What Are the Common Causes of a Rash with Pus?

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  • Written By: Erik J.J. Goserud
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 10 July 2019
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The most common causes of a rash with pus include the presence of infection. Pus is a white or yellowish substance that is an aggregation of dead cells. These cells are usually a by-product of the fight against infection taking place at the site of the pus exudate.

A rash is defined as the relatively common health condition involving the distortion of skin color, appearance, or texture. Rashes can be painful, disfiguring, or even dangerous if an opening in the skin is present, which gives rise to the possibility for infection. They may arise from a variety of causes, including allergies, irritation, friction, and disease. Less often, rashes, including a rash with pus, may be a result of autoimmune disease, pregnancy, or poisoning. These are the most frequent reasons for a rash along with pus; however, other possible causes exist.

If there is an opening in one of the layers of the skin, there is a significant chance that bacteria may enter and begin to reproduce. When this reproduction process grows out of control, it becomes an infection. The body's immune system counters infection through a number of complex physiological mechanisms. Among these is the recruitment of white blood cells to the infection site, a number of which work to counteract the bacteria. Much of the matter that comprises pus is the result of white cell casualties in the ongoing war against infection.


An open rash is one secondary cause of a rash with pus; however, another frequent cause is an unhealthy living environment. Bacteria are microscopic and abundant, making a sterile environment only possible in the most carefully orchestrated settings. That being said, however, there are certainly things that people can do to make their living environments and general hygiene better in hopes of preventing infection.

Some of these steps include frequent, proper bathing, hand hygiene, and cleanliness of living quarters. Although following these basic steps will not ensure prevention of acquiring a rash with pus — just as not maintaining a clean environment won't necessarily cause a rash with pus — to minimize the likelihood of such a condition, it is best to practice proper hygiene. If a person exhibits rash-like symptoms, he or she is best off consulting with a medical professional. Doctors will be able to diagnose and effectively prescribe a treatment plan that will aid in recovery.


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Post 4

How do you deal with the rash with drainage when it's pretty constant? I know you're supposed to keep the area dry but it still comes out. It's also hard for me since I'm a nurse and have to constantly wash my hands.

Post 3

@ysmina-- We all actually carry strep bacteria on our skin that can potentially cause an infection. There are hundreds of different types of strep bacteria, a few of which naturally reside on us. But if our immune system is weak or if there is a break in our skin due to a rash or an injury, the bacteria can grow out of control and cause an infection.

I also think that frequent rashes are a sign of a weak immune system or a sign that the immune system is not functioning normally. So it's not surprising for someone to experience a rash and a skin infection at the same time.

Post 2

@ysmina-- If the rash is itchy and if the person scratches it with his or her nails, that's a great way to cause an opening and an infection. But some rashes will develop pus filled blisters regardless of whether they are touched.

For example, some spider bites develop into a rash, followed by blisters. It's due to the affect of the bacteria and venom in skin. It happened to me once. A spider bit my neck at night and there was a rash when I woke up. After a few days, it blistered. Thankfully, I was able to treat it with just an antibiotic ointment. But I was very alarmed in the beginning because it looked awful.

Post 1

Why would an allergic rash develop an opening and pus? And what does green pus indicate?

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