Boils and carbuncles arise in the hair follicles and are usually caused by Staphylococcus aureus. The immunosuppressed, people with diabetes, and those on disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs are the most vulnerable to this. The boils are infectious and spread to other parts of the body or close contacts. This patient has recurrent boils and an obvious nasal infection colonisation by Staphylococcus aureus. This often causes recurrences of boils. Nasal swabs, as well as swabs from other suspect sites of the axillae, groin, perineum and umbilicus, should be taken and sent to the laboratory for culture and sensitivities. The nasal carriage should be cleared once any acute infection has been treated successfully.
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