What causes pimples?
The exact cause of pimples is still unclear and it seems that male hormones called androgens are a primary cause of pimples and acne.
Hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation and using or stopping the usage of contraceptive pills can stimulate the secretion of androgen and cause pimples to develop.
Researchers believe that both genetic and environmental factors contribute in developing pimples. In other words, people who have a history of acne and pimples in their families are more likely to get breakouts .
How to prevent pimples?
➢ Having proper (oil free) products and correct skincare routine plays a big part in preventing and treating pimples.
➢ Incorporating an oil free moisturiser with vitamin A can effectively reduce skin inflammation and prevent the formation of new pimples.
➢ Although twice daily skin cleansing is necessary, too much cleansing can result in more oil production by the oil glands.
➢ Be careful when choosing your cosmetic products as heavy and greasy makeup can block the pores and aggravate your skin condition.
➢ Make sure to remove your make-up before going to bed. Sleeping with your makeup on could not only cause pimples and blackheads, it may also cause premature aging.
➢ Regular exfoliation with exfoliating gloves can inhibit the formation of blackheads and blemishes by keeping the skin pores free of blockages.
➢ Although there has not been a lot of research to prove the link between food and pimples, it’s better to avoid fast foods because of their high sugar levels and fat content.
It’s better to leave a pimple to heal on its own without popping because if you don’t squeeze it properly, the bacteria may splatter which may cause it to get inside other pores and cause more pimples to develop. Also, if you don’t extract the pimples correctly and completely, you may force the bacteria deeper inside the pores and aggravate the pimples which results in more swelling and infection, and increases the chance of scarring as well.
If you really want to extract a pimple it’s better to get help from a dermatologist or a well-trained therapist who knows how to pop it properly.
If you are going to pop it by yourself, it’s really important to do it in the correct way.
How to squeeze a pimple?
- Don’t squeeze it too early. Your pimple is ready to be drained when it doesn’t look too red and inflamed and when it has developed a white head.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap or wear disposable gloves.
- A warm compress before squeezing prepares the blockage so it pops much more easily. Use a cotton pad that has been soaked in hot water and hold it on the pimple for a minute and repeat for a few times if needed.
- Use alcohol swap to sterilise the area and then pierce the pimple parallel to the skin with a sterilised needle and then rip the skin upward. This will cause no pain.
- Wrap a tissue around your index fingers, or use cotton pads. Place your fingers on the opposite sides of the pimple and gently squeeze the pimple from the sides not on the top. Squeeze or push for a second then move your fingers around and repeat to avoid too much pressure being applied from one area.
- Push carefully until the pus comes out from the pore completely. As soon as blood comes out when you apply more pressure, it’s time to Stop! If the pus doesn’t come out easily, the pimple is not ready to be popped. Stop!
- Sterilise the blemish with an alcohol swab or an anti-bacterial ointment to avoid any infection. The treated area should be cared for by gently washing it with your cleanser and water without scrubbing or rubbing for a few days until your skin heals completely.
How to get rid of pimples?
Topical retinoids such as isotretinoin and tretinoin are used to treat more severe form of pimples known as acne. Isotretinoin increases skin shedding and regulates the cebaceause glands activity. It reduces pimples and acne breakouts by preventing dead skin cells from clogging the pores and helps fight the formation of acne scars.
AHA creams and skin peels
AHA creams and Medical peels, specifically salicylic acid are very effective in treating skin inflammation and helps break down the pimples and normalises the sebaceous glands’ activity. It penetrates deeply inside the pores and kills the bacteria responsible for breakouts. Temporary skin redness and dryness are possible side effects.
Light source treatments such as laser, intense pulsed light or variable pulsed light are one of the most effective and safe treatment options for acne and breakouts. Emitting visible light in the range of 420-950 nm to the skin creates singlet oxygen that has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects which result in less pimples and less skin inflammation. The only side effect of laser treatment is skin redness for a short period.
Pimples and break-outs are multi-factorial; skin condition and many things in our daily life such as cosmetic products, stress, pollution, climate change, skincare routine, even foods (specifically high-sugar foods and dairy products) can aggravate the symptoms and cause more pimples to develop. Triggers may be different for every individual so it’s very important to keep track of the things that affect your skin condition.