may taste awful. It tastes better with milk, but you can also include half a teaspoon of honey if you want (also works as antibacterial). Again, you need only one cup a day of this. Golden milk has many uses, including treating common cold, flu, endometriosis etc. We'll discuss Golden Milk in more detail in another post.

Hot showers daily, with the right products

This is not optional. You need to take hot showers every single day, and change and wash your clothes, towels, and bed sheets a lot more frequently (also with hot water). Do NOT share towels with other people, and if you have a clothes dryer, use it for all linen worn, used or touched.

You may or may not need to replace your shower gel or lotions. Do NOT use antibacterial ones, do NOT use bar soap. In my case, I had to replace my shower gel and body lotion with a brand called Feno (local in Portugal). Their products consist of at least 95% of natural ingredients, and they're even helping clear up my chronic body acne (one of the million things I inherited from a young age from my mother and aunt).

I remember a video by Connor Murphy, he also suffered the same way I did for a really long time, and he mentioned he had to stop using soap, but also he sprayed probiotics on his skin to make the symptoms go away. The Sensitive line by Feno contains prebiotics as well as being all natural. So definitely include some prebiotics and probiotics on your diet and/or skin products.

The risk of open pores

Although my hirsutism has gone a whole lot better over the years (to the point hair stopped growing on some areas), stopping my hair removal routine is still not an option. Unfortunately, any hair removal method is likely to spread the infection and thus cause more boils and carbuncles right after your epilation / shave. Ingrown hairs especially are a serious cause for infection in the hair follicles.

  • Exfoliate daily, and preferably right before your epilation
  • Always wax / epilate right after your shower.
  • If waxing, switch to sugaring. Moom wax can be bought online and it's completely made from natural ingredients, and thus very kind for the skin, or you can make your own with recipes found online.
  • I myself still use an epilator, as it helped tremendously over the years to reduce my hirsutism (and yes I've tried laser, didn't help at all) and it's a very economic way of epilating. These torture devices can spread the bacteria around though, so I suggest you buy the wet and dry ones and use them during your shower. You can use hot water or diluted Dettol to clean them afterwards. Replace the heads (or the whole thing) at least every 6 months.
  • You may want to avoid waxing at a beauty parlor / esthetician, to prevent spreading the staph infection to others.
  • Do not share epilators, shaving machines, razors or even waxing jars with others.
  • Use a natural ingredient (coconut oil, aloe vera, tea tree oil are highly recommended) body lotion right after your epilation / shave (after you washed and cleaned any wax residue etc) and of course right after each shower (showers again do open the pores).
  • Try to last at least a month between depilations / waxes. Frequent waxing / epilating / shaving will increase recurrent ingrown hairs and infections.
  • Sweat can also promote the appearance of boils, so shower as soon as you're done exercising, don't let sweat dry on you, and wait a day or 2 before exercising after a session of epilating or shaving (unfortunately, this is the only rule I can't adhere to, as I live for exercise).

Stop picking your skin

Yet another thing I inherited from my mom and aunt, along with the chronic body acne, is a disorder called dermatillomania. This is more common to people suffering from OCD (like me). Dermatillomania is an obsession of picking the skin (in my case, popping pimples and blackheads. I'm disgusting, I know lol). In combination with my acne, one feeds the other, so it's a tough habit to breakout from (pun not intended lol). Of course that means, I'm spreading the bacteria all over the place.

It's a tough disorder to treat on your own, but since not many of us are brave to even admit that we have it, let alone tell someone else about it and ask for help, here's how I cope:
  • Do everything I can to treat my chronic body acne. No pimples, no popping. That includes getting rid of any allergens, including foods, laundry detergents, shower gels etc.
  • Whenever I feel the urge, stay busy with something else. Write my book or a post on my blog, cook a meal for the next day, clean up the household, exercise more and more and more (grease the groove with calisthenics, or walk and study an online course at the same time). 
  • One thing I used to use (forgot them in Cyprus, and keep forgetting to buy new ones lol) is hand grip exercise tool. Keep those where you're most likely to start picking (or have a couple in each room).
  • Keep thinking how long it takes for the scars to heal (and if). It's a grotesque of scars, that get harder to go away as we age. I stopped picking for a good long while now, but I still have an enormous amount of pimple scars.
  • Cover yourself in clothing as much as possible. I don't own shorts, skirts, crop tops. I try to cover myself in clothing as much as I can.

I know all the above you just read sound absolutely horrid and disgusting, but it's a real issue, and it would almost be a crime if I didn't share my experience. I'm hoping whoever had the stomach to read this far can be helped by some of the above treatment. (And be grateful I didn't post pictures lol).