Locations Main Campus: Chesterfield, MO 63017   |   Locations
314-434-1500 314-434-1500   |   Contact Us

Multimedia Encyclopedia


 
E-mail Form
Email Results

 
 
Print-Friendly
Bookmarks
bookmarks-menu

Pustules

 

Pustules are small, inflamed, pus-filled, blister-like sores (lesions) on the skin surface.

Considerations

Pustules are common in acne and folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicle). They may occur anywhere on the body, but are most commonly seen in these areas:

  • Back
  • Face
  • Over the breastbone
  • Shoulders
  • Sweaty areas, such as the groin or armpit

Pustules may be a sign of an infection. They should be checked by a health care provider and may need to be tested (cultured) for bacteria or fungus.

 

References

Habif TP. Principles of diagnosis and anatomy. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 1.

Marks JG, Miller JJ. Pustules. In: Marks JG, Miller JJ, eds. Lookingbill and Marks' Principles of Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 12.

 
  • Pustules, superficial on the arm

    Pustules, superficial on the arm - illustration

    An infection of the topmost layers of the skin, especially one caused by staphylococci, may produce pustules, which look like small blisters containing a thick, yellowish material.

    Pustules, superficial on the arm

    illustration

  • Acne - close-up of pustular lesions

    Acne - close-up of pustular lesions - illustration

    Acne lesions frequently contain pus. This close-up photograph shows small acne pustules with surrounding inflammation (erythema).

    Acne - close-up of pustular lesions

    illustration

  • Acne, cystic on the face

    Acne, cystic on the face - illustration

    The face is the most common location of acne. Here, there are 4 to 6 millimeter red (erythematous) pustules, some with bridging scars and fistulous tract formation (connecting passages). Severe acne may have a profound psychological impact and may cause scarring. Effective treatments are available for this type of acne.

    Acne, cystic on the face

    illustration

  • Dermatitis, pustular contact

    Dermatitis, pustular contact - illustration

    This is a close-up of a dermatitis reaction. It consists of a large, red (erythematous) lesion (plaque) with numerous small pus-filled areas (pustules).

    Dermatitis, pustular contact

    illustration

    • Pustules, superficial on the arm

      Pustules, superficial on the arm - illustration

      An infection of the topmost layers of the skin, especially one caused by staphylococci, may produce pustules, which look like small blisters containing a thick, yellowish material.

      Pustules, superficial on the arm

      illustration

    • Acne - close-up of pustular lesions

      Acne - close-up of pustular lesions - illustration

      Acne lesions frequently contain pus. This close-up photograph shows small acne pustules with surrounding inflammation (erythema).

      Acne - close-up of pustular lesions

      illustration

    • Acne, cystic on the face

      Acne, cystic on the face - illustration

      The face is the most common location of acne. Here, there are 4 to 6 millimeter red (erythematous) pustules, some with bridging scars and fistulous tract formation (connecting passages). Severe acne may have a profound psychological impact and may cause scarring. Effective treatments are available for this type of acne.

      Acne, cystic on the face

      illustration

    • Dermatitis, pustular contact

      Dermatitis, pustular contact - illustration

      This is a close-up of a dermatitis reaction. It consists of a large, red (erythematous) lesion (plaque) with numerous small pus-filled areas (pustules).

      Dermatitis, pustular contact

      illustration


     

    Review Date: 10/31/2016

    Reviewed By: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

    The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
    adam.com

     
     
     

     

     

    A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.



    Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.