Pustular skin conditions

Author: Dr Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, September 2015.

What are pustules?

Pustules are smaller than 5–10 mm, and filled with pus, that is, purulent material composed of inflammatory cells (neutrophils).

This topic provides a differential diagnosis of pustular skin conditions.

Acute mainly pustular generalised eruptions

Generalised pustular psoriasis

Acute generalised exanthematous pustulosis

Acute mainly pustular localised eruptions

Impetigo

Furunculosis/boil

Folliculitis

Dermatophyte infection

Thrush

Miliaria

Chronic mainly pustular eruptions

Acne

Acneform eruptions

Scabies

Dermatophyte infection

Localised pustulosis

Erosive pustular dermatosis

Related information

Email Newsletter

Would you like to receive our dermatology updates by email?

SIGN UP

Submit your images

We're seeking high-quality photos of skin diseases.  

SUBMIT A PHOTO

Machine diagnosis

Watch DermNet's proposal to create a 'Skin Disease Image Recognition Tool' - winner of the 2017 'Clinicians' Challenge Active Award' by the NZ Ministry of Health and HiNZ.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
DermNet NZ Newsletter