What Causes Small Pustules on Face?

The tiny bumps on your face can be caused by a lot of things. Tiny bumps that resemble acne or new moles are common, but they can also be caused by other skin conditions such as milia and keratosis pilaris. Knowing what type of blemish you have will help you decide on the right treatment if needed.

Acne is a common skin condition that can cause various types of blemishes including blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, and cysts. Acne occurs when your pores become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. This causes the walls of the pore to break down, resulting in a pus-filled pimple. Pustules are larger than blackheads and whiteheads and are usually red and inflamed. The pus in a pustule is the body’s natural response to fight the dirt or bacteria that has entered the pore.

If you are struggling with pimples, it is important to avoid attempting to pop them at home as this can worsen the blemish. Instead, it is best to visit a dermatologist to have them drained and prescribed stronger medications. To find a dermatologist near you, you can use the Healthline FindCare tool.

The most common cause of small pustules on the face is bacterial infections. These can include impetigo, which is a contagious infection of the skin; folliculitis, which is a minor inflammation of the hair follicles; furuncles, which are deeper infections that occur around the hair follicles and are usually found on the back and shoulders; and carbuncles, which are groups of two or more infected hair follicles. These infections can be triggered by a number of factors, including irritants, stress, and certain foods.

Non-infectious causes of small pustules on the face can include a reaction to a medication; rosacea, a chronic skin disease that triggers blushing and facial flushing; or psoriasis, which is an autoimmune disease characterized by red, itchy, scaly patches. In addition, a viral infection can cause pustules, such as chickenpox, the highly contagious childhood illness caused by the varicella zoster virus.

Taking proper care of your skin can prevent these kinds of blemishes from occurring in the first place. You should cleanse your face twice a day with a mild soap, and avoid using products that contain oils, such as many types of moisturizers. You should also avoid squeezing or scratching blemishes, as this can make them worse. If you do develop a pustule, it is important to clean the area and use antibiotic creams or oral medications if necessary.