If you are a first-time mother, many things might frighten or concern you when it comes to the health and well-being of your child. This is a perfectly normal phase for new mothers AND fathers. It is a time to ask important questions, such as are boils contagious, and what methods should be utilized to prevent cross-contamination and infection.
New babies are interesting in that they seem to have little resistance to infection, and yet, they are quite hardy when it comes to many ailments. Immunity is often an inherited trait, but so are allergies or other infirmities that sometimes place the life of an infant at risk. Knowing whether or not something presents a potential for contagion is vital for parents protecting their new human.
Are Boils Contagious?
The answer to the question with regards to a boil or lesion is both yes and no. Some lesions can be very contagious, such as impetigo, Staphylococcus, MRSA, VRE, and possibly even Morgellans. The average boil is simply acne in some form, and these are not contagious, although any strange acne should probably be kept covered from little hands just in case.
Babies can contract a variety of lesions, but the most common are Impetigo and Staph. Interestingly, if a child is exposed to Staph they will never get Impetigo, and vice versa. Additionally, there is little likelihood that a Staph-exposed tot will ever experience an outbreak of thrush, although a child who has had impetigo can, and often does, experience thrush at some point.
Thrush is a condition known as Mouth Rot wherein there are lesions inside the mouth, and flesh from the gums can slough off. It can be very alarming to witness if the parents do not know what it is, but it really is not a serious condition at all. It is, unfortunately, very painful for the child, and it is also extremely contagious to the parents, and any other children they come into contact with.
Impetigo is a form of bubonic plague, albeit an extremely minor version and should not cause too much alarm for a new mom. As a rule it appears at the corners of the mouth, and is often confused with a fever blister. It can be treated with consistent application of an antibacterial cream, although fever blister cream will not hurt it, and one might try both just to be sure.
Another common concern for new parents is diaper rash. Not only can it leave a boil, but it can develop into a collection of painful lesions that completely covers the skin of the diaper area. A combination of anti-fungal cream to neutralize the fungus and a thicker cream to protect the affected area is the most effective treatment, and can have the rash cleared up before the next diaper change.
It will be perfectly acceptable to attempt handling these lesions on your own before rushing to a hospital. Most skin irritations are minor, and easily remedied with over-the-counter creams or simple hydrogen peroxide/alcohol solution. However, should the parents discover the boil or lesion gets worse after treatment, or it is simply stubborn and will not clear up, a trip to the medical clinic is in the offing.