What are Pimples?
Pimples are caused when the sebaceous glands located at the base of hair follicles become overactive. The most vulnerable parts of the body for pimples are the face, back, chest and shoulders. The sebaceous glands are tiny skin glands which secrete sebum which is a waxy/oil lubrication for the skin and hair of both humans and other mammals. When we talk about pimples, we are usually referring to any bumps or lesions that appear on our otherwise clear skin during an acne outbreak.
But of course there are many different types of pimples such as:
- Whiteheads which are small and remain under the skin, appearing as small, flesh-colored bumps.
- Blackheads which are less acceptable than whiteheads as they are clearly visible, being black and appearing on the surface of the skin. Don't be misled into thinking that blackheads are caused by dirt and start to scrub and rub your face. This will only worsen the situation, causing even more problems.
- Papules are small, solid, rounded bumps that rise from the skin which are often a pinkish color.
- Pustules which are pimples full of pus and are easily seen on the surface of the skin. While the pus is on the top of this type of pimple, the rest of the pimple is red.
- Nodules are very similar to pustules but larger, redder and set deep in the skin. These are the type of pimples that can lead to scarring.
- Cysts are painful pimples filled with pus and unfortunately, frequently lead to scarring.
- Pimples come about as a result of a blockage in one of the skin's pores when such pores become clogged or infected. We have so many tiny pores on our skin and these are connected to sebaceous oil glands. Especially during the teens, these oil glands can be over stimulated so too much oil is produced which in turn can clog up the pores. There is always bacteria on our skin and this can easily get trapped in the pore along with the excess sebum and any other skin debris so that it becomes inflamed. The result is one or other type of pimples as listed above.
Pimples should always be treated with care – no scratching, picking, rubbing or scrubbing as they will just get worse. Keeping the skin clean is one of the best ways of treating your pimples. If you cannot treat your pimples easily and they worsen, see a dermatologist or skin specialist for expert advice. If you can make some lifestyle changes to ensure a good 8 hours sleep every night, drinking 8 glasses of water, exercising regularly and eating healthily, this can only help your pimples and your acne outbreak. Many people find that applying hot compresses will often help.
There are some interesting statistics about teens and pimples
- Acne is the most common skin disease for adolescents with more than 80% of teenagers getting acne at some point.
- 30% of teenagers with acne require medical treatment because of its severity.
- It appears that in teens, acne peaks at age 17 years.
- The incidence of acne in adults is increasing.