Acne infections on your face can be caused by a staph infection or even yeast infections. When on the face or nose, the zits can cause a lot of discomfort.
Common signs include pus, bleeding, scabbing, pain and even an abscess. Here’s how to get rid of an infected cystic acne bump with antibiotic treatments or home remedies.
Cystic acne with infections
Infections occur when the pores in your skin get clogged with dirt, sweat and excess oil. Dead cells and bacteria are also a major problem for such zits.
In fact, pimples and zits are infections themselves. The infection however comes from the activity of bacteria in the pore or acne zit.
It is common to get acne and bumps on the lip, face, nose chin, legs, arms, ears and nose. Other commonly affected areas of the body include the back, chest, breast, above eye or eyebrows and around nipple.
The diaper area is also prone to inflamed bumps and so are the armpits and buttocks and inner thighs because these areas easily get sweaty with poor ventilation.
The signs and symptoms below should help you know and identify your problem. Pus discharge, pain, swelling and yellow pus are some of the main signs that you have infected whiteheads and blackheads.
The bumps can easily appear as small wounds developing. If you are fond of popping zits, you will end up with scabs, small cysts, bleeding, abscesses and even swelling.
Here are symptoms you should look out for.
1. Yellow or green pus
Does the pus from your acne appear to be green or yellow? Does it have a foul smell? The presence of pus is a sign of an infection.
Pus forms as a result of white blood cells fighting bacteria under your skin.
When pus-filled acne spots are not treated for weeks, according to Cosmetologist Jodie Michalak of Love to Know, the can easily turn into boils or large zits. Pus may drain if they continue to grow bigger and burst on their own.
2. Cysts and abscesses
A common sign or symptom of infection on pimples is the formation of cysts and abscesses. The area starts to turn into a small sac that contains either a clear fluid or yellow pus.
In some severe cases, cysts can form beneath the skin.
As the inflammation progresses, abscesses and cysts can become sore and tender. Irritated cysts and abscesses may turn red or appear to be inflamed due to the activity of white blood cells fighting to get rid of bacteria that cause disease.
According to the National Health Service (UK), cysts from pimple infections usually form on the chest, shoulders, skin on neck, around the genitals or inner thighs.
3. Swollen lymph node
It is common that inflammation cause swollen lymph nodes. Lymph nodes, in a layman’s terms, help house infection-fighting cells.
As these cells increase in number around the acne or bumps with infection, swelling starts to occur in the nearest lymph nodes.
For instance, if you have a wound in armpit, you might start getting swollen lymph nodes in armpit. The same will occur in the groin area if you have an infection in the groin area or inner thigh area.
Most types of pimples form as a result of a blocked pore that gets filled up with dirt and dead cells. As bacterial activity increases, inflammation also increases. This is why cystic acne starts to hurt.
Infections can occur deep in the pimple. Deep infected cysts and zits can really be painful or hurt. Pain on pimples is a sign of an infection since the white blood cells activity happens deep enough near a nerve.
If the deep cyst is large enough, it will cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Blind pimples or comedones (pimples with no head) are known to be the most painful because they lie deep closest to nerves on forehead and face area.
5. Cystic acne that won’t go away
Cystic acne comes with a type of pimples that are stubborn, painful and red (inflamed). These pimples are constantly getting infections and are likely to linger for years, or won’t go away without treatment.
Breakouts can occur for years and will affect large portions of your skin, including the face, back, chest or breast area and even on legs.
Antibiotics may be prescribed by your physician to help get rid of them especially if they are recurrent for years.
6. Red, swollen bumps
Inflamed zits can cause a swollen lip? Swollen bumps could be almost anywhere on the face, skin, legs, groin area etc. The redness and swelling is as a result of the body getting rid of the trapped bacteria that have been trapped beneath the skin in the pore.
It is advised that you take anti-inflammatory medications in case your pimple spots become red, swollen and painful to touch. These will help relieve the swelling and make them heal faster.
Cellulitis is a bacterial infections that occurs in tissues beneath the skin surface.
Some of the symptoms of cellulitis on pimples include redness around the zit and pain on the part of the skin.
Cellulitis may also manifest as swollen acne spots that feel tender when you touch them. Warmth may be felt on the area due to bacterial activity.
8. Bleeding and scabbing over
Pimples usually don’t bleed unless you pop them or scratch them. As a result, they form scabs when blood clots. When they form scabs, they are in the process of healing.
It is important that you are able to identify when it is a usual scab and when it is a sign of infected acne.
Skin infections that won’t heal or form scabs that won’t go away could be a sign of ailment forming on them. You should stop constantly picking and popping pimples if that is what is causing bleeding. However, if you pop a pimple and it starts bleeding, here’s what to do.
- Clean any popped bumps using an antibacterial solution. Use benzoyl peroxide or alcohol.
- If it is still bleeding, place a warm compress pack on it. This will help stop the bleeding fast.
- When the popped acne spots start to form purple crusts, an infection is kicking in. Apply an antibacterial ointment such as Neosporin. This will help heal the scabs and get rid of the infection fast.
- Do not pick pimple scabs and acne scabs. This will cause bleeding and even increase the risk of infection. They will also form scabs on healing.
Other signs of infections on pimples and around whiteheads include red rings forming around the head of the pimple, rash that looks like herpes and sometimes blisters that look like cold sores around the pimples on the face and lips. You can also get a swollen lip from the infection.
Why on face, leg, lip, nose & buttocks?
Why do you get an infected pimple on face more often than other parts? Why is the face, forehead, chin, cheeks, nose, above eye or on eyebrows more prone to getting acne bumps?
These areas are easy to touch. The more you touch the lips, forehead and skin behind ears, earlobes, you can easily infect the pimples that form on the skin.
Your hands introduce bacteria and dirt in your skin pores. This is a major factor that causes skin problems.
Tight clothing, excessive sweating and poor ventilation may also cause bumps the breast, chest, back, buttocks, diaper area and inner thighs. Underarms or armpits, nipple area may also get infections easily.
Staph infection or MRSA
Staph infections are common with ingrown hair, bumps and broken pimples. They can form anywhere on the skin, including the face, leg, eyelid, stomach, neck etc.
If you have a zit that is quickly turning into a large bump or a boil, it could be a dangerous MRSA or staph infection.
Symptoms of staph include:
- Fast growing bump with redness. It can swell, become painful and form a blister quickly.
- Your lymph nodes may swell fast especially in areas such as armpits, groin, and neck.
- Acne spots that turn into boils with pus.
- Skin rash, peeling and blisters forming around the pimple.
- Warmth, soreness and swelling.
Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus (MRSA) is a type of staph infection that can occur on pimples. This one does not respond to antibiotic treatment and can eat away tissue starting with the pimple area. It spreads fast. If you suspect that you have MRSA staph infection on pimples, contact a doctor immediately.
A yeast infection or candida can have signs such as bumps and pimples. According to SolveYourProblem.com, yeast infections are a major cause of adult acne pimples. If you keep getting infected pimples on buttocks, groin, vagina or vulva, you should consider treating yeast infections first.
Do you get bumps when you have a yeast infection? Rashes that form from candida yeast infection usually have the following characteristics on the body or genital area, especially in women:
- Itchy bumps
- Reddish or pinkish rashes and bumps on skin
- Painful sores around the bumps
- Clusters of bumps or pimple rash that may appear as diaper rash.
Unlike bacterial infection-caused pimples, yeast infection pimples are treated using fungal medications and home remedies. They can be quite stubborn to get rid of though especially if proper hygiene is not kept. See more treatments below.
How to get rid of the infection
With proper hygiene and care, you can get rid of pimples with infection fast. Popping of pimples is really discouraged as it can worsen the problem.
Poor techniques of draining pimples with pus can also cause the bacteria to spread and affect other pores on your skin.
Natural home remedies, antibiotic treatments and medications can help cure and heal the infection effectively.
Normally, infections on boils, pimples and bumps go away on their own. But when they are recurrent, they can cause discomfort and may need to be treated.
Antibiotic medication like Neosporin
Prescription strength antibiotic treatments can be given by your doctor to help get rid of any kinds of bacterial infections.
A good example of common prescribed medications to help clear up infections on zits include Neosporin and polysporin.
Neosporin is considered the best because, according to FacingAcne.com, it contains bacitracin, polymyxin B and neomycin, all of which are all antibiotic medications.
Acne creams medication
Anti-acne topical treatments can also help clear up infections on the pimples. Most of these will contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
These two ingredients are known to be the best for getting rid of adult acne fast and will help clear up bacterial infections as well.
However, MedicalPoint.org argues that “Some people may find a certain acne treatment effective while this may not work the same for others.”
Generally, proper hygiene and care should be enough to prevent and get rid pimples and acne zits. Regular cleansing of the skin, exfoliation or scrubs, hot compresses and cold compresses and other remedies can help cure pimples fast.
a) Using hot compress
Warm compresses help improve blood circulation around the infected area. This will speed up the natural healing process.
As you compress the pimple, its head will come to the surface. This will make it easy to drain the fluid in it containing the bacteria. Here’s how to heal pimple infections with warm compresses.
- Soak a clean piece of cloth in hot water.
- Place it on the infected zit for one to two minutes.
- Repeat this treatment twice or three times a day until the pimple’s head is visible.
Warm compresses will also help relieve swelling and inflammation on the acne pimples.
b) Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil can kill bacteria because of its antibacterial properties. It will also help prevent any further breakouts. Using it as your cleanser will open up clogged pores. Note that if you use it on your skin, ensure you dilute it. Do not apply on sensitive skin.
- Make a tea tree oil solution by mixing it with water I a ratio of 1:9.
- Dampen a cotton ball with the solution.
- Apply it on the infected acne pimple.
- Allow it about 10 minutes.
- Wash it off with lukewarm water.
- Apply a good, non-clogging moisturizer to the skin.
- Repeat this home natural treatment daily too get rid of pimples fast.
If you notice that your skin burns after applying tea tree oil solution, stop the application immediately.
c) Aloe vera gel
Aloe vera gel is also a good antiseptic and antibacterial remedy. It contains anti-inflammatory properties as well. It will reduce the healing time of blind pimples.
- Obtain a fresh aloe veral leaf.
- Squeeze to obtain fresh aloe vera gel.
- Apply a thin film of this gel onto the swollen pimple.
- Leave it overnight and wash off in the morning with lukewarm water.
d) Benzoyl peroxide and Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are popular acne treatments sold over-the-counter. These exfoliate the skin to help unclog blocked pores. When dirt is removed, the infection is prevented and gotten rid of.
If you are going to use any of these OTC medications, ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Used properly, these will help reduce pimple inflammation and swelling.
- National Health Service Choices: Infected Cyst on Skin
- Bumpy Boo: Can a Pimple Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes?
- Science Beta: The 5 Warning Signs of Staph Infection Should be Known by All Parents