Pimples are a result of blockage of pores due to excess oil secretion secondary to hormonal changes. This blockage is visible as black heads and white heads. Subsequently, bacteria (Propionobacterium acnes) proliferates in the oil secretions inside the blocked pores leading to reddish and pus filled pimples.

Pimples are aggravated by applying cosmetic creams, sunscreens, moisturizers and oils as they lead to further blockage of pores. Hot, humid climate increases oil secretion and blockage and worsens pimples. There are also certain medications which can cause or aggravate pimples. Pimples can lead to ugly dark spots and scars that can badly affect the appearance of the face. Early treatment of pimples can prevent these dark spots and scars.

The treatment of pimples depends on the severity and type of pimples. Mild pimples are treated with creams that unblock the pores, reduce oil secretion and those that kill the pimple causing bacteria. Moderately severe pimples need oral tablets to kill the bacteria in addition to creams. Oral retinoid therapy is reserved for severe pimples with scarring. Dark spots following pimples are best treated by chemical peels (Glycolic acid peels and salicylic).

General precautions include

  1. Washing face with a gentle soap regularly to remove excess oil without making the face dry. Excessive washing and scrubbing is not necessary and can irritate the skin and make pimples worse. “You cannot wash pimples away”.
  2. All kinds of cosmetics, moisturizers, sunscreens should be avoided. If cosmetics have to be used, oil-free cosmetics with a ‘non-comedogenic’ labelling should be used.
  3. Cosmetics should be washed away at night or at the earliest with a gentle soap.
  4. Squeezing, pricking of pimples should be avoided to prevent aggravation, scarring and darkening.
  5. Avoid over-exposure to sunlight. The sun’s ultraviolet rays can increase inflammation and redness.
  6. Working out regularly can do both physical and mental good, and that includes the skin. It helps boost blood flow through the body and keeps anxiety at bay.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please write them in the comments section below. One of our Doctors would be happy to answer them.

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