Infected pimples may be brought on by yeast or staph infections. They can cause much discomfort, especially if they’re found on your face. Some of the symptoms include pain, scabbing, bleeding, pus and possibly abscess.
This article will tell you how you can get rid of some pimples that are infected, with home remedies and antibiotics.
What is an infected zit?
Pimples may become infected when your pores become clogged with excess oil, sweat, dirt, bacteria and dead cells. In some cases, pimples or zits are referred as infections on their own. However, the infection comes from bacterial activity in the zit or pore.
Pus-filled chin pimple
Pimples and zits are commonly found infected on the nose, ears, arms, legs, chin, nose and lips. Other affected areas include the nipple, eyebrows, breast, chest and back. In infants, their diaper area can become infected. At any age, you can also get infected pimples on the inner thighs, buttocks and armpits.
Infected Zit & Pimple Photos
The symptoms and signs below will help you determine when you have a pimple that has become infected. The photos will show you what they look like. Yellow pus, pain and swelling are a few major signs of infected blackheads and whiteheads.
An infected zit
Infected Pimple Signs & Symptoms
If you have infected zits, they often appear as developing wounds. If you pop your pimples, you’ll be rewarded with swelling, abscesses, bleeding and scabs. If you want to avoid most of these symptoms, DO NOT pick your zits. We know, it’s easier said than done.
The main symptoms of infected zits and pimples include:
- Pimple Abscesses & Cysts
One common symptom of pimples becoming infected is formation of abscesses and cysts. In these cases, a pimple will begin turning into a sac with yellow pus or clear fluid within it. In severe pimple infections, you may see cysts forming under the skin.
Abscess or cyst on pimple
As an infection progresses, cysts and abscesses on zits may become tender and sore. Irritated abscesses and cysts may be red and inflamed, as white blood cells fight to rid your body of the bacteria causing the infection.
Cysts from pimple infections often form on the neck, shoulders, chest, inner thighs or genitals, according to the UK National Health Service.
- Green or Yellow Drainage/Pus
If the pus coming from your pimples is yellow or green, or has a foul smell, this is a telltale sign of infection. Pus forms when white blood cells are fighting off bacteria.
If you leave pimples that are filled with pus untreated, “Love to Know” Cosmetologist Jodie Michalak reports that they can turn into larger zits or boils. They may burst without aid if left alone as they grow larger.
- Infected & Painful Bumps and Pimples
When do pimples most often hurt? Most pimple types form from blocked pores. As the levels of bacteria increase, so does inflammation. That’s when pimples hurt the most – when they are infected.
Infection may occur deep within a pimple. These can be very painful, especially if the cyst is large and deep. Comedones (pimples that have no heads) and blind pimples are more painful, since they are close to your facial nerves.
- Swollen Lymph Nodes from Infected Pimples
Inflammation and infection often cause swollen lymph nodes, according to HealthLine. Lymph nodes house cells that fight infection. As the cells multiply around pimples with infections, the swelling can affect the closest lymph nodes.
- Swollen, Red Pimples
If you have a zit that is infected, it may cause a swollen lip. They can also appear elsewhere on your face, legs and groin area. The swelling and redness is caused by bacteria trapped in the pore, beneath the skin.
Anti-inflammatory medicines will help to relieve any swelling of infected zits and help them to heal more quickly.
- Pimples & Cystic Acne that Persist
Cystic acne pimples
Cystic acne brings red, painful, stubborn pimples. They develop infections often and you may require treatment for your breakouts.
According to WebMD, infected breakouts of cystic acne may occur for a period of years, and affect large areas of skin. Your physician may prescribe antibiotics to help rid your skin of recurrent cystic breakouts.
- Pimples that Bleed & Scab Over
Pimples normally won’t bleed unless you scratch or pop them. They will form scabs as the blood within them clots. If you have pimples with scabs, that means they’re healing. Scabs can be signs of infection or healing.
Swelling and scabbing are signs of acne infections
If you have infected pimples that don’t heal, or they form scabs that last, this is an infection sign. Stop popping and picking pimples, if that causes bleeding. If you pop a zit and this causes bleeding, here is what you should do:
- Clean popped pimples with antibacterial solutions that contain alcohol or benzoyl peroxide.
- If a zit still bleeds, use a warm compress on it. This aids in stopping the bleeding.
- If a popped pimple begins forming a purple scab, this signifies infection. Use an antibacterial product like Neosporin. This will help clear up the infection and heal those scabs.
- Don’t pick scabs or pimples. This may lead to bleeding and increase infection levels.
Other symptoms of infection around whiteheads and pimples include:
- Blisters that resemble cold sores
- Herpes-like (in appearance) rash
- Red rings that form around a pimple head
- Infected Pimples & Infection from Inflammation
How is cellulitis related to the appearance of infected boils and zits? If your infected zits spread quickly, this could be symptomatic of cellulitis. According to MedicineNet, cellulitis is a bacterial infection that breeds in tissue under the surface of the skin.
Some cellulitis infection symptoms include:
- Warmth in the affected area, from infection & bacteria
- Swollen, painful pimples
- Redness around pimples
Infected Zits on your Face, Nose, Lip, Leg or Buttocks
Why do pimples, when infected, appear more often on your face than on other parts of your body? It’s because these are areas that are easily touched. The more they are touched, the easier you can infect your pimples. The dirt and bacteria from your hands can cause the infection of pimples. So can tight clothing.
Staph infection or MRSA pimple
Staph infections can commonly be found with broken pimples and ingrown hair. They may form anyplace on your skin, including your face, neck, eyelid, leg or stomach. If you note a pimple that is swiftly turning into a boil or large bump, it could not only be a staph infection, it could be MRSA, which is an infection that is impervious to most antibiotics.
Signs of staph infection on pimples include:
- Quickly swelling lymph nodes
- Red pimples that grow quickly and form blisters
- Peeling and skin rash around the zit
- Pimples that turn into boils that hold pus
- Swelling, warmth and soreness
Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus (MRSA) may occur on infected pimples. It can literally eat tissue away. It also spreads quickly. Contact a physician right away if you believe you may have MRSA.
Yeast Infection in Pimples
Candida or yeast infections have symptoms that include pimples and bumps. Adult acne is often caused by yeast infections. If you often get infected zits on your groin, buttocks, vulva or vagina, treating for yeast infection may clear them up.
Yeast infection bumps
Candida yeast rashes usually show some of these characteristics:
- Pink or red bumps and rashes
- Bumps that itch
- Bump clusters that may look like diaper rash
- Painful sores
While bacterial infection in pimples needs antibiotic treatment, yeast infection related pimples may be treated with home remedies and anti-fungal medications.
Getting Rid of Infected Pimples
Proper hygiene and treatment will help you get rid of infected zits. Although infections on bumps, boils and pimples may go away by themselves, others may not. Some treatment methods include:
- Neosporin or other antibiotic medications
- Prescription antibiotic treatments
Acne Cream Medications
Topical anti-acne treatments aid in clearing up pimples with infections. Most contain either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. According to MedicalPoint.org, acne treatments work for some people and not for others.
Salicylic Acid & Benzoyl Peroxide for Healing Pimples
These are two popular treatments for acne, and they’re both available over the counter, without a prescription. They will exfoliate your skin and unclog your blocked pores. After the dirt and debris are removed, your infection should heal.
If you use OTC medicines, be sure you follow the instructions closely. This will ensure that the products will aid in the reduction of pimple swelling and inflammation.
Home Remedies for Infected Pimples
Proper skincare and hygiene are often enough to clear up infected acne and prevent further outbreaks. Regular cleansing, exfoliation, cold and hot compresses can help in curing pimples quickly.
- Curing Acne with Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties that help it kill bacteria. It may also aid in preventing further breakouts. This cleanser will open your clogged pores. Be sure to dilute it and do not use it on sensitive skin.
To use this method:
- Mix tea tree oil and water in a 1:9 ratio.
- Dip a cotton ball into your solution.
- Apply the oil to infected pimples.
- Leave it on for 10 minutes.
- Thoroughly wash it off using warm water.
- Use a non-clogging moisturizer on your skin.
- Repeat this DIY natural treatment each day to banish pimples quickly.
- If you feel a burning sensation after you apply a tea tree oil solution, discontinue using it.
- Use Hot Compresses to Heal Infected Pimples
Warm compresses are helpful in improving your circulation in the pimple-affected area. This speeds up your natural process of healing. As you apply a compress to pimples, their head will come up to the skin’s surface. This makes it easier to drain the fluid, which contains the bacteria.
Here is the way to heal infectious pimples using warm compresses:
- Soak a clean cloth in a bowl of hot water.
- Place the compress on the infected zit for 1-2 minutes.
- Repeat the treatment two to three times each day until you can see the head of the pimple.
- Warm compresses also aid in relieving inflammation and swelling of pimples.
- Aloe Vera Gel for Pimples
Aloe Vera gel
Aloe Vera includes antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It’s even an anti-inflammatory. It reduces the pimples’ healing time.
To use Aloe Vera on Pimples:
- Use a fresh leaf of Aloe Vera.
- Squeeze the leaf to get fresh gel from it.
- Apply a film of the gel on the infected pimple.
- Leave the aloe Vera on overnight and then wash it off when you get up in the morning, using warm water.
Check out this VIDEO of an infected pimple removed after proper treatment. (It is also called popping a zit.)