Pustular Rash

Pustular rash can be defined as the formation of rashes that consist of pustular lesions. A pustule is a bulla or a vesicle that contains pus-like matter. It develops in different sizes and may form at various levels within the epidermis.

If the pus occurs within the dermis, then the skin abnormality is known as an abscess. A carbuncle is a pustule that occurs deep within and pierces through tissue planes. The pustules usually contain neutrophils and may or may not sterile.

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There are different conditions that result in pustular rash. Some of them are discussed below:

Prickly heat rash

It is a skin disorder that usually affects children and results in the development of pustular lesions or blisters. Adults tend to contract the condition during hot and humid weather conditions.

When the sweat ducts become clogged, it leads to the trapping of perspiration under the surface of the skin. This may eventually result in the development of prickly heat rash, followed by the formation of superficial blisters or reddish, deep lumps.

In most cases, prickly heat rash disappears on its own. The affected individuals need to prevent excessive collection of sweat and lower the temperature of the body and skin to effectively resolve the condition. However, extreme incidences of the condition may require drug treatment.


It is another skin condition that results in the formation of pustular rash.

Folliculitis results in infection or inflammation of the hair follicles in the skin. It is not a serious disorder. The condition tends to affect several hair follicles in a single area of the skin. It causes the hair follicles to swell up and leads to the development of tiny pus-filled pimples or pustules, often in crops.

Folliculitis is usually caused due to infection by a bacterium called S. aureus. It occurs at sites where the hair follicles are damaged or blocked. The face is the most commonly affected site, though folliculitis may also occur in the legs, arms, buttocks and armpits.

Most mild cases of folliculitis cure themselves without treatment. Medications and topical antibiotics may be needed in other cases. Chronic folliculitis may require antiseptic skin washes.

Cystic acne

Cystic acne can be considered as the harshest form of skin acne. It also results in the formation of pustular rash

Cystic acne is an infection of the skin which leads to the development of large pus filled bumps, which cause inflammation and pain. The skin infection invades deep into the inner layers of the skin. It mostly appears on face, but can occur on other parts of the body as well. Cystic acne can take the form of swollen, red pustules and can thus appear like chickenpox.

The causes of cystic acne may be many, but it is normally caused due to secretion of excess sebum. The sebum or oil which is produced under the skin keeps the skin oily and prevents dryness. It becomes a problem when produced in excess and beyond limits. The excess sebum blocks skin pores which allow and facilitate bacteria to thrive and grow.

Severe cases of cystic acne cannot be treated only by topical medications. To reduce cystic acne, oral medicines are also prescribed. To manage the acne, one also needs to observe certain dietary restrictions.

Pustular psoriasis

It is uncommon and may be either widespread or may occur in smaller patches on the feet, hands and fingertips. It leads to quick developing and pus-filled blisters to appear within hours of the skin becoming tender and red. The blisters dry within two days and recur. It may cause chills, fever, severe itching and fatigue.

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disorder. Though there is no cure for psoriasis, medications provide significant relief. Using cortisone cream and limited exposure to sunlight can improve the symptoms.

Cystic acne pictures

Pustular psoriasis pictures

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