Lets talk pimples! Everyone at one point will have had 'pimples', especially in their adolescent years. They are unpleasant and very much not welcomed. Unbalanced hormones, diet, personal hygiene, lifestyle, sleep cycle, stress etc are all factors of breakouts. They make us feel self-conscious, they often can be very tender and frustrating. Pimples are a result of over-production of oils leading to congestion in the sebaceous gland or infection caused by bacteria. These glands produce sebum which lubricates hair and skin. Sebum actually moisturises and protects your skin against friction. An over production of sebum on the other hand can lead to breakouts.
So what are the red bumps on your skin?
Pustules: Blisters filled with pus and cell debris and boy are they visible. These juicy little things are probably the ones you have to hold yourself back from popping.
Papules: These are the solid ones and very sore bumps on your skin, often red or very pink. No visible pus can be seen unlike pustules.
We can all definitely say that we have all squeezed and popped our pimples to try getting rid of them. As a matter of fact, this is a no no. Squeezing the pimple itself can push the congestion or bacteria deeper into the skin which can make the infection worse, leaving scars. The best thing to do is:
- Let it be, let your body’s enzyme work its magic and combat the pimple itself
- Thoroughly cleansing your face with the double cleansing method. This step will help balance your skin oils and balance the production of sebum
- Avoid touching your face, especially with dirty hands
- Avoid heavily processed foods or foods with a high glycemic index
If you’re really that impatient there are several treatments you can try:
Benzoyl peroxide works by suppressing the acne-causing bacteria by peeling and drying out the skin. Apply only to troubled areas
Drying lotions are great to prevent the spread and formation of pimples and balances the skins oil. Apply only to troubled areas
Tea tree oil
Tea Tree clear spot oil is known to reduce inflammation and removes excess sebum. Application is very cooling and effective. Apply only to troubled areas
Hydrocolloid are commonly used in the medical field for patients who have had abdominal or sternal procedures. It provides an insulating healing environment for ‘wounds’ which allows the body’s enzymes to heal ‘wounds’. Pimple patches are hydrocolloid patches that adhere to the skin filled with ingredients that help combat pimples. COSRX's Pimple patches draw out pus and impurities and keep the area moisturised. The patches are opaque, when it has drawn content away from your skin the patch will turn white. Patches will only work efficiently if the pustules are broken.
Washing your hair
Yes! When you’re rocking that greasy bun, the sebum from your hair transfers to your face leading to breakouts. Especially if you notice them in your hairline. Although washing your hair daily is not advised but find a silver lining that helps to keep your skin clear but also maintaining the health of your hair. For me, that’s every third day, when my bangs are too greasy to even bother styling.
Exfoliation / Exfoliating toners
Exfoliation removes dead skin that did not ‘shed’, so your pores do not become congested leading to breakouts. A deep exfoliation using BHAs can help clean out pores and minimise breakouts.
Oral drug therapy
Antibiotics can be prescribed to treat acne like Doxycycline. Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections. Oral contraception can help with the balancing of hormones and have keep acne under control.
The aforementioned are in no way advice by a professional but rather a discussion of a topic, please consult a physician. These methods may not be suitable for your skin type or may react to ingredients you may be using. It’s all “trial and error” until you find a solution that works for you. Whatever you choose to do, remember that everyone gets pimples now and then. The Best thing you can do is to love your skin and continue to take steps to prevent further breakouts. Whatever method you choose, be consistent and find a solution that works for your skin.