Pustules are small, inflamed, pus-filled, blister-like sores (lesions) on the skin surface.
- Over the breastbone
- Sweaty areas, such as the groin or armpit
Pustules may be a sign of an infection. In some cases, they are non-infectious and associated with inflammation in the skin or medicines. They should be checked by a health care provider and may need to be tested (cultured) for bacteria or fungus.
Dinulos JGH. Principles of diagnosis and anatomy. In: Dinulos JGH, ed. Habif's Clinical Dermatology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 1.
Marks JG, Miller JJ. Pustules. In: Marks JG, Miller JJ, eds. Lookingbill and Marks' Principles of Dermatology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 12.
Review Date 11/4/2020
Updated by: Elika Hoss, MD, Senior Associate Consultant, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.