are considered primary skin lesions , i.e. manifestations that arise on a portion of skin not previously affected by pathological manifestations or other visual alterations.
It is a collection of pus , i.e. cells of the immune system, called neutrophils , and bacteria, which can occur in any region of the body, but mainly in those areas where there is greater sweating and greater presence of sebaceous glands such as: face , neck, shoulders, breastbone, back, legs , penis , tongue,groin.
The pure visual manifestation on the skin can also be associated with fever, chills, widespread pain, and swelling, all symptoms compatible with the presence of a bacterial infection.
How pustules form
In general, the pustule formation process involves an overproduction of sebum by the sebaceous glands following an inflammatory process. The sebum produced plugs the pores of the skin creating the ideal condition for the growth of the bacterial load. Therefore, a purulent collection will be generated which gives rise to the actual pustule .
The pustulesthey have a limited shape and a swollen appearance. In most cases they are the result of an infectious process of a bacterial nature, but in a small percentage of cases they are connected, instead, to autoimmune processes as in the case of psoriasis.
Often the pustules trigger an itchy sensation in the affected subject which results in the appearance of scars and therefore permanent signs that will be visible for a long time, depending on the area of the body concerned.
Pustules form mainly on the skin of the face, on the neck and at the level of the sternum, therefore it is clear how much the appearance of these imperfections can constitute, in addition to the discomfort and symptoms generated by the pustules themselves, a reason for strong aesthetic discomfort and generate relative insecurity.
In some cases, when the skin manifestations are extensive and the problem rather marked, the subject can suffer so much from his appearance as to induce a progressive social isolation.
Sometimes, however, it is good to say that pustules can be the manifestation of an infectious or autoimmune pathology of greater clinical interest, so there is a need for targeted therapies in order not to compromise the patient’s state of health.
Here’s why, even if the symptomswarned are not a cause of great annoyance and it is always good to talk about the continuous presence of pustules and boils with your GP. You can direct us to a specialist visit in dermatology, able to solve or mitigate the appearance of imperfections, or to treat the most serious pathological process in a focused way.
Obviously, if the appearance of the pustules is an event in itself, episodic and limited, there is no need to be alarmed, using specific products and maintaining proper skin hygiene with probability will lead to the disappearance of the small imperfection.
We are going to provide below an overview of the major causes of the onset of pustules. As we will see the causesthey are many, of various nature and different gravity.
What are the causes of the appearance of the pustules?
We have decided to rationalize the problem and to report as complete a rundown as possible of all the pathologies that can cause the appearance of these rashes . Let’s get started right away.
This is an inflammation of the hair follicle usually caused by the infection of a staph bacterium. The result is the formation of small red rashes that can be localized anywhere on the body at the hair follicle. This disorder can also occur in the genitals, resulting in the presence of white dots on the glans .
Acne mainly affects the younger population, especially during adolescence and puberty.
It is the synergistic manifestation of an inflammatory process and an infectious process. In fact, there is an accumulation of sebum due to an increase in hormonal levels, which leads to less oxygenation of the skin and an accumulation of bacteria in the hair follicle.
These factors lead to a state of inflammation characterized by pustules containing pus and which can leave scarring.
It occurs mainly in young subjects and in subjects with low immune defenses (immunodeficient). Generally, the infection with mild symptoms such as itching, redness and swelling, but the nodal point and the appearance of vesicles arranged in clusters on the sides of the lip line (the point that connects the lower lip to the upper lip) that can also extend to the gum , on the mouth and on the tongue.
The vesicles at first appear swollen due to their serous content, and then dry up and take on a yellowish color which is a blemish that often causes embarrassment and a sense of shame.
It is an autoimmune disease with a certain genetic interest which is characterized by the thickening of the epidermis, due for example to an altered cell proliferation. Psoriasis is characterized by the presence of pustules and real white and rather unsightly scales, especially if they occur in an exposed area of the body.
The triggering factors that lead to the real manifestation of psoriasis are then added to the genetic predisposition. Among them we have:
- Bacterial infections: mostly from streptococcus and staphylococcus which stimulate the subject’s immune system by triggering skin manifestations;
- Changes in hormone levels: especially in adolescence, in pregnant women and in subjects who have had a strong weight gain.
It is a parasitosis, therefore an infestation, caused by the scabies mite. These parasites are able to deposit their eggs at the level of the epidermis and once hatched the parasites will continue to feed by digging burrows in the epithelial tissues of the affected subject.
The scabies infestation results in the formation of vesicles, pustules , abrasions, blisters and above all it triggers a strong and persistent itch that cannot be soothed and which intensifies at night.
The most affected regions are the hands, feet, wrists, armpits, groin, genitals and breasts and the infection occurs through direct contact with a person (not an animal) affected by the infestation. It is a more common pathology in developing countries and in socio-economic situations of degradation, however cases of scabies are not so infrequent even in our country.
This is a primary infection that usually occurs in childhood. During the course of the infection, pustular rashes appearpink in appearance they turn into vesicles that trigger a strong itch and therefore generate the possibility of causing wounds in the act of scratching. Therefore, permanent scarring can result.
Also in this case it is an autoimmune disease with a genetic component. It is a chronic and benign dermatitis that triggers severe itching and manifests itself with the presence of red / purple pustules and papules with a shiny and hard appearance to the palpation, which can also be localized on the tongue.
How is the diagnosis made?
What are the most effective therapies
and which remedies?
How is the diagnosis made
Given an overview of the main pathologies, be they inflammatory, infectious or autoimmune in nature, it is easy to understand how the causes that can lead to the appearance of pustules can be many.
Therefore, it is understood how simply viewing a photograph on the internet cannot in any way allow you to make a do-it -yourself diagnosis . It will therefore be necessary to rely on the evaluation of a specialist in dermatology: the only valid professional to whom to entrust the diagnosis of the disorder at the origin of the manifestation of the pustules.
The doctor will generally begin the visit with an investigation phase (anamnesis), in which he collects all the information concerning the symptoms manifested and perceived by the patient: when the pustules have appeared , where they spread, if the disorder is episodic or chronic and if other symptoms such as fever, chills, widespread aches, itching, pain, swelling are associated with it.
We will then proceed to an accurate inspection of the pustules themselves, from which it will also be possible to collect a sample of purulent material to determine the triggering pathogen, in case of bacterial infection and to administer an appropriate antibiotic treatment.
If the suspicions fall on an autoimmune disease then the investigations will continue by taking blood to check for the presence of autoantibodies.
Therapies and Remedies
When the disorder is caused by some inflamed follicle (pimple) or mild acne, it will be sufficient to follow the correct hygiene rules.
The bad practice of squeezing the white pustule is certainly not recommended , in doing so it will cause a wound that will be accessed by a greater amount of bacteria that can only worsen the situation.
It is recommended to cleanse the facewith products that respect the natural pH of the skin and therefore do not irritate it. It is also recommended to dry the face with gentle movements and to always use clean towels. By following these small tricks, the small imperfection usually resolves itself within a few days without leaving a trace.
In cases of persistent acne instead usually (always and only on medical indication) ointments and creams with topical (local) action are prescribed that perform an antibacterial function, limiting the onset of the problem.
In the case of bacterial or parasitic infections, the therapy must be adapted for each case to the single triggering pathogen while for autoimmune diseases, anti-inflammatory drugs are generally prescribed.