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7 Best Pustule Acne Treatments You Can Do at Home

Acne is a common skin condition that can present itself in several forms, with pustules being one of the most frustrating. Also known as pus-filled pimples, they're unsightly and can become hard and painful if not treated properly.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the seven best pustule acne treatments you can carry out right at home, helping you keep your skin healthy and clear without stepping out the door.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Pustule acne is a common skin condition that can be effectively treated at home with various methods, including over-the-counter products, homemade solutions, and light therapy.
  • Understanding the development and symptoms of pustules is crucial for timely and effective treatment. Lifestyle factors like hygiene, diet, and stress can influence pustule formation and severity.
  • Home remedies can be a viable first line of treatment for pustules, but persistent or severe acne may require professional consultation and possibly prescription treatments.
  • Exposed Skin Care is a dermatologist-approved acne product that can safely and effectively treat various acne types, including pustules, backed by numerous peer-reviewed studies.

Woman with Acne pustule on chin

Understanding Pustule Acne

Pustules are a type of acne that forms when your pores, which are tiny openings in your skin, get clogged by oil and dead skin cells. Pustules may appear as small, red bumps on the skin, typically filled with pus.

Unlike papules, which are solid bumps, pustules contain a yellowish fluid that can be squeezed out. While pustules can occur anywhere on the body, they are most common on the face, particularly among teenagers and young adults due to hormonal changes.

Pustules are small but can become a severe form of acne if not treated correctly. They may be found in clusters, giving the skin an inflamed, rough appearance. However, despite their intimidating presence, there are effective treatments you can start at home.

The 7 Best Pustule Acne Treatments At Home

Let's dive into the seven best pustule acne treatments you can do at home. Everyone's skin is unique, so what works for one person might not work for another. It's crucial to pay attention to how your skin responds to each remedy and adjust accordingly.

1. Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a well-known over-the-counter (OTC) product for treating acne. It's especially effective in treating pustules because it can penetrate and clean out pores, removing the oil and dead skin cells that cause pustules to form.

2. Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is another commonly recommended OTC acne treatment. It's effective for treating pustules and whiteheads by killing the bacteria that inflame the pores and lead to acne.

Benzoyl Peroxide on womans hand in close up

3. Tea Tree Oil

With its potent anti-inflammatory properties, tea tree oil is a natural remedy that can help treat acne. It may help reduce the severity of pustules and prevent further outbreaks when used regularly.

4. Retinoids

Retinoids, especially those available as OTC products, can be highly effective in treating pustule acne. They promote faster skin cell turnover, which helps prevent pores from clogging and pustules from forming.

5. Light Therapy

A newer trend in home acne treatments involves light therapy. This treatment combines light and a special light-activated solution to kill the bacteria that cause pustules. There are several light therapy devices available for home use.

6. Regular Cleaning and Exfoliating

Keeping your skin clean and regularly exfoliating to remove the top layer of dead skin cells is crucial in preventing pustules. A routine with a gentle cleanser and an exfoliator can keep your skin clear of debris and reduce the likelihood of developing pustules.

Woman exfoliating face

7. Healthy Lifestyle Choices

The importance of a healthy diet and regular exercise cannot be overstated in treating acne. Hormonal imbalances, often worsened by poor lifestyle choices, can exacerbate acne. Keeping your body healthy can help balance hormones and reduce acne outbreaks.

Prevention: Keep Pustules at Bay

An essential part of any pustule acne treatment is preventing them from occurring in the first place. Here are some steps to prevent pustules:

  • Keep your skin clean by washing it twice a day.
  • Exfoliate regularly to remove dead skin cells and prevent them from clogging pores.
  • Avoid harsh skin products that can irritate and inflame your skin.
  • Follow a healthy diet and exercise routine to keep your hormones balanced.
  • Stay hydrated and ensure you're getting enough sleep.

Actions to Take When Pustules Occur

If you notice the following symptoms — white bumps filled with pus, redness, inflammation, or increased sensitivity around specific skin areas — you're likely dealing with pustules. Here's what you can do:

  • Don't Panic: Acne is a common skin condition, and pustules are a typical type of acne that many people deal with.
  • Avoid Popping: As tempting as it may be, don't pop the pustules. This can lead to skin damage and potential scarring.
  • Start Treatment: Start with over-the-counter treatments targeting pustules, like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.

Woman treating her pustule acne

It's crucial to monitor the progress of your acne. Pustules tend to be stubborn and may not respond immediately to treatment. If your pustules persist or increase in severity, a doctor may recommend or prescribe more potent treatments. Remember, the goal is to treat pustules safely without causing further damage to your skin.

Factors That Aggravate Pustules

Pustules can worsen due to certain habits or environmental factors. Being aware of these can help you better manage and prevent pustules:

  • Poor Hygiene: Neglecting to cleanse your skin regularly can lead to excess oil and dirt buildup, causing pustules.
  • Excessive Scrubbing: Over-cleansing or scrubbing your skin harshly can irritate it and lead to more pustules.
  • Unhealthy Diet: Consuming processed foods or foods high in sugars and fats can exacerbate acne.
  • Stress: High-stress levels can trigger hormone fluctuations, leading to an increase in oil production and, consequently, more pustules.

Understanding how pustules develop and the common causes can empower you to take proactive steps in managing your skin health. The better care you take of your skin, the less likely pustules are to occur.

The Power of Exposed Skin Care in Acne Management

Exposed Skin Care is an excellent option among acne products for managing different forms of acne, including pustules. The product line has been carefully crafted and approved by dermatologists, promising safe and effective treatment.

Exposed Skin Care Ultimate Kit

Here are some benefits of this product:

  • Tackles Severe Acne: From small pustules to severe acne, Exposed Skin Care can cater to a range of needs. It has proven effective even when papules and pustules coexist.
  • Prevents Acne Development: Regular use can prevent new acne from forming, tackling symptoms and causes right at their source.
  • Safe for Sensitive Skin: While some treatments can worsen acne or damage the surface of your skin, Exposed Skin Care is designed to treat pustules safely without causing further irritation.
  • Supported by Studies: Numerous peer-reviewed studies support the efficacy of Exposed Skin Care in managing acne symptoms.

Remember, every skin type is different, and results can vary. While some may see improvements soon, others might take more time.


Managing pustule acne doesn't necessarily require a trip to the dermatologist. With a range of home treatments from over-the-counter products like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and Exposed Skin Care, to DIY remedies, you can effectively combat this common skin condition. Understanding your skin and the factors that trigger pustule formation — such as hormonal changes, diet, and stress — can empower you to prevent outbreaks.

Remember, early detection and intervention can be crucial in managing acne effectively. However, persistent or severe acne might require professional consultation. Above all, treating your skin with patience and care is important, avoiding harsh treatments that can lead to further damage.

Incorporating acne treatments like Exposed Skin Care into your skincare routine can significantly affect your skin health. Not only does it combat existing acne, but it also aids in preventing new outbreaks. With its dermatologist approval and peer-reviewed backing, it's a reliable option for those navigating the realm of acne treatments.

Overall, the journey to clear skin can seem daunting, but understanding the ins and outs of pustule acne, its triggers, and how to handle it can take you one step closer to achieving the skin health you desire. Stay consistent, be gentle with your skin, and remember that every journey takes time. Your path to a clearer skin is a marathon, not a sprint.


What causes pustules?

Pustules are caused by a buildup of oil and dead skin cells in the pores, which can become inflamed and filled with pus. This can be due to hormonal changes, particularly during adolescence.

Can all types of acne be treated at home?

While many types of acne can be effectively treated with home remedies and OTC products, more severe forms like cystic acne often require medical attention. However, if your home treatment doesn't improve your acne, it might be worth talking to a doctor who specializes in skincare.

How long does it take for pustule acne treatment to work?

The duration of treatment can vary depending on the severity of the acne and the treatment method used. However, most people begin to see improvement within 4-8 weeks.

Can I pop a pustule?

While it may be tempting, popping pustules can lead to skin damage, infection, and even scarring. It's best to treat these pus-filled bumps gently and patiently.

Can lifestyle changes really improve acne?

Absolutely. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, proper hydration, and sufficient sleep can all play a significant role in managing acne. Hormonal balance is key to skin health, and these factors can all help to maintain it.