Pimples -What are they?

A lot of people get confused around the term pimples and acne, they think all forms of acne come under the heading pimples and while to me and you this is how we see them it’s not quite correct. There are 5 different types of Acne and technically pimples only come under one of these types. Acnes’ correct name is acne vulgaris.

Today, we’ll have a look at the types of Acne, what causes acne and pimples and the best treatment them.

What causes Pimples (Acne)

Acne is caused by blocked follicles. This can happen by a multitude of things but the main ones are everyday wear and tear such as dirt build up, bacteria, dead skin cells and or oil (sebum) which enter your pores and block them. Further, below we will discuss the different types of acne & pimples and what the major contributors are to those types.

It is easy to blame Acne on skin surface blockages but they can also be triggered by things beneath the skin such as hormones which can lead to excess sebum production and also follicle blockage, In fact, acne can be caused by issues that aren’t related to those mentioned above.

  • Hormonal shifts during – puberty, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause and in some cases;
  • Certain Medications.
  • Carbohydrate rich diets.
  • Genetics, as in, if one or both of your parents had acne, then potentially you are more likely to also develop it.

There are a lot of very good treatments for acne and some not so good. One of the better ones we have come across is the Exposed Skin Care range and we definitely recommend it. They have a 98% success rate, a guarantee that works, although you probably won’t need it, they have been around for a long time and they have thousands of happy customers – including our girls. Just use the link above and head to products/kits, these are the best value for money and probably the middle kit is the one you are after.

If you are concerned about your acne, we would recommend that you speak with your health professional who will be able to guide you on the best steps to take.

Types of Pimples (Acne)

Comedonal Acne

comedonal acne

These are noninflammatory spots which include Blackheads and Whiteheads and they are usually caused by your skin pores being blocked from such things as dirt, oils and dead skin cells. These are the most common form and we are all likely to get them at some stage in our lives.

Whiteheads and Blackheads are very similar, the only difference being that whiteheads have skin covering them, Blackheads don’t and are referred to as “open comedones,” they are created from the blocked oil in your skin becoming oxidized by air and this turns them black.

Both Blackheads and Whiteheads are different from pustules as they don’t contain pus and cannot spread to other parts of the face.

They can be treated with salicylic acids, face scrubs and general upkeep of facial hygiene.

Inflammatory Acne

inflammatory acne

These Papules are small red bumps that often appear as clusters on the skin. They are caused by blocked pores mixing with bacteria and create inflamed lesions in the surrounding skin tissue.

For papules and other inflammatory acne, generally, the most effective treatment is benzoyl peroxide which kills the bacteria.

Pustular Acne

pustular acne

This is your typical “pimple” or “zit,” this type of acne looks large and red with a white or yellow core. The core contains pus from bacteria and it can spread if you pick at them, this can lead to further breakouts on other parts of the skin. They can be quite tender to the touch but can go away on their own.

The process can be sped up with the application of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid which kill the bacteria and draw out the excess oils.

Cystic Acne

Cystic acne

One of the most severe forms of acne is cystic acne. Cysts are large and painful pimples without heads. They are caused by oil and bacteria being trapped under the surface of the skin and often appear on the chin or jaw. Do not pop or pick these pimples because it can lead to further breakout and scarring.

Nodules

nodule acne

Nodules are painful and hard lumps and lie deep within the body, they have no heads or visible centers. They are caused by clogged pores which can then cause damage to the tissues and cells deep beneath the skins surface.

It is possible to have more than one type of acne at once and you should discuss this with your healthcare professional for help in diagnosing them.

Other Tips to help Acne

Obviously, if you are concerned about your acne and you wish to treat it yourself then there are a few steps we recommend as well as Exposed Skin Care

Step One

Clean your skin gently.

Don’t get all vigorous with it, this may actually make things worse. Use only your fingertips (no nails) or a soft washcloth. Clean all the areas, initially don’t go near break out areas, you can save this for last as you don’t want to spread any of the bacteria. When you have done all the areas on your face ( and if need be other parts of your body) then move onto the breakout areas. If you are a sporty type a double wash at night is a good idea, clean, rinse and repeat.

Step Two

Use a Toner or Astringent

This helps remove excess oils and helps tone and hydrate the skin and depending on the ingredients it can help on blackheads and acne. Apply the product on a cotton ball or pad and gently smooth all over the face (and any other areas) and neck to help remove the last bits of cleanser and oil.

You do have to be a little bit careful of your skin type as you don’t want to dry out your skin too much or if you have oily skin you want it to be effective. It may be best to try to avoid products with too much alcohol ( do not drink it!!).

This step can be missed if you find it’s creating too much havoc with your skin but with the products we recommend it should be fine.

Step Three

Apply Acne Treatment

After the toner has dried completely or after your face is completely clean and dry – don’t get vigorous with drying, patting the skin is better than rubbing it like crazy. Smooth on your acne treatment as directed. Let the treatment absorb or dry completely before going to the next step.

Step Four

Apply an Oil Free Moisturizer or Gel.

Before you say I’m crazy – you wouldn’t be the first though. It may seem like adding a moisturizer to already oily skin is counter-intuitive but this is an important step so please don’t skip it. Acne treatments can dry out the skin, so to reduce dry and peeling skin apply this twice a day.

Your moisturizer shouldn’t leave your skin feeling slick and greasy, good treatments are easily absorbed by the skin and won’t aggravate acne.

The flash name you should be looking for is noncomedogenic which basically means it won’t clog the pores of the skin. If you are getting a range of products for the treatment of acne then the product should be noncomedogenic but it does pay to check.

We have been talking to a lot of people lately and they have all mentioned using light therapy and the Exposed Skin Care range together. This certainly boosts results and gets you on top of your pimples/acne a lot faster.

Light Therapy

The wavelength of blue light has an antimicrobial effect, making it effective at killing several types of bacteria especially the

Propionibacterium acnes, or P acne that can collect in your pores and oil glands and cause breakouts. Using blue light eliminates the bacteria found in the oil glands on your skin. If you add in infrared light (heat) which is common with in home devices then this causes the oil glands to shrink in size as well. The result is less oil in the skin and less bacteria, leading to a noticeable reduction of acne in the treated areas.

There have been many studies conducted with blue light and the reduction in acne and in all the cases I have seen they have all been positive. Generally, it does take a few weeks’ treatment but please do not overdo this sort of treatment and follow the manufacturers recommendations. As an average from the studies I have read, people with acne who were treated with blue light therapy for four to six weeks’ saw an improvement in 70% percent plus of cases.

Treatment can become even more effective when light therapy is included within the regimen of a topical treatment of acne. Most experts agree that if you are taking an oral or prescription acne treatment then blue light should not also be used, it is more for those who want to avoid taking more serious drugs.

blue light

Does it work on all types of Acne

The general consensus is yes but some experts noted that on the more extreme sorts of acne such as cystic acne it was not as effective, while others did see a reduction on all types of acne including cystic acne. Project E Beauty has a great range of lights.

Keep it Up

So this is three or four steps, a couple of songs long in the morning and evening – or whatever you choose to do to offset the time.

If this sounds all too much then the only other answer is to have pimples and hopefully time will take care of it.

It will take a bit of money but if it will help your skin and self-esteem is it worth it?

A couple of other things that I have been asked. What about red light treatment? This does help but you don’t want to swap out all the above steps for this. Red light is more like another step you can do but not a substitution for the above. The other thing is about sun protection, with or without acne this is hugely important. With acne, a lot of the treatments you use may make your skin more susceptible to sun damage, it’s no good to get rid of acne but look 90 when you are 19!!! It’s not that bad but be aware that sun damage is a possibility. A lot of moisturizers do contain a SPF factor, if yours doesn’t then look for a sunscreen for the face as these tend to be less oily and perfumed.

Along with any acne medication we would also recommend;

  • Shampooing your hair regularly and keeping it out of your face.
  • Using make-up that is water based and non-comodogenic (not pore clogging).
  • Avoid squeezing spots as this spreads bacteria and excess oil which may clog your pores in other areas.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Practicing stress relief activities.
  • Eating a healthy and balanced diet.
  • Staying Hydrated.
  • Limiting sun exposure or wearing sun screen (non-comodogenic).
  • Exercising regularly.

So, a treatment that works and is in balance with what your skin needs is paramount which is why we recommend Exposed Skin Care.

And if you want to include a light treatment then the best company we can recommend is Project E Beauty. They are in the skin care business and have spent a lot of time developing their range of lights. Also, with a lot of there products they provide videos to show the correct way of using them.

I hope you have found this article interesting and please feel free to leave a comment below.

2 thoughts on “Pimples -What are they?”

  1. I suffered a lot from pimples and acne in my teenage years. Actually I still have some acne, because of make-up and period, but sometimes also because I don’t eat healthy food. Also my skin is delicate because of medicines I have to take. Your blog might be very useful to me, even though I am glad not to suffer from severe acne. So a light therapy could be useful for me, but I guess I can ask to a dermatologist. 

    Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Thanks for your comments Maja. I really do appreciate them. Light Therapy seems to be the “go to” for a lot of people with very mild acne or a maintanence situation. Thanks again. Mike

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