1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Boil
BOIL, in medicine, a progressive local inflammation of the skin, taking the form of a hard suppurating tumour, with a core of dead tissue, resulting from infection by a microbe, Staphylococcus pyogenes, and commonly occurring in young persons whose blood is disordered, or as a complication in certain diseases. Treatment proceeds on the lines of bringing the mischief out, assisting the evacuation of the boil by the lancet, and clearing the system. In the English Bible, and also in popular medical terminology, “boil” is used of various forms of ulcerous affection. The boils which were one of the plagues in Egypt were apparently the bubonic plague. The terms Aleppo boil (or button), Delhi boil, Oriental boil, Biskra button, &c., have been given to a tropical epidemic, characterized by ulcers on the face, due to a diplococcus parasite.