Get rid of pimples!

Published on: 13/08/2021

Why do we get pimples? And how can you get rid of them? Read on to know the safe and simple ways to answer these questions.

When an unsightly, pus-filled pimple appears, we are all compelled to Google one thing: how to get rid of it. Most of the time, we can be caught up with popping and spot-treating these breakouts that we scarcely pause to consider what a pimple is.

What are pimples and how do they form?

The term "pimple" refers to a small pustule or papule. When our oil glands (also known as sebaceous glands), become clogged and infected, pimples form — resulting in swollen, red, and pus-filled lesions.

Pimples, also known as spots or zits, are essentially just a form of acne. They are most common during puberty but can occur at any age.

During puberty, there are several changes in the body’s hormone production. This may result in an increase in the activity of the sebaceous glands located at the base of hair follicles. This is also the reason why pimples are most common in women during their adolescent years and during menstruation.

The most common areas affected by pimples are the face, shoulders, back, and stomach. This is because these regions of skin have a high concentration of sebaceous glands.

About 80% of adolescents suffer from acne vulgaris, the primary cause of pimples. After the age of 25, it only affects 3% of men and 12% of women.

How to Prevent Pimples

Due to the fact that pimples are typically caused by androgen hormones and, in some cases, genetics, there is no foolproof way to avoid them. Nonetheless, there are many ways to reduce the possibility of breakouts. Here are some of them:

Identify your skin type

Anyone, regardless of their skin type, may develop pimples. Nonetheless, it’s still important to understand the characteristics of your own skin in order to find the best preventive options for pimples. 

Oily skin is the most susceptible to breakouts. It’s especially triggered because your skin's sebaceous glands produce an excessive amount of oily sebum. Combination skin is another form of skin that may result in pimples. This skin type is characterized by both dry and oily patches. The oiliest regions of the face are usually the forehead, nose, and chin collectively referred to as the T-zone.

Cleanse your face properly

To prevent pimples, it's important to wash your face every day in order to remove excess oil, dirt, and sweat. However, keep in mind that washing your face more than twice a day can also aggravate acne. As such, avoid using harsh cleansers that dry out the skin, and if possible, use an alcohol-free cleanser.

Moisturize skin and keep yourself hydrated

To keep your skin hydrated, use a moisturizer. However, bear in mind that there are moisturizers that contain synthetic fragrances, oils, or other ingredients that can irritate the skin and further contribute to pimple formation. Make sure to choose fragrance-free, noncomedogenic moisturizers and apply them after washing your face or if your skin feels dry to help avoid pimples.

In addition, make sure that you are drinking at least eight glasses of water a day to keep the body hydrated. If you're pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you spend time in a hot, humid setting, drink more water after exercise.

This is essential because if you are dehydrated, your body can send a signal to the oil glands in your skin to produce more oil. Additionally, dehydration dulls the color of the skin and causes inflammation and redness.

Avoid high glycemic foods

Studies suggest that a high-glycemic diet can cause acne. It was also found that a low glycemic-index diet was linked to lower levels of insulin in the blood, lower levels of androgen, and a lower risk of acne. Food and beverages such as chips, baked goods made with white flour, and soft drinks have a high glycemic index. Interestingly, the study also discovered that consuming dairy products may cause pimples.

Reduce stress

While stress does not cause pimples, it can be a factor to aggravate them. Research from the American Academy of Dermatology has shown that when you're stressed, the body releases more oil-stimulating hormones that can cause pimples. To help manage stress, you can try aromatherapy, massage, yoga, meditation, or journaling. 

Ultimately, each one of us gets pimples from time to time. Whichever acne prevention method you select, discipline, and consistency are essential. If you already have a pimple, a dab of benzoyl peroxide may help shrink this overnight, but keep in mind that most treatments take several weeks to show visible results.