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What Causes a Pustule?

Acne is one of the most common causes of pustules; acne is formed when excess amount of sebum oil produced from sebaceous gland leading to clogging of skin pores. For majority of people acne is caused at the time of puberty when lots of hormonal changes occur inside the body. Some other common causes of pustules include allergic reaction, infection, insect bite, chicken pox, virus infection and so on.

What Causes a Pustule?

Pustule is a small blister like structure, which is filled with pus. These blisters develop on face, shoulders and armpit. Although it is a symptom of infection but it is commonly found in acne. In some cases pustule is very painful and soft in feel. Pus is formed because of the breakdown of infectious cells. In simple words pus is formed as result of bacterial infection. All types of harmful bacteria can cause infection and pus.

What Causes a Pustule

At times these pustules develop as a result of puberty or pustule is also caused from infection. The region surrounding the pustule becomes red, tender and painful. The biggest problem here is that along with the physical uneasiness individual also becomes emotionally drained. Other common symptoms of pustules include fever, itchy skin, vomit sensation or nausea, pain, diarrhea and so on. When pus filled inside the pustule become hard then it takes the shape of cyst. These cysts are very difficult to handle. There is some very specific treatment available for causes of pustule.

Some of the skin conditions similar to Pustules are Acne, Rosacea and Furuncles.

  • Acne is a complicated skin problem develops usually at the time of puberty. Pimples and zits are the two very common forms of acne. Some of the symptoms of acne are pustule, blackhead, cyst, patches of skin, redness around acne and so on. If left untreated for long then it can cause scars. Acne is developed when the minute skin pores are badly clogged with oil, dirt or even bacteria. Some of the prime area were acne is developed are face, shoulder, arms, buttock and legs.
  • Furuncle is a skin problem that occurs in the area sounding hair follicle. In the initial stage Furuncles develops as a small pink color blister filled with transparent liquid, which eventually develop yellow color pus. Some specific symptoms of Furuncles are fever, redness of skin, fatigue and irritation. In majority of cases Furuncles cures on their own but in case it does not then it get bust oozing out the pus. If patient feel that the condition is getting worst then they should visit a dermatologist immediately.
  • Rosacea which is a skin problem caused specific in adults. It occurs in the form of pustule on cheeks, forehead, nose and chin. In some rare cases a small red blood vessel may be visible near nose and cheek region. Till date the actual cause of Rosacea is not known but some of the common causes include stress, consuming spicy food, alcohol and constant exposure to sunlight.

Intake of oral medication can help in curing the pustule infection and also reduces the excess amount of oil from the skin. Oil present on the skin contributes in the development of pustule.

Pustule does not have any adverse effect on the health of an individual but if it is ignore and keep untreated for long then the condition becomes worst. Outburst of pustule oozes pus present inside it which may leave ugly scares on the skin. This has adverse effect on the emotional condition of an individual as they starts losing their confidence. Hence, it is always recommended that consult a dermatologist immediately. They will analyze the cause of the pustule and will prescribe appropriate medication for the same.


  1. Mayo Clinic – “Rosacea”: Learn about the skin condition Rosacea, its pustular form, causes, and common triggers such as stress and diet. Mayo Clinic – Rosacea
  2. Cleveland Clinic – “Acne: Diagnosis and Treatment”: Understand the development of acne and its various forms, including pustules. Discover treatment options for managing acne effectively. Cleveland Clinic – Acne Diagnosis and Treatment

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 23, 2023

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