Rash with pustules


Rashes and pustules are symptoms on the top surface of the human skin. They are also called "Rash"Or" eczema ". They can be caused by a variety of different skin changes and skin diseases. "Rash" is a generic term for many skin changes. These include small or large red spots, scales, vesicles, but also pustules.
A pustule is a fluid-filled blister on the superficial skin that can appear together with a rash. Depending on the cause of the skin change, the content of the pustules can be germ-free or infectious and thus potentially contagious. The pustules are often referred to synonymously as "Wimmerl" or generally as "pimples".


The causes of skin rashes are numerous. Pathogen-associated infectious diseases, allergic reactions, acute and chronic skin irritations, as well as autoimmune skin diseases are possible.
Infectious diseases can cause a variety of different skin reactions. Common bacterial diseases are scarlet fever, borreliosis, typhoid or syphilis. They can be differentiated from one another in many ways by the type of rash and accompanying symptoms.

You can find more information at: Scarlet fever rash

Numerous viral diseases can also lead to skin rashes with pustules. In particular, the typical childhood diseases, against which there are mostly vaccinations, often lead to symptoms on the body surface. Measles, rubella, and chickenpox are the best-known representatives. But rubella, shingles and other herpes diseases are also associated with skin rashes. The appearance of the rashes provides clues as to the causative agent. With scarlet fever and measles, the rash tends to be patchy and knotty, whereas chickenpox and the secondary disease shingles cause a typical rash with pustules.

Read more on the subject at: Rubella rash

Individual parasites and skin fungi can also cause rashes, but these occur much less often.

The most important non-infectious skin changes are caused by allergies. The body or the affected skin area comes into contact with an allergy trigger ("Allergen"). The immune system reacts incorrectly to the allergen and triggers a defense reaction and consequently inflammation. If the body is exposed to the allergen to a large extent or for a long time, pustules can form on an existing rash. Such allergies can be triggered by particles in the air, substances that come into contact with the skin, but also drugs, sunlight or certain foods.

Chronic skin diseases that cause rashes with pustules are also not uncommon. They can appear as tumors or as chronic inflammatory rashes. Neurodermatitis is a common representative of chronic skin changes. Skin diseases can also be triggered autoimmunely, such as psoriasis. The treatment of chronic skin diseases is generally protracted and rarely causal.

Concomitant symptoms

In the case of rashes caused by pathogens, fever, fatigue and other symptoms can also occur.

The accompanying symptoms will vary depending on the cause of the rash. Infectious Rashes with pustules have a very variable course of time. The time interval between infection and the onset of symptoms can also vary widely. Infectious diseases go in most cases with typical symptoms like fever, weakness, fatigue and Body aches along with, in some cases with nausea, Vomit and diarrhea.

At allergic Reactions are also different from the accompanying symptoms. In the case of slight contact allergies, it can also be Rash with pustules to Pain, itching or Swelling come. In severe allergic reactions, so-called "anaphylactic“There are reactions that can be accompanied by shortness of breath, a drop in blood pressure and circulatory failure. In the most severe allergic reactions, anaphylactic shock can lead to death.

Itchy pustules

The skin is very sensitive to touch in many parts of the body, as there are many nerve endings in the superficial layers of the skin. If there are rashes with pustules, these skin changes can cause severe, unpleasant itching. Itching can occur with all types of skin diseases, for example with chickenpox but also with allergic reactions.
With ointments or medication, for example Antihistamines, itching can be relieved. Also cool Water relieves symptoms, while hot water makes skin irritation worse.
The pustules should, however under no circumstance be scratched up. Scratching itchy pustules does not reduce the itchiness, but increases the pain that follows. The liquid content of the pustules can be contagious in infectious diseases. Scratching it will allow the infectious contents to spread and the disease to spread.
In addition to the medical aspect, there are aesthetic reasons against scratching the pustules. Repeated scratching prevents normal wound healing and promotes it Scarringthat can stay permanently.

Purulent pustules

Purulent pustules are particularly common in bacterial rashes. Streptococci, a subgroup of bacteria, can cause pus, also known as "Impetigo contagiosa" referred to as. The Latin name reveals that the disease is contagious, "contagious". The pustules contain a purulent secretion that is highly contagious. Even a small amount of secretion can enlarge and spread the infection.
For prevention, care should be taken to avoid body contact with affected areas and to change towels or other germ carriers for spreading the pathogen frequently.

Rashes with pustules on various parts of the body

On the arm

The arm is a part of the body that frequently is affected by rashes. The inside of the forearm in particular is sensitive to various skin changes. On the one hand, it can be a contact allergy caused by touching a certain substance on the forearm. But fungal infections and chronic skin diseases also settle on the arm.
Fungal infections are looking for each other damp Areas of skin, often in pits or folds, for example in the Elbow. Viral diseases, such as rubella, can also trigger a rash that extends down to the arms. If the rash on the arm becomes too severe and itches uncomfortably, a doctor must be consulted.

On the legs

A rash often manifests itself on the legs. This can in turn be caused by infectious diseases, allergic reactions, but also insect bites. Insect bites are often found on the legs, especially in the summer season. Some people also have an allergic reaction to the insect's poison. There may be severe rashes with pustules.
A contact allergy or contact irritation can also be the cause. In the summer months, when wearing short trousers, the leg comes into contact with significantly more substances that can cause irritation.
In the case of rashes on the leg, the presence of a vascular disease must be excluded, which can also cause red spots and be painful. Especially on the leg Vascular inflammation or Vein weaknesses (Venous insufficiency), which at first glance may look like a rash. If the condition does not improve within a few days, it is advisable to consult a doctor.

On the back

The back is a part of the body where large skin rashes rarely occur. In particular, allergic reactions to food or creams, sprays and ointments can appear on the torso, chest and back. In addition, the infectious childhood diseases cause rashes that also affect the back. Those affected complain of painful rashes and itching on the back, especially at night.

The whole body

Usually, a pustular rash spreads slowly and steadily across different areas of the body. A rash that affects the entire body is typical infectious Teething troubles like measles or rubella. If it is found in adults, childhood diseases can also be the reason. Most people are vaccinated or immune against the majority of childhood diseases because they lived through the disease in childhood. The likelihood of developing the disease in adulthood is rather low. However, allergic reactions, other infectious diseases and chronic skin diseases such as neurodermatitis can also affect the entire body.
Since a rash is very uncomfortable all over the body, it needs quick diagnosis and treatment by a doctor. The treatment depends on the cause of the skin change. The healing process for chronic diseases can be very tedious. For many people, the symptoms of chronic skin diseases disappear in adulthood.

In the face

Since our face is one of the few parts of the body that is permanently exposed to the outside world, it is more stressed than other areas of the skin. Due to excessive sweat production, the use of cosmetics and exposure to the environment and sunlight, skin irritations are more common on the face than on other parts of the body. Small pimples and so-called "heat rash" can occur more favorably in warm seasons.
Allergens in the ambient air first hit the face and can trigger contact allergies there. In addition to the rashes caused by allergic reactions, the face is also affected by rashes with pustules, especially in infectious diseases. Treatment should be prompted as the rash can cause severe itching and sometimes pain.

Skin rash with pustules in the baby / child

In children, large skin rashes with pustules indicate familiar ones Teething problems down. Nowadays there are vaccinations against most of the known childhood diseases. Nevertheless, children keep getting sick measles, rubella, chickenpox and the like. These diseases are accompanied by rashes and uncomfortable itching. Causal therapies are rarely used as the viral infections usually subside within a few days.
Even chronic diseases like Neurodermatitis occur preferentially in childhood. This leads to inflammation of the skin, which is also associated with itching. Atopic dermatitis often subsides with the onset of adulthood.


A doctor should be consulted for rashes that persist for several days. If pustules also appear, a doctor should definitely determine the reason in order to rule out infectious diseases.
Based on the appearance, the shape and the surface structure of the rash, many conclusions can be drawn about the cause. A large-spotted rash all over the body is particularly typical for infection with measles viruses. A rash in the shape of a garland is described in rubella. Pustules are typical of chickenpox and their complications Shingles.
In addition to the nature of the rash, the time course of the disease and the accompanying symptoms are also revealing.
If there is a suspicion of an infectious disease, the pathogen can be determined by means of a skin swab on the affected area or a blood test.
Allergic reactions can be avoided by using a Allergy tests be determined. In rare skin diseases, taking a skin sample (Biopsy) may be necessary for diagnosis.

Please also use our Rash self-test by:


Treatment is done depending on the cause of the rash. The rash itself can be accompanied by itchy and painful symptoms caused by cooling creams, cold water or low ointments containing cortisone be soothed and relieved. However, in order to achieve a cure, the cause must be identified and treated.
Viral infections, which often cause skin rashes with pustules, especially in children, usually subside on their own. The typical viral diseases rarely last longer than 2 weeks. If you can still see severe rashes after this period, so-called Antivirals used to fight the virus.
With bacteria it is often necessary to use Antibiotics to treat.
Is there a allergic cause before, the allergy trigger must be identified and any contact with it avoided. Antihistamines or drugs containing cortisone can be used to subside allergic symptoms.

You can find more information on the topic here: What to do if you have a rash

Chronic skin diseases are treated in most cases through the use of ointments. In addition to certain active ingredients, these often also contain cortisone.