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Pus pimples on the face are a problem that affects many people even after puberty and are among the most common skin changes. These are small pustules that lie in the skin of the face and are filled with a purulent secretion.

Pus pimples occur when the pores of the facial skin clog and bacteria multiply in them. The body responds with an inflammatory reaction, and as tissue, bacteria and inflammatory cells die, pus accumulates in the pore.

The inflammatory pimples are visually annoying and can also be quite painful.

Causes of pus pimples

The causes of pus pimples are diverse and have nothing to do with poor hygiene. The sebum glands are located in the skin and produce a greasy secretion that makes the skin supple and protects it from drying out. However, an increased production of sebum by the skin of the face in combination with dead skin cells can clog the fine pores, which means that sebum and sweat can no longer drain away. In this environment, bacteria that occur naturally on human skin can multiply particularly well and an infection with pus develops.

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  • Hormonal changes

The main cause of pus pimples on the face are hormonal changes during puberty, as a result of which the sebum glands enlarge and sebum production increases as a result. Male sex hormones such as testosterone in particular lead to increased sebum production during sexual maturity, as a result of which boys in particular suffer from pus pimples on the face. But adult women and men can also be affected by pus pimples.

Women show an increased oil production of the skin shortly before the onset of menstruation, but hormonal changes during pregnancy are also often a trigger for pus pimples on the face.

  • Care products, cosmetics & certain medicines

Too frequent or incorrect use of care products and cosmetics or the use of certain medications (e.g. Cortisone preparations) cause pimples on the face. The skin on the face is particularly sensitive and can be easily over-cared for. Frequent cleaning, peeling and creaming increases sebum production and leads to increased pimple formation. Care products often contain fragrances or preservatives to which some people have an allergic reaction in the form of pus pimples.

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  • Dirty hands

Pimples also develop when you touch your face too often with dirty hands. This transfers bacteria to the skin, which then lead to purulent inflammation of the facial skin. This also applies to cell phones with dirty screens and glasses frames.

  • Unstable mental state

Another common cause of pus pimples on the face is stress, imbalance, and mental distress.

  • Wrong diet

Our diet also has a major impact on the appearance of the skin: very sweet and fatty foods lead to blemishes. In summer there can be an increased incidence of pimples, as the warmer temperatures increase the skin's sebum production and thus easily clog the pores. In addition, some sunscreens do not allow the skin to breathe well and irritate it, which can easily lead to purulent pimples.

Would you like to know more about this topic? For more information, see our next article at: Pus pimples - causes, occurrence and treatment

How are pus pimples diagnosed?

Purulent pimples on the face can be diagnosed at first glance. The skin is greasy and shiny, the pus pimples can be recognized by their yellowish heads. If the pimples appear frequently, a dermatologist should be consulted to clarify the causes and find a suitable treatment option.

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As part of a specific question - anamnesis - The doctor will try to find out whether the pus pimples on the face are a skin condition such as acne or whether the pimples are caused by medication, improper care products, or hormonal changes. Further examinations or swabs are usually not necessary for the diagnosis.

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What is the best way to get rid of pus pimples on the face?

Pus pimples on the face are primarily a cosmetic problem that is not harmful to health. Therefore, medical treatment is usually not required. If the pimples on the face are a recurring problem, it is best for those affected to get professional help.

In the cosmetic studio, the skin is cleaned pore-deep, which means that pus pimples disappear and the skin appears healthier. In severe cases, a dermatologist (Dermatologist) help to find the cause of the pus pimples on the face and treat accordingly.

The best way to get rid of a pus on the face is by not pushing it too early and avoiding frequent touching. The pimple needs to mature and only when the head of pus has come to the surface can it be squeezed out.

Under no circumstances should the pimple be punctured, as this can lead to severe inflammation and permanent scars. Squeezing bacteria can get deeper into the skin and possibly even into blood vessels, which can lead to blood poisoning.

However, a conventional pus pimple on the face does not usually lead to complications and can be expressed simply. Care should be taken that the hands are clean and it is best to use a fresh Kleenex cloth to squeeze out. The skin can then be cooled and treated with a zinc ointment, which has an antibacterial effect and soothes inflammation.

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Are you more interested in this topic? Check out our next article for more information about treatment options for pus pimples: How to Get Rid of Pimples!

Home remedies for pus pimples

Home remedies that have anti-inflammatory and bactericidal properties help with pus pimples on the face. Honey and onions are particularly antibacterial and can therefore be used against skin blemishes. A mask made from a finely shredded onion mixed with three tablespoons of honey can be applied to the face and is said to help the skin heal.

Tea tree oil is a popular and inexpensive home remedy for blemishes. Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of the Australian tea tree and is available classically as an oil or in the form of pimple pencils or lotions. Tea tree oil contains the active ingredient terpinen-4-ol, which is strongly antibacterial and thus reduces the growth of bacteria. Tea tree oil also has a drying effect on the skin, so it should only be applied locally to the affected area.

In pharmacies and drugstores there are other home remedies that can help with pus pimples: Zinc ointment has an antibacterial effect and is therefore an effective remedy for pimples. The anti-inflammatory healing earth is applied to the face in the form of a mask and also contributes to clean skin .

An unhealthy and unbalanced diet is a risk factor for the development of skin blemishes. It is therefore advisable to avoid greasy and too sweet dishes as well as fast food as much as possible in order to avoid annoying pus pimples on the face. A balanced diet with various vitamins, such as vitamins A, B5, B6 and E, contributes to radiant and healthy skin. These vitamins are found mainly in vegetable oils, carrots, oatmeal, nuts and rice.

More interested in this topic? Read more about this in our next article below: Home remedies for pimples

When is the pimple gone for good?

The healing process depends on the size of the pimple pimple, but is usually around four days. Inappropriately or prematurely squeezing dirt can get into the wound and worsen the inflammation. In such cases, healing will be delayed and it may take up to two weeks for the pus pimple on the face to go away. In some cases, pimple marks or scars can remain on the face.

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Should you express pus pimples on the face?

A pus pimple on the face may only be expressed when the white-yellowish pus capsule is no longer deep under the skin, but is clearly visible on the surface. If the pimple is squeezed out too early, unsightly pimple marks or even small scars can remain.

In certain places on the face, however, it is very dangerous to express a pus yourself and under certain circumstances it can even be fatal. In the area of ​​the nose and mouth, the skin of the face is closely connected to the brain via blood vessels.

By improperly pushing around, bacteria can get into the bloodstream and be carried to the brain, where in rare cases they cause blood poisoning or meningitis. Therefore you should absolutely avoid pushing around in this area yourself and get help from a medical beautician or wait until the pimple disappears on its own.

Do you have blemished skin and often suffer from acne? Our next article will tell you what helps: Acne - This works best

What are the symptoms?

Even if a pus pimple is not yet visible on the face, there are typical symptoms that herald the impending pustule. Deep pimples are announced by a tingling sensation and painful pulling of the skin.

Blackheads (Comedones) are considered harbingers of pus pimples. These are sebum glands that are clogged with sebum and dead skin cells. A distinction is made between closed blackheads, which empty a whitish content in a thread-like manner through pressure, and open blackheads, which have a black center. Pushing around can turn a blackhead into a purulent pimple on the face.

The actual pus pimple is characterized by an elevation of the skin and a pus-filled bladder. The skin around the pimple is reddened and possibly swollen. The inflammation can cause the skin in the affected area to be tense and cause severe pain when touched.

Another symptom of pus pimples is shiny and oily skin, which is caused by excessive sebum production and ultimately leads to the appearance of blemishes.

Our next topic could also be of interest to you: Oily skin and pimples

Pus pimples in old age

Usually, with age, the skin becomes drier and less oily, which is why blackheads and pimples become less common. Even so, older people can also be affected by pus pimples on the face. The causes of blemished skin in old age are diverse and range from stress and emotional distress to unhealthy eating habits and hormone surges.

Especially women during the menopause are particularly affected by the hormonal change and suffer more from pus pimples and blackheads on the face. Smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol cause the skin to age more quickly and promote the development of blemishes on the face. Lots of fresh fruit, vegetables and sufficient water supply the skin with the necessary vitamins and help to maintain a fine and even complexion.

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But there can also be a skin disease behind the pus pimples on the face. People who have rosacea, a chronic inflammatory skin disease, get redness, nodules, and small blisters on their faces. Many sufferers are not aware of the disease and mistake the symptoms for blemishes. Therefore, if the pus pimples on the face are severe or persist for weeks, a dermatologist should be consulted to determine the cause of the skin changes in old age.

Pus pimples in children

Purulent pimples on the face are also common in babies a few weeks old and are known as newborn or baby acne (Acne neonatorum) designated. These are temporary skin changes on the forehead and bridge of the nose that are completely harmless and will go away on their own. Baby acne is seen in around 20% of newborns, with boys being more likely than girls. Baby acne is a natural reaction of the newborn and usually occurs during the first growth spurt between the 10th and 14th day of life.

The pus pimples in babies are triggered by the hormonal change that is caused by the loss of maternal hormones. In the last months of pregnancy, the mother secretes more hormones that promote lung maturation in the unborn baby and prepare it for birth. In addition, the baby's adrenal glands start producing their own hormones. The change in the hormonal balance also affects the infant's sensitive sebum glands and promotes sebum formation, which leads to pimples.

Parents who find that their baby has newborn acne should clean the child's face with warm water only and then gently dab it with a soft towel. Fatty ointments or baby oil should not be used for newborn acne on the face, as this would only increase the skin's sebum production.

Under no circumstances should the pimples be squeezed out on the face, as this can lead to severe inflammation and scarring. Medical treatment or medication is not required.

From baby acne must be infant acne (Infant acne or acne infantum), which occurs between the third and sixth month of life. The toddlers get a lot of blackheads and red pustules, especially in the cheek area, which can become very inflamed. The exact cause of infant acne has not yet been clarified, but it is suspected that it may lead to a temporarily increased production of male sex hormones (Androgens) occurs in the child and these lead to the skin changes.

Pus pimples in the context of acne infantum in small children must be treated by a doctor in any case, as otherwise permanent scars may remain. The doctor prescribes a mild facial cleansing, in severe cases antibiotics can also be administered.

Older children can also get pus pimples on their faces. Children's skin is still particularly delicate and therefore sensitive. A common cause of the itchy pimples in children is the pus, which is noticeable in the facial area through small pus-filled blisters and reddened skin.

Mushroom is an infectious disease that is caused by bacteria and must be treated with antibiotics. Other skin diseases such as thrush, blistering skin diseases or a skin fungus also lead to pus pimples in children.

Baby skin is particularly delicate and sensitive. Correct and regular skin care can prevent many skin problems. Read more about this at: Baby skin care

Recommendations from the editorial team

For more general information on this topic, see:

  • This is how impure skin is treated
  • Acne Diet
  • Pus under the skin

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