Types of Skin Boils

There are a number of different types of boils, though they all have the same basic makeup. Every boil will begin as a red mark and then will grow in size. Your body will always try to fight the infection, so every type of boil will fill with pus. However, different types of boils develop on different areas of the body, and they may have different formations. Different causes may also be present in different types of boils.



Furuncles are boils caused by an infection of the hair follicle by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. They can occur anywhere on your body, but most commonly appear on your face, neck, thighs, armpits, or buttocks. Nose and ear boils are less common. Furnicles are sometimes associated with fever and chills. They can spread, causing carbuncles.


Carbuncles are furuncles that tend to grow in clusters. They typically form on the back of your neck, hips, thighs, or shoulders. Carbuncles tend to last longer than other types of boils because they are the result of a deeper infection.

Hidradenitis Supparativa

This type of boil usually affects the underarm and groin areas, and it can be quite painful. Hidradenitis supparativa is caused when sweat glands inflame and become infected. This type of boil cannot always be treated with antibiotics alone, and it sometimes requires surgical intervention to remove the affected sweat glands.

Cystic Acne

Cystic Acne is a type of boil caused by a plug in your hair follicle. Excess oil production in the skin can cause dirt and bacteria to get trapped under the skin, and this can cause a cyst. Cyctic acne is different than common acne (or pimples) because it affects much deeper levels of skin tissue. It is most common on the face during the teenage years.

Pilonidal Cysts

These cysts, also known as rectal boils, form in the cleft between your buttocks. They begin as infections of the hair follicle and they can make it very painful to sit down or walk and they often drain spontaneously. Pilonidal cysts are usually recurrent, and you can experience episodes monthly. They often form after long trips that involve prolonged sitting.