An abscess is typically painful, and it appears as a swollen area that is warm to the touch. The skin surrounding an abscess often appears pink or red. Abscesses can develop in many parts of the body, but they usually involve the skin surface. Skin abscesses are also referred to asboils.

Acne is the common cause of spots. Most people with acne are aged between 12 and 25 but some older and younger people are affected. Boys are more commonly affected than girls. Acne usually affects the face but may also affect the back, neck and chest. The severity can range from mild to severe. About 8 in 10 teenagers develop some degree of acne. Often it is mild. However, it is estimated that about 3 in 10 teenagers have acne bad enough to need treatment to prevent scarring. Untreated acne usually lasts about 4-5 years before settling. However, it can last for many years in some cases.

Boils, abscess, and cellulitis are bacterial infections of the skin that usually begin from a scratch or bug bite and progress to a red nodule that fills with pus.

  • Boils are superficial infections with a thin layer of skin over fluid.
  • Abscesses are generally larger and deeper than boils with redness and painful swelling over an area filled with pus.
  • Cellulitis is an infection within the skin and the area just beneath it; the skin is red and tender. The area of cellulitis can spread quickly.

Boils are usually small areas (penny or nickel size) with a thin covering of skin, while abscesses are larger raised areas on the skin that are tender to touch and filled with pus in the deeper tissue. Abscesses and boils may drain when the skin over the infected area opens and lets the fluid or pus out. Signs of cellulitis include areas of redness, skin tenderness, and fever. All of these skin infections are usually warmer than the surrounding normal areas of skin because of the body’s reaction to the infection.

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