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Doctor insights on: Difference Between A Pimple And A Boil

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What's the difference between a zip/pimple and a boil?

What's the difference between a zip/pimple and a boil?

Boil: In layman's terms, a boil is just a huge, infected pimple. Sometimes they require lancing, or draining. It is usually caused by a staph infection and often starts out looking like a pimple. If it happens, see your doctor for the best treatment. ...Read more

Boil (Definition)

A boil is an infected epidermoid cyst of the skin. Usually related to sebaceous glands, which secrete waxy/oily lubricant ...Read more


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What is a difference between spider bite, pimple, boil?

What is a difference between spider bite, pimple, boil?

Bites or no bites: A boil is kind of pimple "gone nuclear", and it is more serious, usually the result of an infection. An arachnid, or spider bite, is completely different, with injection of a toxin which the spider uses to paralyze or kill its prey. Interesting question! ...Read more

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What's the difference between a boil or and zit/pimple?

What's the difference between a boil or and zit/pimple?

Size mostly: A zit/pimple is a hair follicle filled with oil and dead skin cells and bacteria. But it is just one hair follicle. An abscess (a boil) is usually much larger, it starts as one hair follicle but then the bacterial infection spreads to a much larger area (the size of a nickel to the size of an egg). Boils need medical attention. They need to be lanced and you might need antibiotics. ...Read more

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How do you tell the difference between a boil, whitehead pimple, and cyst?

How do you tell the difference between a boil, whitehead pimple, and cyst?

Physical exam: Some are bigger, some are smaller and some are more or less inflammatory. Let your treating doctor decide. ...Read more

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Hello What is the difference between a boil and big pimple on nose they look similar because I search it up and idk if have a boil or just big pimple?

Word games: Pimples are generally smaller & thought of as being distributed on the face shoulders & back while boils are larger & more common in other locations. The difference otherwise is not important. Both are a collection of pus, often under some pressure. The germs causing them often differ, but labels are a game of words. A pimple can be a boil. ...Read more

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How does a boil's appearance differ from a pimple's?

Boils: Are infections — and typically are more swollen and more painful, more hot and red, and significantly larger than a typical pimple. And the pus inside looks different from the drainage from a whitehead. ...Read more

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I have a boil like pimple on my vagina in upper corner. What should I do?

I have a boil like pimple on my vagina in upper corner. What should I do?

Blocked gland: It sounds most like blocked gland. Basically pimples. There are a lot of glands in the vaginal area. Sweaty rubbing like with sex can cause dead skin and bacteria to get pushed into the pore and block the gland secretion. Showering after sex and applying a heating pad for 10 minutes 2-4 times daily can help. Get an evaluation if that doesn't help within 3 days. Sometimes drainage is needed. ...Read more

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What can I do if my gf has a boil or pimple on the buttocks, is it gential herpes?

What can I do if my gf has a boil or pimple on the buttocks, is it gential herpes?

Probably not: Herpes is a blister with clear fluid in it that crusts over, does not contain pus. ...Read more

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Hi. I have a pimple underneath my left underarm. The head of it is red. I'm scared. Is it just a pimple or a boil?

Use warm compress: And see doctor. A little topical hydrocortisone won't hurt but need to make sure it is not infected, and may need oral antibiotics if not clearing ...Read more

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I have a boil pimple like on my vagina. It's itching and hurting at the same time. What should I do?

I have a boil pimple like on my vagina. It's itching and hurting at the same time. What should I do?

Keep area clean: And don't pick at it. If doesn't go away in a few days you should have it checked. ...Read more

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Hello i have a boil on my penis or a pimple and somehow I can't get an erection no matter how hard I try im kinda scared a bit

Hello i have a boil on my penis or a pimple and somehow I can't get an erection no matter how hard I try im kinda scared a bit

See a physician: It's more likely that concern and worry over the boil on your penis is interfering with your ability to get an erection, rather than the boil itself. Have a physician evaluate the lesion if you are concerned. ...Read more

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I have a pimple like thing on my buttock I researched it and it said it was a boil usually cause by MRSA are all boils cause by it?

I have a pimple like thing on my buttock I researched it and it said it was a boil usually cause by MRSA are all boils cause by it?

No: Abscess can be secondary to a variety of bacteria. They occur when the sebaceous gland becomes obstructed and then bacteria proliferate. Most important thing is to get evaluated. You likely need an i+d and possibly antibiotics. ...Read more

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I'm wondering if this pimple I have on my forhead turned into a boil or mesa or is just infected. It has light brown or yellowish brown pus that came?

I'm wondering if this pimple I have on my forhead turned into a boil or mesa or is just infected. It has light brown or yellowish brown pus that came?

It's possible: Pimples usually start out with a simple opportunist germ that invades the trapped pores. If/when the pimple opens to the surface other germs can also be involved & if a boil forms it is often staph. The MRSA strain varies in prevalence but in my area is found in 60-70 % of boils I drain in the office. A visit to the doc or dermatologist can decide If yours needs to be treated with abx or drained. ...Read more

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I am having these bumps come up on my thigh area almost like a boil or pimple and the seem to spread here and there?

I am having these bumps come up on my thigh area almost like a boil or pimple and the seem to spread here and there?

Skin/skin infection: Certainly, if the abscess is draining pus, then an infection can spread from skin to skin contact between the thighs. For example, abscess drainage from a MRSA wound infection can spread quickly. The important thing is to avoid skin to skin contact, good hand washing, and observing excellent hygiene. S. ...Read more

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I have a white bump with a little black dot in the middle right at my panty line. Is this just a pimple or is it a boil? I put prid on it

You should see a: Board certified dermatologist as this may just be a sebacious inclusion cyst but without seeing it and touching it, I can't say for sure.
Hope that helps ...Read more

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My 5 year old has like a boil on the back of her leg. Almost looks like a pimple and red all around. She got it about 3 days ago, went away back now?

My 5 year old has like a boil on the back of her leg. Almost looks like a pimple and red all around. She got it about 3 days ago, went away back now?

Please have it: checked by her doctor. It could be infected and may need an oral antibiotic. There also could be a cyst there which needs to be checked, as it may continue to be recurrent. Meanwhile apply warm compresses to the area several times/day. ...Read more

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Soft bump in armpit. Not a pimple or a boil. Doesn't have a head and when squeezed nothing comes out but a little blood.

See a doctor: This should be examined by a professional. Enlarged lymph nodes, cysts, tumors, infections and other causes are all to be considered. See somebody soon. ...Read more

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What should I do if I didn't know that the "pimple" on the inside of my elbow was actually a boil/infection until today and picked at it yesterday and drained it slightly because I thought it was a pimple/cyst?

What should I do if I didn't know that the "pimple" on the inside of my elbow was actually a boil/infection until today and picked at it yesterday and drained it slightly because I thought it was a pimple/cyst?

Needs to be drained: Drainage indicated an infected sweat gland or oil gland. If it drained a little, then it needs to be drained more by a bigger cut by a doctor. PLEASE, GO AND SEE YOUR DOCTOR OR URGENT CARE TO GET THIS DONE. ...Read more

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I had an infected pimple which turned into a boil. My doctor prescribed topical & oral antibiotic. My main issue is that my face is slowlyswelling up.?

Skin infection.: If the boil is located on the trunk or lower extremities, then the most frequest cause of swelling would be allergy to the medication(s). If the boil is on the head or neck there could be a spread of the infection to the face. ...Read more

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I have skin pimples or lesions, irregular all over mybody. They all started with a boil in the area above penis. I had protected sex 10months ago?

I have skin pimples or lesions, irregular all over mybody. They all started with a boil in the area above penis. I had protected sex 10months ago?

See a physician: You could have a sexually transmitted disease and need evaluation. You probably need antibiotics but definately need treatment. Please see a doctor as soon as possible. ...Read more

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Do I have a boil? I am 16 and have pimples but between my eyebrows I have a small bump that's a little red. I'm scared if you can die from it

Do I have a boil? I am 16 and have pimples but between my eyebrows I have a small bump that's a little red. I'm scared if you can die from it

Acne: Most likely it is an inflamed pimple. You can buy "benzoyl peroxide" acne cream (read the active ingrediants) without prescription. Apply a thick layer over the bump and let dry. Take care to use white towel as it can bleach towels and clothing. It should help dry out and reabsorb the pimple. ...Read more

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I have a boil on my buttocks when I first saw it I thought it was just a pimple so I popped it now it's a lump under my skin with a head puss and blood?

I have a boil on my buttocks when I first saw it I thought it was just a pimple so I popped it now it's a lump under my skin with a head puss and blood?

Small abscess: It may have been a small hair follicle infection that has now expanded after your initial manipulation. A warm compress may draw it out over a day or two but it may expand & need to be drained by your doc. ...Read more

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Hey! I went to the hospital about a month ago, because I had a bump on my butt and shoulder she said they were boils. Now I thought I had a pimple so I popped it and now it looks like a boil, it is swollen, red and tender to the touch? What should I do?

Hey! I went to the hospital about a month ago, because I had a bump on my butt and shoulder she said they were boils. Now I thought I had a pimple so I popped it and now it looks like a boil, it is swollen, red and tender to the touch? What should I do?

Boils/abscesses: Boils or abscesses have to be open and drained to clear up. You can try using warm compresses and see if this will drain but if it does not then you will need to see a doctor and get it drained. It is not good to squeeze them as it can push the infection into your blood stream and cause a serious infection. ...Read more

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I have a large painful bump on my outer right thigh. It feels tender and warm. I am unsure whether it's a boil or pimple or spider bite.

I have a large painful bump on my outer right thigh. It feels tender and warm. I am unsure whether it's a boil or pimple or spider bite.

See a doctor: Regrdless what it is you need to see a doctor in casr it needs drainage or debridment and of course you are going to need oral antbiotic so go and see your doctor ...Read more

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I've had an open pimple like sore on my butt cheek for months now, it started out as a boil — painful. It heals/opens — nervous to see the doc, help!

Get over fear: An untreated lesion may be worse than seeing the doctor. Without trying to scare you with possible diagnoses, it would be best to see a physician for evaluation and recommendations. ...Read more

Dr. J. Lawrence Dohan
2,497 doctors shared insights

Pimples (Definition)

A pimple is a small inflamed spot on the skin. Also known as zit, ...Read more


Dr. Ryan Phasouk
555 doctors shared insights