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Blood Filled Pimples

Blood Filled Pimples: Types, Causes, Treatment & Prevention

Everyone who’s experienced the distinct and painful pimples filled with blood, have certainly wondered about the very prominent appearance of these dark red pimples.

Blood-filled pimples – while they’re not an uncommon occurrence, they can surely be a cause for concern for us.

In today’s blog, we will explain what blood-filled pimples are, why they occur, and how you can treat and prevent their formation.

What is a Blood-Filled Pimple?

As the name suggests, blood-filled pimples are a type of acne lesion that are characterized as the pimple with pus and blood in it, which is often a result of rupture of blood vessels beneath the skin’s surface. It appears as a red, swollen bump and can be associated with inflammation and tenderness.

Why Do Pimples Bleed?

Blood-filled bumps are formed when tiny blood vessels, or capillaries, beneath the skin’s surface are ruptured. This might occur due to inflammation, excessive pressure, or trauma to the pimple filled with blood.

Types of Blood-Filled Pimples

There are various types of pimples with pus and blood. Identification of each type is essential for the diagnosis and treatment. Here are the types of blood-filled bumps:

  • Papules with Blood: Papules are small, raised, and inflamed bumps on the skin. When a blood vessel within a papule ruptures, it transforms into a papule with blood, appearing as a swollen and dark red pimple.
  • Pustules with Blood: Pustules are blood-filled bumps with a yellowish center surrounded by red, inflamed skin; formed when blood mixes with the pus.
  • Nodules with Blood: Nodules are large, solid, and painful lumps beneath the skin. When blood vessels rupture within this nodule, it transforms into a nodule with blood.
  • Cysts with Blood: Cysts are large, pus-filled lumps that form deep within the skin. When blood mixes with the cyst’s contents, it becomes a cyst with blood.

Causes of Blood-Filled Pimples

Blood-filled bumps can be a confusing skin condition – However, understanding what causes them leads to an effective treatment option. Here are the factors that cause the formation of blood-filled bumps:

  • Hormonal Changes: Fluctuation in hormone levels, especially during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause triggers increased oil production in the skin, which clogs hair follicles and develops blood-filled bumps.
  • Bacterial Infection: The presence of Propionibacterium acnes can multiply and cause infection within clogged pores, which leads to inflammation and rupture of blood vessels, resulting in pimples filled with blood.
  • Poor Skincare Habits: Lack of cleansing or using harsh skincare products can disturb skin’s natural balance. Failure to remove makeup, sweat, and environmental pollutants further accumulate impurities, developing blood-filled bumps.
  • Genetic Predisposition: Genetics play a significant role in determining the susceptibility to acne. If one or both parents have a history of acne, it increases the likelihood of developing pimples filled with blood.
  • Environmental Factors: Exposure to environmental pollutants, high humidity, certain chemicals, friction from clothing, and sweating can irritate the skin, resulting in blood-filled bumps.

What Happens When You Pop a Pimple?

Popping a pimple filled with blood leads to bleeding due to the ruptured blood vessels. This can worsen inflammation and increase the risk of skin getting infected. It’s essential to resist the temptation of popping and choose a safer method of extraction.

Symptoms of a Blood-filled Pimple

Pimples filled with blood can display a range of symptoms that go beyond the visible redness. These signs are important for early recognition of this skin condition.

Here are the symptoms associated with blood-filled bumps:

  • Redness and Swelling: Blood-filled pimples typically exhibit pronounced redness and swelling, occuring due to inflammation caused by the presence of blood and other inflammatory substances.
  • Tenderness to Touch: Pimples filled with blood can be sensitive to touch – so experiencing tenderness on the affected area indicates the presence of a blood-filled pimple.
  • Pain or Discomfort: Blood-filled bumps can be painful, especially if they are deep-seated or have ruptured blood vessels.
  • Pus or Blood Discharge: A notable symptom of blood-filled pimples is the presence of discharge, including a combination of blood and pus.

How to Stop a Pimple from Bleeding?

Gently cleanse the area of the dark red pimple, apply pressure with a clean cloth, and avoid further irritation. Seek immediate medical attention if the bleeding persists.

Treatment Options for Blood-Filled Pimples

Addressing pimple with pus and blood requires a tailored approach, considering the variety of factors contributing to their development. From topical solutions to advanced dermatological procedures, here are all the treatment options available:

  • Salicylic Acid: Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid renowned for its ability to exfoliate the skin and unclog pores. It penetrates the follicles, dissolving excess oil and dead skin cells. For blood-filled pimples, salicylic acid aids in reducing inflammation and promoting the shedding of damaged skin cells, facilitating the healing process.
  • Retinoid: Retinoids, derived from vitamin A, are potent compounds that regulate skin cell turnover. They work by preventing the formation of comedones (clogged pores) and promoting the expulsion of dead skin cells. In the context of blood-filled pimples, retinoids help prevent further blockages, reducing the likelihood of ruptured blood vessels and promoting overall skin health.
  • Antibiotics: Topical or oral antibiotics can be prescribed to combat bacterial infection associated with blood-filled pimples. They work by eliminating excess bacteria on the skin’s surface and within the hair follicles. Antibiotics can help reduce inflammation and prevent the formation of new lesions.
  • Drainage and Extraction: Dermatologists may opt for drainage and extraction in cases where blood-filled pimples are particularly large or painful. This involves carefully draining the contents of the pimple, alleviating pressure and promoting faster healing. Professional extraction helps minimize the risk of scarring and infection associated with at-home attempts.
  • Microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive exfoliation technique that uses fine crystals or a diamond-tipped wand to remove the outer layer of dead skin cells. This process can help improve skin texture and reduce the appearance of acne scars, including those resulting from blood-filled pimples. It’s effective in conjunction with other treatments for a more comprehensive approach.
  • Laser Therapy: Laser therapy, including various types such as pulsed-dye lasers or fractional lasers, can target blood vessels and reduce redness associated with blood-filled pimples. Laser treatments can also stimulate collagen production, promoting skin healing and minimizing the risk of scarring. These procedures are typically performed by dermatologists with expertise in laser therapies.

Home Remedies To Prevent Blood-Filled Pimples

The journey to clearer skin involves not just professional treatments but also at-home care. Here is a list of variety of home remedies that can complement medical interventions, providing relief and promoting skin health for those dealing with blood-filled pimples:

  • Basic Hygiene: Maintain good hygiene by cleansing your face regularly with a mild, non-comedogenic cleanser to prevent clogged pores and reduce the likelihood of blood-filled pimples.
  • Ice Compression: Apply ice to blood-filled pimples using a clean cloth to reduce inflammation. This cold compress constricts blood vessels, providing relief and minimizing redness.
  • Zinc Ointments: Harness the anti-inflammatory properties of zinc by applying ointments or creams to soothe irritated skin, reduce inflammation, and support healing of blood-filled pimples.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Utilize the antimicrobial properties of diluted tea tree oil for topical application on blood-filled pimples. Exercise caution to avoid skin irritation and conduct a patch test.
  • Use Non-comedogenic Products: Opt for skincare and makeup labeled as non-comedogenic to minimize the risk of clogging pores, supporting overall skin health and preventing exacerbation of blood-filled pimples.
  • Exfoliate: Promote cell turnover and prevent debris accumulation by gently exfoliating with mild products containing salicylic acid or alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs).
  • Apply a Honey Mask: Leverage honey’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties by applying a raw, unprocessed honey mask to soothe, reduce redness, and aid in the healing process of blood-filled pimples.
  • Stay Hydrated: Maintain skin elasticity and support natural healing processes by staying adequately hydrated. Drinking plenty of water contributes to a clearer complexion.
  • Avoid Touching Your Face: Resist touching your face to prevent the transfer of bacteria, dirt, and oil, reducing the risk of clogged pores and inflammation, particularly in areas with blood-filled pimples.

When to See a Doctor?

If blood-filled bumps persist, increase in number, or are accompanied by severe pain, consult a dermatologist promptly. Professional guidance ensures a proper diagnosis and effective treatment plan.


Manhattan Medical Arts is dedicated to providing comprehensive dermatological care tailored to your unique needs. Not only in the form of treatment options, but by also providing all the required information that will help you manage your skin effectively.

If you’re seeking personalized guidance or treatment, our expert team is here to support you on your path to skin health and confidence.

Don’t let blood-filled pimples dictate your comfort – take charge with knowledge and professional care.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my pimple bleeding?

Pimples can bleed when the blood vessels beneath the skin’s surface rupture due to inflammation, trauma, or excessive pressure on the pimple.

What does it mean if a pimple is filled with blood?

A pimple filled with blood indicates the presence of blood vessels that have ruptured within the pimple. It’s often a result of inflammation or external pressure on the pimple.

How long do blood-filled pimples last?

The duration varies, but blood-filled pimples typically resolve on their own within a week or two. Avoiding picking or squeezing can hasten the healing process.

What to do if you accidentally pop a pimple and it bleeds?

Cleanse the area gently, apply a clean cloth for light pressure, and avoid further irritation. If bleeding persists, seek medical attention to prevent infection and scarring.

How to get rid of a blood-filled pimple?

To expedite healing, avoid picking or squeezing. Practice good skincare, use topical treatments like salicylic acid, and consider professional interventions such as drainage and extraction by a dermatologist.

– Disclaimer –

This blog is for informational & educational purposes only, and does not intend to substitute any professional medical advice or consultation. For any health related concerns, please consult with your physician, or call 911.

Medically Reviewed

Last reviewed by Dr. Syra Hanif, M.D. on 12/20/2023

Learn more about our editorial process.

  • About The Author

    Dr. Syra Hanif M.D.

    Board Certified Primary Care Physician

Dr. Syra Hanif is a board-certified Primary Care Physician (PCP) dedicated to providing compassionate, patient-centered healthcare.

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