30 Day Inner Thigh Challenge

Why Would a Boil Grow on Your Inner Thigh-And What Can You Do About It?

Medically reviewed by Susan Bard, MD

Day Strong Legs & Toned Butt Fitness Challenge
Day Strong Legs & Toned Butt Fitness Challenge

Boils are an infection of the hair follicle usually caused by a bacteria known as Staphylococcus aureus (staph). They can develop anywhere on the body but are common in areas like the inner thigh. Treating boils that develop on the inner thigh usually involves warm compresses, keeping the site protected, and avoiding friction on the skin.

Symptoms of Boils on the Inner Thigh

The  Day Thigh Challenge - Blogilates
The Day Thigh Challenge – Blogilates

Boils on the inner thigh usually start as a small tender bump under your skin. The site will have some warmth when touched, appear red, and have some degree of swelling.

As the boil begins to fill with more pus, made of dead cells and fluid, the area will grow. You might also notice pain worsening. Sometimes, the center of the boil will appear yellow as the pus begins to show through the skin.

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Symptoms of an inner thigh boil can include:

A bump ranging in size from small, like a pea, to large, like a golf ball

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Day Thigh Slimming Challenge! – Blogilates

A bump growing rapidly in size

A yellow center in the boil from the accumulation of pus

Redness surrounding the area of the site

Itching on and around the site

Spreading of the boil to other areas near the first one

Fever and fatigue

A general sense of not feeling well

A boil on the inner thigh will look a lot like a pimple you see on the skin of your face. However, a boil develops deeper in the skin and is typically more painful. Most people will have one or two boils that form and then don’t return, but some people will experience a recurrence.

What Causes Boils on the Inner Thigh?

Boils develop when the hair follicle on your skin becomes infected by bacteria. The most common bacteria that cause boils, known as Staphylococcus aureus, lives on most people’s skin normally and typically doesn’t cause harm. As the infection continues, the hair follicle fills up with the debris of dead cells and other fluids.

When a hair follicle becomes damaged, bacteria can enter the body and infect the deeper tissue. Boils are common on the thigh and can result from friction in this area from clothing. If you have a weakened immune system, are older, or have more adipose tissue (body fat) in your thighs, you have a greater chance of developing boils.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

Boils that develop on the thigh could potentially clear on their own and may not always need to be evaluated by a healthcare professional. However, seeking treatment can help speed up the healing process, relieve pain, and prevent potential complications.

Having some amount of pain and discomfort is normal when you have a boil on your thigh, but experiencing intense pain or other severe symptoms may be a sign of a complication. You should get medical treatment if you experience any of the following:

Severe pain


A red streak coming out from the site

A large collection of fluid in the area

Boils that return after treatment

A boil lasting more than a week

If at-home treatments don’t relieve your boil, or if you experience boils frequently, you may need treatment from a healthcare provider. Some people have a recurrence of boils and need a more extensive treatment plan. 

How Are Boils on the Thigh Diagnosed?

Healthcare providers can usually diagnosis a boil on the inner thigh just by looking at it during an assessment of your skin. Your description of your symptoms will also help them to diagnose the problem.

Sometimes, your healthcare provider may swab the site of the boil so they can determine what kind of bacteria is causing the infection. This is known as a culture swab. Knowing which bacteria is causing the infection can help your provider determine the appropriate antibiotic to give.

Only some people who get a boil will need a culture swab. Healthcare providers will usually swab the site for people who get boils often, have multiple boils at once, or are at higher risk for developing complications.

How to Treat a Boil on the Inner Thigh

If your boil doesn’t need to be treated by a healthcare provider, there are several potential methods for treating a boil on the inner thigh at home. Do not try to squeeze or pop the boil, as this can cause the infection to spread.

Try these measures at home to treat a boil on your inner thigh:

Use a warm compress. You can create a warm compress by soaking a clean washcloth in warm water and then applying it to your skin. Make sure the water isn’t too hot, which may cause a burn. A warm compress can be held to the area for 10 to 15 minutes, three to four times daily.

Take over-the-counter pain medications. Unless you’ve been told not to use Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen), these medications can help ease pain symptoms. Follow the package instructions for dosage, and always refer to your healthcare provider for questions.

Keep the area clean and protected. Avoid friction and rubbing on the site by wearing shorts or loose-fitting pants. Cover the boil with gauze or a bandage if it pops open, and change the dressing often.

If you have an especially large boil or a boil that comes back often, you will likely need treatment from a healthcare provider. This is because these types of boils may require incision and drainage.

During this procedure, a healthcare provider makes a small cut that allows the pus to drain and the wound to heal. They may also clean the inside of the wound with antiseptic medication and place small strips of gauze inside the wound to absorb and remove any other pus that develops.

If your boil becomes infected or shows signs of infection, you may also need antibiotics. Healthcare providers typically only prescribe antibiotics when you are at a higher risk for developing or showing signs of complications. You can take antibiotics by mouth or through an IV in your arm.

How to Prevent Boils on the Inner Thigh

Boils can be painful, bothersome, and negatively impact your quality of life. Try the following tactics to prevent the spread and recurrence of boils on your inner thigh:

When bathing, try using antibacterial soaps or antiseptic washes to kill germs.

Don’t share personal items like towels, razors, or linens used on skin with a boil present.

Keep surfaces that are frequently touched clean. This includes countertops, door knobs, toilet seats, or any other surfaces that may come into contact with bare skin.

Wash hands with soap and water anytime you touch a boil or before and after you change a bandage covering the site.

Remember to keep any boils covered and protected.

If you have a boil on your inner thigh, the worst thing you could do is to try to squeeze the area. Squeezing a boil increases your chances of spreading the infection, creating more boils and potential complications.

A Quick Review

Boils on the inner thigh are common and result from bacteria causing an infection of the hair follicle. They usually resemble a pimple but tend to be larger and more painful. You may be able to treat a boil at home by applying warm compresses to allow the pus to escape. Make sure to keep any boil covered and protected to prevent spreading. Larger, more painful boils or those that keep coming back might need to be treated by a healthcare provider.

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