Boil vs Pimple: What’s The Difference?

Boil vs pimple is the case we are looking at today. When it comes to skin conditions it can be hard to tell the differences between certain ones.  After reading this post you will be able to know the difference when it comes to these two.

Boil vs. Pimple


Boil vs Pimple – the Differences

Boils and pimples are two common skin issues that may appear the same, but actually have distinct causes and symptoms. At Dina Strachan, M.D., we can provide all the info you need to identify and treat these skin problems.


Boils are painful, pus-filled bumps that develop beneath our skin. They’re usually caused by a bacterial infection in a hair follicle or oil gland.

Boils usually start as red, tender lumps and gradually become larger and more painful over time. As the infection progresses, a pocket of pus forms at the center of the boil, causing increased discomfort.

Causes of Boils

Boils are commonly caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, which often enters the skin through a cut, scratch, or other injury. Individuals with compromised immune systems, diabetes, or poor hygiene could be more susceptible to this condition.


Pimples, on the other hand, are small, red bumps that typically happen because of clogged pores. This form of acne can develop anywhere on the body with a high concentration of hair follicles, which usually means the face, chest, and back.

Pimples are often triggered by excess oil production, dead skin cells, and bacteria clogging the pores.

Causes of Pimples

Hormonal changes, especially during puberty, can lead to increased oil production, making teenagers more prone to developing pimples. Other factors, such as stress, diet, and certain medications, can contribute to the formation of these unsightly red bumps.

Boil vs Pimple – Treatments

Treatment also varies between these conditions.

For mild pimples, over-the-counter topical treatments containing ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid are often effective. But for persistent or severe cases, a dermatologist may be needed for prescribing stronger topical medications or oral antibiotics.

Boils, however, are more complicated, often requiring medical attention. Patients with boils should avoid attempting to squeeze or pop a boil, as this can spread the infection. A dermatologist can lance and drain the boil safely, reducing pain and promoting healing. In some cases, oral antibiotics may be prescribed.

Schedule a Consultation Today 

Dr. Dina Strachan M.D., the head dermatologist at Aglow Dermatology, is dedicated to providing expert care and personalized treatment options for patients in New York City.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Strachan and find the best solutions for your skin health, contact Aglow Dermatology at 212-627-1004.

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