Friday , March 24 2023

Pimple Pustules (Acne Pustules)

Pimple Pustules (Acne Pustules) – Pustules are small bumps on the surface of the skin that contain pus, so they are also known as pus pimples. This pimple appears as a lump that is larger than a blackhead with a whitish peak and reddish skin around it.

Generally, these purulent pimples appear on the face area. However, other body parts that tend to be oily can also be attacked by this acne, such as the chest and back.

How common is this condition?

Just like other types of acne, acne pustules can happen to anyone. However, acne that belongs to the category of inflammatory acne most often affects teenagers during puberty.

Even so, adults can also experience this skin problem due to various factors. To reduce the risk of its occurrence, avoid various trigger factors.

What are the signs and symptoms of a pustule?

Pus acne has different signs from other forms of acne and sometimes varies from person to person. However, acne pustules generally cause the following symptoms.

  • There is a large lump that is bigger than a blackhead.
  • The lump is about 5 – 10 millimeters in diameter.
  • The top of the lump is white, like a closed blackhead.
  • The skin around the pimple appears red from inflammation.
  • Feels pain when the lump is touched.
  • Appears on the face, neck, back, and even pimples on the vagina.
  • Sometimes appears together with acne papules.

There may also be signs or symptoms not mentioned above. If you have concerns about certain signs and symptoms, talk to your doctor.

When should I see a doctor?

If your home remedies don’t improve your acne pustules, you should consult your doctor.

This also applies when this non-communicable skin disease causes disturbing discomfort. Especially when you have used certain acne medications and the skin becomes red, itchy, and feels burning.

If this condition occurs, stop using the drug so that the acne does not get worse. This condition may indicate irritation or an allergy to the drug.

If the popped pimple is causing pain, an infection may have occurred. In addition, doctor’s treatment will also be needed, especially when purulent acne is followed by other symptoms, such as:

  • fever,
  • the skin around the pimple feels warm and moist, and
  • nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

What causes pustule acne?

Not much different from other causes of acne, acne pus is formed due to clogged pores. The pores that should be the exit door for sebum (oil) and sweat become closed due to the buildup of dead skin cells.

Blockage of pores (hair follicles)

If the sebum produced by the sebaceous glands (sebaceous) is excessive, the excess sebum will not be able to come out because the opening of the pores is narrowed. As a result, sebum and dead skin cells get trapped in the pores.

This condition will cause acne-causing bacteria on the skin’s surface (P. acnes) to eat sebum and continue to multiply. This growing bacteria can trigger infection, so the body forms resistance in the form of inflammatory substances.

As a result, the inflammation causes the walls of the pores to be damaged and the size of the purulent pimple to enlarge and swell.

Allergic reaction

In addition to blockages, acne pustules can sometimes appear as a result of an allergic reaction to food or a poisonous insect bite. The presence of pus in this pimple is formed from white blood cells.

White blood cells are the part of the immune system that loses and dies fighting infection from pore-clogging bacteria and dirt. As a result, this large pus-filled lump appears and irritates the surrounding skin.

What increases my risk of developing pustules?

Pore blockage caused by bacterial infection and buildup of dead skin cells does not just happen. There are various factors that can trigger a person to get purulent acne, including the following.

  • Changes in androgen hormones that trigger the activity of the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum.
  • Genetics, one or both parents have acne problems.
  • People with skin problems, such as hand eczema (dyshidrosis) or psoriasis.
  • Use of medications containing corticosteroids, testosterone, or lithium.

How do doctors diagnose this condition?

Generally, the diagnosis of acne pustules is done through a direct skin examination. This is so that doctors can determine acne treatment based on its severity.

After the initial examination, the doctor may refer you to a dermatologist if the condition is severe enough. That way, your doctor and you can prevent further severness and speed up the recovery of your skin from acne.

What are the treatment options for pustules?

If your doctor has diagnosed the severity of your pustules, they will usually recommend a number of treatment options for acne, including the following.

Acne topical medication

One type of treatment that doctors often recommend to treat acne, especially pustules, is a topical acne medication. These treatments are usually available in various forms, such as facial cleansers, lotions, creams, and gels.

Most of these acne medications have one or more active ingredients. In addition, topical acne medications can be obtained over the counter or with a doctor’s prescription. The following are some of the active compounds in acne medications.

  • Benzoyl peroxide to kill and inhibit acne-causing bacteria.
  • Salicylic acid to remove the buildup of dead skin cells that clog pores.
  • Retinoids to clean pores and prevent excess oil production.
  • Keratolytic to exfoliate the skin surface.

Always use topical acne medications according to the directions for use and the doctor’s instructions.


If treatment does not show effective results for 6 to 8 weeks, the doctor will recommend additional treatment with antibiotics.

Antibiotics for acne are usually used together with benzoyl peroxide. This is so that the active compound is more effective in killing the bacteria that cause acne pustules.

Even so, this treatment should not be in the long term because it can cause antibiotic resistance. If the pus appears to improve, the antibiotic will be discontinued and only benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid will be used.

Photodynamic therapy

In severe cases of pustule acne, your doctor may recommend photodynamic therapy (PDT).

PDT therapy is one treatment that helps treat severe acne. During this therapy, the acne-prone area will be smeared with a solution that makes the skin more sensitive to light.

The solution will usually stick for 15 minutes to 3 hours. Then, the dermatologist will use a laser or light to destroy and remove pimples and acne scars for smoother skin.

What are some home remedies for pustules?

Not only drugs and treatments from doctors, home remedies and healthier habits can also help you speed up the recovery process. It also aims to prevent acne pustules from coming back.

Below are some lifestyle changes at home that can help treat festering acne.

  • Routinely wash your face at least twice a day with a mild soap.
  • Choose a facial cleanser that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
  • Avoid scrubbing or washing the skin repeatedly.
  • If your scalp is oily, wash your hair every day.
  • Avoid using products that contain alcohol, such as toners.
  • Limit the use of oil-based cosmetics.
  • Apply aloe vera to the pimple area to reduce inflammation.
  • Do not squeeze pimples so that the skin layer is not damaged and leaves scars.
  • Use a mask according to your skin type.
  • Manage stress and avoid acne-triggering foods, such as sugary foods.
  • Always remove makeup before going to bed at night.

If you have any questions, consult a doctor for the best solution for your problem.

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