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Blood-filled pimples are caused by picking at, popping, or irritating a pimple. Treatment involves leaving it alone and keeping the area clean. In some cases, you may require a prescription medication.


Pimples can happen to men and women anytime in their lifetime. Pimples can appear anywhere on your body and can sometimes be hard to get rid of. They can form when the pores on your skin are blocked and become clogged with bacteria. This can happen from sweating or dirt that gets into your pores from a simple scratch.

Additionally, teenagers and women can get a pimple from time to time due to hormonal changes taking place within their body. While pimples can be unsightly or annoying, it’s important to understand the difference between a basic pimple and a blood-filled pimple.

Truthfully, blood-filled pimples don’t actually exist. In fact, blood-filled pimples happen as a result of the picking or popping of a regular pimple. The forced trauma to that area of the skin not only pushes out puss — the white or yellow liquid bacteria — but also blood where the skin or pimple is infected or irritated.

The best thing you can do for your blood-filled pimple is to leave it alone. Try not to disturb it by picking at it or pressing on it. Allow the pimple to come to a head on its own. Do your best to keep the area where the blood has filled in as clean as possible with a gentle cleanser twice a day, as this will also help in limiting additional breakouts.

If you continue to experience acne that results in blood-filled pimples, you might find relief with a prescription medication. Your doctor will help you decide what’s right for you and may suggest one of the following medications:

  • Retinoids are vitamin A-based creams or lotions that when applied to the affected area can help to prevent clogged pores.
  • Antibiotics in a liquid form may also be prescribed. You would apply it to your skin to aid in the repair and prevention of future blood-filled pimples.
  • Oral contraceptives (i.e., birth control pills) for young women and girls have also been found to be helpful as a treatment.

If you’d prefer to use a holistic approach to treating your blood-filled pimples, you may consider using all-natural products. But it’s important to keep in mind that your skin may become further irritated with these methods, and an allergic reaction is always possible. All-natural products such as tea tree oil applied to affected skin can work similarly to benzoyl peroxide, acting as a slow drying and cleansing agent.

Zinc may also be an option when trying to treat blood-filled pimples. Zinc creams and ointments can be effective, especially when combined with other acne treatments.

Shop zinc acne treatments.


  • Keep the pimple and the area around it clean.
  • Follow any directions from your doctor regarding medications and cleansing products to use.


  • Don’t pop or pick at pimples. Doing so can lead to infection and scarring.
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Acne treatment: Types, side effects, and more »

Yes, if you continue to pick at and pop your pimples, increased bleeding will cause scabs to form, which can add to scaring. If you are unhappy with scaring, your doctor or a dermatologist can advise you on treatments, which may include a chemical peel. A chemical peel uses an acid that is considered safe on the skin. It will remove the surface layer of the skin and help to lessen the appearance of scars.

If your scarring is more severe, your doctor may suggest laser resurfacing, which requires a series of laser treatments. This can improve the texture of the skin and help minimize the appearance of scaring.

If you don’t already have a dermatologist, our Healthline FindCare tool can help you connect to physicians in your area.

Treatment options for facial scars »

When you see a bump on your skin, you may automatically assume it’s a pimple. But sometimes taking a closer look will reveal that it’s something slightly different. There are also times when pimples can be hard to spot, sitting just below the skin and not causing any pain.

It’s extremely important to keep an eye on your pimples. If you can’t seem to manage the condition on your own, you should see your doctor for help. Also, if you see a pimple underneath your skin that continues to grow or harden over time, your doctor will need to take a sample of the skin to see if it is something more serious.

A pimple can take anywhere from two days to a week to clear up. Pimples can appear any time there is a change in your hormones, soaps and cleansers, or even lifestyle. Blood-filled pimples are a result of picking or popping pimples. They are not serious and will not cause any lasting damage to your skin unless you repeatedly pick at them, which can lead to scarring.