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Home > Health Hub > Article > Check if it is a Boil or a Pimple Symptoms and Causes

Check if it is a Boil or a Pimple Symptoms and Causes

Dr. Asmita Dhekne  Chebbi

Dr. Asmita Dhekne Chebbi

  Btm 1st stage, Bengaluru     Feb 9, 2017

   2 min     


There are different kinds of bumps and lumps that can pop up on your skin. Sometimes when you observe a growth, it is not instantly obvious what you have. A red or white-topped bump can be a pimple, but it might also be a boil. Both the two types of growths can look similar.

Learn how to spot the difference between pimples and boils, and how to treat the one you have.

Pimples and boils are 2 different types of skin conditions.

You can get boils from another person if you have a break in your skin. Avoid using same razors, towels, and other personal hygiene items.

Never attempt to pop a boil or a pimple that can lead to complications.


Acne is one of the most usual skin conditions. Acne arises in various sizes, shapes, and types. It usually forms on the face, but you can also get it on your neck, back, shoulders, and chest. There are a several kinds of acne and each looks different:

  1. Blackheads form at the skin’s exterior and are open at the top. Evident dirt and dead skin cells inside the pore make it look black.
  2. Whiteheads build deeper in the skin. They are shut at the top and filled with pus, which makes them appear white. Pus is a dense mixture of white blood cells and bacteria.
  3. Papules are bigger, hard pink or red bumps that can feel irritated when you touch them.
  4. Pustules are red, sore bumps that are filled with pus.
  5. Nodules are hard chunks that form deep inside the skin.
  6. Cysts are huge, soft, and filled with pus.

As pimples diminish, they can leave dark spots on the skin. At times acne can cause everlasting scars, especially if you pop or pick at your skin.

A boil is a red bump that is bloated and red around the outside. It gradually fills with pus and gets larger. You are most likely to notice boils in the areas where you sweat a lot or where your clothes rub against your skin, like your face, neck, underarms, thighs and buttocks.

Many boils can cluster collectively and form a growth called a carbuncle. A carbuncle is painful, and it can leave an everlasting scar. Carbuncles occasionally cause flu-like symptoms like fatigue, fever, and chill.




Acne is born in pores. Pores are small holes in your skin that are the openings to hair follicles. These holes are filled with dead skin cells, which form a plug that catches oil, bacteria, and dirt inside. Bacteria make the pore expand and turn red. Thick white substance made up of bacteria and white blood cells is called as Pus, sometimes fills the pimple.


Boils also grow in hair follicles. They are caused by bacteria which usually live harmlessly on the surface of your skin. At times these bacteria can get in the hair follicle and cause an infection. An open cut or injury gives bacteria an easier entry route inside.


Tags:  acne, pimples, boils, skin care, cysts,

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