For painful boils, as an alternative to Epsom salt compresses, salt water compresses work even better. In a small bowl, put 1/2 cup household salt into 2 cups really, really hot water - not boiling, of course, but as hot from the tap as your skin can stand without actually burning it. Take a facecloth & swish it around, rubbing it on the bottom so it actually has some salt on it. Hold it to the affected area for 30 seconds, then repeat. You should be able to get 5 or 6 uses before the water becomes too cool; if it doesn't open by itself in a few minutes, repeat in 8 hours. The salt actually abrades the top surface of skin off, and allows the pus to come out. Be ready with the facecloth. When the top of the boil is open and the pus starts to come out, very, very gently press on the side of the boil to get as much out as you can, but without squeezing. When you are down to just blood coming out, grit your teeth and apply either peroxide or rubbing alcohol with a cotton ball.