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Pimples are small skin lesions or inflammations of the skin. They are primarily caused when the oil glands in a patient’s body become clogged and infected, leading to swollen, red lesions which are filled with pus. Also known as spots or zits, pimple development is primarily linked to oil production, dead skill cells, clogged pores and bacterial infection. In certain cases, yeast infection can also be one of the pimple causes that can be faced.

Let’s look at the symptoms, causes and treatment of this condition in more details.

Symptoms of a Pimple:

Pimple symptoms can vary, as there are many types of pimples, each with their own signs and symptoms. This can include:

  1. Whiteheads: Also known as closed comedo, whiteheads are small lesions that appear as flesh-coloured papules, which remain under the skin.

  2. Blackheads: This pimple type can easily be seen on the surface of the skin, and are either black or dark brown due to the oxidation of melanin, which is the skin’s pigment. Also known as open comedo, black heads can easily be mistaken for dirt, and should not be scrubbed or rubbed vigorously, as it can irritate the skin and cause other problems.

  3. Papules: This pimple type takes the shape of small, solid and rounded bumps which rise from the skin and are often pink in colour.

  4. Pustules: this pimple type is full of pus and are clearly visible on the surface of the skin. While the base of this pimple is red, the pus can clearly been seen on the tip.

  5. Nodules: While nodules have a comparable structure to papules, this pimple type is much larger, can be painful and are embedded deep in the skin.

  6. Cysts: This pimple type is clearly visible on the skin, and are characterized by being pus filled and usually immensely painful to have. Cysts are one of the most common causes of scars on the patient’s body.

Causes Of a Pimple:

To understand why a pimple is formed, it is important to understand how our skin functions. The outer layers of our skin, due to age or normal wear-and-tear, are continuously shed. The sebaceous glands in our skin, which produce sebum, exist outside the pores of our skin. In many cases, the dead skin cells are left behind and get stuck together by the sticky sebum, which can cause a blockage in the pore.

When a pore is blocked, this can result in the growth of undesirable bacteria, which can feed off the sebum secreted by our body, and produce a substance that causes an immune response, leading to skin inflammation and spots. Despite being related to bacterial infection, pimples are not contagious, and cannot spread from one person to another.

Treatment of a Pimple:

Timely pimple treatment can not only favourably impact your skin’s health, but can also help you overcome emotional and psychological effects. While pimples are not by themselves harmful for a person’s health, persistent cases of pimple growth can have a devastating effect on your skin’s appearance, as well as on your emotional psyche.

Simple self-help forms of pimple treatment can include:

  • A healthy diet.
  • Regularly and gently washing your face with a mild soap and warm water.
  • Refraining from pimple popping.
  • Regular hand hygiene.
  • Wearing loose clothing to allow your skin to breathe.


In certain cases, where an excessive outbreak of pimples may be observed, you can take the help of over-the-counter treatments, where the majority of medication will make use of ingredients like Resorcinol, Benzoyl Peroxide, Salicylic Acid, Sulphur, Retin-A or Azelaic Acid.

The Apollo Clinic Experience:

In cases where home remedies or over-the-counter medication do not work, Apollo Clinic’s team of experienced dermatologists are here to help. After thoroughly diagnosing the root cause of the outbreak’s persistence, they may suggest powerful topical retinoids to help unclog the blocked pore and help tackle extra-oily skin.In certain cases, our experts may also suggest going in for oral therapies like antibiotics, and in cases where severe symptoms are diagnosed, even the use of Isotretinoin.

Our doctors will also closely monitor your case, to arrest any potential side-effects, and help ensure that the root cause of the condition is tackled effectively. If you, or someone you know, are suffering from persistent cases of pimples, or painful forms of this condition like cysts, please get in touch with our experts at Apollo Clinic for an immediate diagnosis and treatment.

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