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Do you have a large, inflamed bump on your skin that is painful and isn’t going away? You may have a boil–a painful, pus-filled bump on the skin. Boils form at the site of an infected hair follicle or oil gland.

Many of us confuse boils and pimples, although there are some key differences between the two.

Boils vs. Pimples: What Are the Differences?

A boil is caused by Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium that causes a number of illnesses. Boils begin at hair follicles or oil glands in hair-growing areas of the body that experience lots of friction. The groin, buttocks, neck, face and thighs are just a few bodily areas that are prone to these painful lesions.

A pimple, on the other hand, will crop up in places where oil glands are most likely to be overactive, like the face, chest and back. When a pore is filled with excess oil, bacteria (such as Staphylococcus aureus) and dirt can get trapped inside, causing an infection and resulting in an unsightly bump called a pimple.

The main difference between a pimple and a boil is size–a boil is a larger and causes more pain than a pimple. Several can form at once in the same area, creating a very painful lesion known as a carbuncle.

Another difference between pimples and boils is the need for treatment.

Pimples generally go away on their own.

An untreated boil may become extremely inflamed and painful over time, preventing normal activity and movement. Boils located on the buttocks or groin, for instance, can become so painful that it’s difficult for an individual to sit or walk for long periods of time.

Boils are also unsightly. If untreated, they can grow to a substantial size and turn reddish-yellow or white as the infection grows.

If you’re suffering from a painful boil or carbuncle, treatment is advised to reduce pain and inflammation and get rid of the infection. Treatment will also help prevent deep scarring or tissue damage. 

Ocala Infectious Disease and Wound Care provides effective treatment for boils and carbuncles.

Contact us today to learn more.


Ocala Infectious Disease and Wound Center
2651 Southwest 32nd Pl
Ocala, FL 34471
Phone: 352-401-7552
Fax: 352-622-7945

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