What causes a Pimple?

Pimple Facts, Information About Pimples and Pimple Remedies

Pimples are small skin lesions or inflammations commonly caused from clogged or infected pores. Most pimple outbreaks are usually a sign of impending acne, but there are other pimple causes as well, like bacterial folliculitis, keratosis pilaris and other skin problems. If left unattended, they can multiply and lead to severe acne. They can even leave annoying scars on your skin if they are not treated immediately. Pimples usually develop after blackheads or whiteheads become inflamed and infected.

A majority of teenagers and adolescents experience pimple outbreaks. This happens when the skin tries to adjust to hormonal changes that typically occur during puberty. However, even adults can have pimples, especially those who are most exposed to dirt and experience a lot of stress. Women typically develop pimple outbreaks before or during their menstrual cycle when their hormones surge.

What are common pimple causes?
Our skin has tiny pores that are connected to oil glands. Once these oil glands are blocked, either by dirt or obstructed by abrasions and infections, the oily substance (called sebum) they excrete then blocks the hair follicles, causing pimple outbreaks. Most importantly, elevation of hormone levels during puberty or the menstrual cycle results in the hormone by-product called DHT. This hormone by-product over-stimulates the oil gland and results in a plugging of the pore that leads to acne production. To address this, there are creams and acne products ointments available over the counter which you can use topically. However, if pimples seem to be getting worse, it is recommended that you go see a dermatologist or skin expert immediately. You must keep in mind, though, that pimples are not deadly. Pimple remedies definitely exist. However, acne can be a real nuisance to your social life.

What are some pimple remedies?
One of the best pimple remedies is addressing the problem even before it starts. That is, by sticking to a regular skin cleansing regimen to rid your pores of unwanted debris and dirt. The easier it is for your skin to breathe, the fewer pimples you’ll have. It requires a lot of discipline and patience, yes, but you will be thankful in the long run.

However, if you already have pimple problems, here are some things you can do on your own.

Don’t squeeze your pimples or do the sebum extractions yourself. This could lead to further infection and scarring. Also, avoid touching your face and pimples often. Increased friction on the pimple will cause it to close up further, making extraction a lot more difficult.

Buy oil-free and antibacterial cleansers made especially to combat pimple outbreaks. Be careful not to over-scrub, though, as your skin still needs its natural oils to stay healthy. If you dry it out too much, another set of pimple outbreaks could occur. Cleanse deeply, but moderately. In fact, some skin experts even recommend that you wash only with water and mild/baby soap. Switching from one cleansing product to another might also cause allergies and other skin problems.
Realize that one pimple cause is hormonal shifts, and breakouts will go away once the hormone irregularity is corrected. There really is no need to panic, just buy an anti-DHT acne treatment product and use it as directed.

If you really can’t resist picking at your pimples, make sure you do so under sanitary conditions. Only extract whiteheads or blackheads. If red pimples and pustules are manipulated, they may result in scarring and the spread of acne. Use sterile materials and wash your hands thoroughly before you pop. Extract gently and then clean and disinfect the area with a cotton swab or tissue after. If you can’t pop it, leave it alone. A dermatologist or an aesthetician may be able to help you further especially before an important party or engagement by injecting a mild steroid called Kenalog. This injection can make the breakout disappear in 6-20 hours.

If your pimples continue to recur, it could be a sign of acne. If over the counter medications are not helping, then consult your doctor immediately before it gets aggravated.

Dr. Khadavi is an expert on acne and dermatology, and writes regularily on the field of skin care and is a leader addressing acne in adults.


Alex Khadavi, MD
Board Certified Dermatologist
Creator of Clearogen

“I developed Clearogen after becoming frustrated with the existing acne treatments that only addressed the symptoms of acne rather than its root cause, DHT”.


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