What are pimples?

Have you ever wondered about what pimples really are? Read the complete answer to what pimples are, and why you get them, right here!

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Author Mads Timmermann

Mads has 14+ years of experience as a skin expert and has written/read this article.

Pimples are for most people a natural and unavoidable part of life.

Some people are very affected på pimples and unclean skin, which forces them to seek professional help, to solve the problem. Meanwhile, other go through both puberty and their adult life, dealing very little with pimples and unclean skin.

What are pimples? Pimples are a form of acne, also called comedones, where excess sebum and dead skin cells are trapped within the skin’s pores. If the sebum cannot get to the skin’s surface, it will clog within the pore. This makes them more vulnerable to bacterias and thus become infected. This can develop into an inflammatory state where pus develops under the skin. When the pore is infected and creates pus, it is a pimple.

This is the short answer on, what pimples are. If you’re interested in learning more about, what pimples really are, why you get them and much more, I advise you to read more. During the article, I will also tell you how you treat your pimples, resulting in a clean and beautiful skin.

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What are pimples

As mentioned before, pimples are a form of acne. Pimples are characterized by their visible pus, soreness, and inflammatory condition. The pus is often yellow and located at the top of a pimple.

The first stage of what can later develop into a pimple is an excess of sebum under the skin. sebum is produced by sebaceous glands and is extremely important for maintaining a healthy, clean and beautiful skin.

Sebum is a form of liquid that contains cholesterol, fat, triglycerides and waxes, which purpose is to moisten and lubricate your skin and hair. If you had no sebum in the body, both your skin and the hair would be dried and irritated.

When there is an excess of sebum in a sebaceous gland, it can get clogged. This results in the gland being vulnerable to bacteria. If bacteria comes into the gland, inflammation is formed.

The inflammation state is both the cause of the red color, the visible pus, and the soreness that many often experience on and around a pimple.

Teenagers are particularly bothered by pimples

Pimples, unclean skin and acne are often something that you primarily associate with people who are in puberty. This view is far from unjustified.

Teenagers experience a hormonal disorder because their bodies produce extra many hormones. This hormonal disorder directly enters and affects the sebum production, which results in more sebum than actually needed.

An excess of sebum can result in the process mentioned before, where the sebaceous gland becomes clogged and an inflammatory condition is created in the gland. Finally, we have a well-known pimple.

Pimples can be a major problem both physically and mentally. Not only is a pimple, as well as the skin around it, often very sore. Many teenagers, who already suffer from low self-esteem and identity crises, experience pimples as something embarrassing and disturbing.

Fortunately, the amount of pimples decreases and unclean skin vanishes, for most people around the age of 19. Many will find that it completely disappears when they reach 25. However, particularly vulnerable people may experience acne problems until they are 40 years old.

Adults and pimples

Although most adults do not experience problems with unclean skin and pimples, it is not unusual for adults to have skin problems.
This may be due to several things. Among other things, a large intake of sugar on a daily basis can affect the blood sugar in a way, that stimulates the hormones in the body.

Many people also confuse pimples with skin diseases. For example, women vulnerable to skin disease, perioral dermatitis, which easily can be confused with pimples. This disease shows in the form of redbuds, which is located in the nose and mouth region.

Many men suffer from beard plague, which can easily be confused with pimples. Beard plague is caused by hair that is twisted out of the skin, which means that the hair grows horizontally under the skin. This can cause inflammation.

Both of these skin problems are “independent” skin diseases and should be treated accordingly. Therefore, it is important to determine if it is really unclean skin and pimples, or it is a skin disease.

Women and pimples

Women may be particularly affected by pimples and unclean skin during pregnancy, as well as at the end of their monthly cycle.

Often the pimples and the unclean skin will disappear relatively quickly again as the disturbed hormone balance, that underlies the increased amount of sebum, will be normalized.

Based on the above we can now conclude the following: What are pimples? Pimples are a form of acne where excess sebum and dead skin cells are trapped in the skin’s pores.

In the event that the sebum does not reach the skin surface after a period of time, the sebaceous gland may be exposed to bacteria and thus infected. This can develop into an inflammatory state where pus is formed under the skin. It is the inflammatory state that distinguishes a pimple from a blackhead.

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What is the cause of pimples?

The cause of pimples is found in the body’s production of the male hormone testosterone, which both men and women experience an increased production of during puberty.

The increased amount of testosterone in the body creates stimulation of the sebaceous glands under the skin. The stimulation of the sebaceous glands results in an increased production of sebum, which basically means that the body produces more “skin fat”.

The increased amount of subcutaneous fat, or sebum, can create a clogging of the skin’s pores, which becomes what most people know as a blackhead. The clogged pores constitute an environment that is very beneficial to the acne bacteria “Cutibacterium acnes”.

The bacteria is a completely natural part of the body. Some people find that their body, more than others, tries to fight the bacteria by creating an inflammatory condition. The inflammation is what most people simply refer to as a pimple.

So, the pimple is created because your body tries to fight bacteria through an inflammation state.

Diet and pimples

You’ve probably heard or even said something like, “I’ll get so many pimples tomorrow if I eat this bag of chips.” Many people are convinced that pimples are almost exclusively dictated by the diet.

Despite the fact that several studies have been carried out, it has never been proven that certain foods should increase the amount or frequency of pimples.

However, this does not mean that it can not be the case for some individuals. If you want to find out if your body is reacting to the certain type of foods, try eating the food you suspect to give you pimples and see how your skin reacts.

Milk and pimples

More and more scientists, as well as studies, indicates that one of the largest reasons for unclean skin and acne may be cow’s milk.
Back in 2005, the Harvard School of Public Health performed a major study aimed at determining whether there is a connection between the consumption of cow’s milk and acne.

47,355 teenage girls participated in the study, where those who consumed milk had a significant increase in their acne compared to those who did not consume milk.

It is assumed by many scientists that the connection between acne and cow’s milk occurs because milk contains a relatively high amount of hormones and bioactive molecules.

The hormones and bioactive molecules should supposedly stimulate the body’s sebum production just as our own hormones do.
Genetics plays a major role

It is unfortunately found, that there is a correlation between the parents and children’s degree of acne. This means that the likelihood of being severely affected by acne is greater if your parents were severely affected by acne.

We still do not know exactly why the genes are so important for one’s exposure to acne. Most theories suggest that some are just more sensitive to the male hormone, while others are more disposed to produce more sebum, and others simply have a greater tendency for clogged pores.

The reason for this is unknown, but if you know your parents have been plagued with unclean skin and acne, you may begin to treat your skin early, preventing you from getting the same degree of acne.

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How to treat pimples

Now that we have determined what pimples are, and what the reason for them may be, it is now time to explain how to treat pimples.

First, you must forget about various myths and bad treatments you have heard about. Instead, you should start treating your skin properly, so you quickly and efficiently can get rid of your pimples and unclean skin.

  1. Skin care should never hurt or be uncomfortable!
    Is your current skin care poking, cooling, burning or warming your skin? Then there’s something wrong!
    The product is simply too hard on your skin if you experience any of the above things.
  2. Avoid perfumes and dyes
    Drop all skin care products that contain perfumes and/or dyes. This also involves skin care with ingredients like menthol, mint, citrus fruits, essential oils etc.
  3. Look at the list of ingredients
    When looking for your next skin care, choose one where the ingredient list contains many different vitamins, minerals, and assets. This makes your skin nourished by many different types of ingredients, rather than just a single one.
  4. Focus on a single skin care routine
    Your skin care routine does not need to contain 8 – 12 different skin care products, both morning and evening. But. water and soap are not enough either. If you use 2 – 3 skin care products in the morning and 3-4 skin care products in the evening, it should be more than enough. Focus on quality, rather than quantity.
  5. Avoid masks, scrubs, and occasional treatments
    You should prioritize skin care that cares and treats your skin every day, as it provides the best treatment and results.

Now that you’ve been equipped with the necessary knowledge of what pimples are, why you get them and how to treat them, we hope you’re ready to fight your pimples.
With these products, which are specially developed for pimples and unclean skin, you give yourself the best conditions for getting a beautiful skin:

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