Do you have a few pimples that you are trying desperately trying to get rid of? You are not alone… Millions of people in the United States suffer from these pesky little bumps. In this article, we show you the steps you can take to effectively get rid of them and keep them at bay.
What are pimples?
A pimple is a skin disorder. There are several types of pimples such as acne pimples, boils, or chickenpox pimples. A pimple manifests itself as a point swelling that can be pink, red, or black, and of varying size.
Types of pimples
An abscess is an accumulation of pus linked to a bacterial infection that is pushing back up the tissues in its periphery.
When the skin is infected with bacteria, the immune system then tries to fight the infection and sends white blood cells to the affected area. The tissue dies, which forms a hollow that fills with pus, known as an abscess.
Red pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, pustules, comedones, and cysts are acne pimples.
Acne is a skin disease characterized by the presence of at least one of the pimples mentioned. The areas most affected by acne pimples are the face, chest, back, torso, and sometimes even the scalp.
There are three types of acne depending on its intensity: minor, medium, and severe.
Acne mainly occurs during puberty, during a hormonal surge during which the sebaceous glands produce more sebum, which promotes the growth of bacteria and the appearance of pimples.
Acne can also appear during hormonal fluctuations in women, most of the time just before the onset of menstruation, or when there is a problem with the functioning of the ovaries or adrenal glands.
Heat rashes appear usually during the hot months of the year. They are usually pink or pale red in color, small in size, and itchy. They often appear in areas of the body where sweating is heavy.
The sweat cannot be evacuated by the usual excretory ducts, then passes into the dermis and the epidermis. This poorly evacuated perspiration promotes pimples.
Cold sores are a recurrent and contagious skin condition caused by a viral infection. They are indeed caused by the “herpes simplex” virus which has been present in the body since infection often contracted during childhood.
The virus sometimes reactivates itself and causes the cold sore to appear, which usually appears on the lips. It mainly lasts 7-10 days.
Chickenpox pimples are water-filled blisters that can appear all over the body. They are reddish in appearance and are usually itchy.
Adults who have never had chickenpox can contract the virus, but more seriously than in children.
Pimples are caused by the contagious chickenpox virus known as the “varicella-zoster” virus.
Boils are an infection deep in the root of the hair follicles and appear most of the time on the face, shoulders, neck, thighs, and buttocks. They appear in the form of a hard and painful red pimple on the root level of a hair, then fill with pus, burst open after a few days, and then heal.
Young men and adolescents are the most affected because of their oily skin at this age which promotes the development of bacteria.
Boils are caused by a bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus in the vast majority of cases. Heavy sweating, lack of hygiene, and contact with a person with a boil and a carrier of a staphylococcus would promote the development of the boil. Usually, it lasts 5-10 days.
Insect bites can be caused by various insects such as mosquitoes, wasps, ticks, fleas, or even spiders. These are skin lesions that can appear in different forms depending on the insect involved.
How to get rid of pimples
1. Clean your face adequately
The first thing you should do to get rid of pimples and keep them away is to maintain your face clean. Indeed, during the day, and even while you sleep, your face is picking up dirt and irritating elements from the environment. Furthermore, dead cells also accumulate on your skin by the millions.
These impurities, if not removed, will create a breeding ground for bacteria to grow and irate your skin, resulting in all kinds of pimples.
Therefore, make sure to wash your face regularly, especially in the morning after you wake up and at night after a long day out.
However, keep in mind not to overdo it. Washing your face too often or too roughly can dry out the skin and promote even more pimples.
2. Adopt a healthy diet
Healthy and beautiful skin starts with a healthy diet. We are what we eat, the saying goes. Indeed, a varied and balanced diet is essential for healthy skin.
Certain nutrients are particularly important for the suppleness and hydration of your skin. Among these, we find:
- Proteins, which ensure the synthesis of the various fibers that make up the skin, such as collagen. We find proteins in fish, meats, dairy products, legumes, and whole grains.
- Essential fatty acids, which participate in the construction of the various cells that make up the skin. They are present in vegetable and fish oils.
- Vitamin A, necessary for the regeneration of skin tissue. It is particularly concentrated in certain foods of animal origin: fish, fish oils, organ meats, cheese, milk, and butter (to be consumed in small quantities). Beta-carotene, essential for the assimilation of vitamin A by the body (precursor of vitamin A) is provided by red and orange fruits and vegetables (carrot, tomato, pumpkin, apricot, melon, mango, etc.), dark green leafy vegetables (watercress, cabbage, spinach, lettuce, etc.), egg yolk, salmon, shrimp, chicken.
- Vitamins B1 and B2, B6, and vitamin C, which play a major role in the maintenance and healing of skin tissue. The main sources of vitamin B1 include whole grains, citrus fruits, legumes, offal, pork. Foods rich in vitamin B2 include organ meats, eggs, pork, semi-skimmed and whole milk, whole grains, cereals, or muesli for breakfast enriched with vitamins, poultry, game, fish. The best sources of vitamin B6: fish, poultry, cereals, game, offal.
- Vegetables and fruits rich in vitamin C: pepper, fennel, broccoli, cabbage, strawberry, mango, kiwi, orange, grapefruit.
- Vitamin E, an antioxidant, protects our cells from premature aging caused by the production of free radicals. It is contained in hazelnuts, almonds, vegetable oils, wheat germ, whole grains, fatty fish, butter (to be consumed in small quantities).
- Zinc participates in the maintenance of the immune defenses of the skin and contributes to limit the effects of oxidative stress.
3. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise strengthens the entire body and improves blood circulation. Even the tiniest capillaries (tiny blood vessels in the skin) receive more blood when the heart pumps harder. The skin appears rosier and more youthful, and the body’s immune system is boosted as a result. Inflammation, common in acne-prone skin, heals more quickly and occurs less frequently.
Exercising regularly also has an effect on the aging process in general and on the skin in particular. The practice of a sport brings elasticity and firmness to the skin.
Exercising also makes us sweat; the pores open up and excess sebum and dirt or impurities are naturally removed.
To benefit from this detoxification and in particular the anti-pimple effect, it is imperative to wash after a session.
4. Exfoliate your skin
Exfoliating your skin allows you to obtain a luminous complexion, supple and velvety skin, and an epidermis free of dead cells. Indeed, throughout its life, the skin regenerates itself. In this process, the cells die off and are replaced with new ones. This is where the scrub comes in. The exfoliant helps remove dead skin cells for deep cleansing.
Exfoliating your skin once in a while will give your complexion a boost of radiance It helps unclog the pores and promote the evacuation of sebum. It is also of great help to fight against small irregularities in the epidermis.
Exfoliating your skin is also ideal for preparing the skin for the application of a nourishing, moisturizing, or cleansing treatment.
5. Remove makeup
After a long day at work or after going out with your girlfriends, it may be tempting to go to sleep with your makeup on. But are you aware of what is going on with your face when you sleep with makeup on?
As you go about your business during the day, dirt accumulates on your skin and makeup. This can be dust, but also bacteria, pollen, dirt in the air, and more clutter. If you don’t take your makeup off and wash your face thoroughly before going to sleep, your skin won’t be able to perform its recovery functions.
The layer of makeup makes it more difficult for your skin to breathe. After all, your pores are covered under a layer of makeup, with a layer of the filth of the day on top. If this ends up in the pores, you will most likely get a pimple.
6. Drink water
Because water makes up more than 30% of our skin, its contribution is critical to maintaining its turgor and suppleness. When skin is dry, it takes longer to return to its original position after being stretched, and it is more prone to acne and pimples.
The body loses water mostly through the kidneys in the form of urine and perspiration through the pores of the skin. It is, therefore, necessary to drink an adequate amount of water daily. Without this daily dosage, the skin’s natural barrier function is compromised, and it loses its suppleness.
In addition, we must drink enough water and use moisturizing formulations that penetrate within the cells for the skin to absorb the benefits of water both inside and outside. Our skin will seem healthy and bright, and you will be able to get rid of your pimples by following these two simple methods.
7. Do not pop them
The normal reflex when it comes to pimples is to squeeze them out. But that’s a terrible idea. Pimples are in fact small inflammations of the skin around your sebaceous glands. When you squeeze them, you are inflaming the area even more. Furthermore, by putting your hands on them, you risk bringing bacteria into the equation, which will make the problem worse.
In addition, you will also damage the skin around your pimples with your nails. If the bacteria – which are under your nails – pull into this damaged skin, your pimples will get worse.
There is also a good chance that you will cause scars with the squeezing of your pimples. In fact, when you press your pimples, you are essentially opening a small round into a larger one. Because of this you often see some blood coming along. Scars are usually permanent and make your skin look impure.
8. Keep your skin moisturized
A moisturized skin is also beneficial in the fight against pimples. You may keep your skin moisturized by using an over-the-counter moisturizing lotion from your local drugstore.
When the skin is properly fed, it produces less sebum to compensate for specific nutrients, and the likelihood of pimples is reduced. Always use mild cleansing products that are free of alcohol, soap, and scent. Aggressive skincare products will cause your skin to generate more sebum, clog your pores, and you’ll be back to square one.
9. Use aloe vera to nourish and protect your skin
Aloe vera is packed with vitamins A, C, and E: and these vitamins help cure insect bites, minor burns, and sun damage. They also help neutralize free radicals, giving aloe vera gel an anti-aging effect.
The small concentration of anthraquinone that you find in aloe vera also has an analgesic effect.
In addition, aloe vera stimulates collagen production (which decreases a bit as we age and results in lines and wrinkles) which in turn causes fewer new lines in the face!
There are also various sterols and polysaccharides in aloe vera: all of which have an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin, which causes acne, pimples, and other skin irritations to calm down faster.
10. Use lemon juice cautiously
Not only in the fight against pimples but also against acne, lemon juice has proven itself. Lemon kills the bacteria, dries out the pimple, and stimulates wound healing.
Lemons have an anti-inflammatory effect and kill bacteria, which is why they are often recommended when it comes to treating pimples or even acne.
On the skin, however, the lemon juice can also have a detrimental effect, because the acid is aggressive. Especially if you have sensitive skin, you should refrain from lemons against pimples. Other home remedies are better suited here, such as Baby powder.
But even those who do not actually have sensitive skin should only use the lemon juice carefully. It is better to use it only slightly on the site in question and dilute it.
If you have already pressed around the pimple and so, and it has already opened, lemon juice is not recommended. This can otherwise aggravate the inflammation.
11. Avoid touching your face too often
We touch everything without our hands and in doing so, pick up dirt, impurities, and bacteria without knowing. By touching our faces, we bring all that impurity to the already sensitive facial skin.
Try not to touch your skin unless you really have to. And if you do have to, wash your hands first.
12. Avoid stress
Stress can disrupt your metabolism: you sleep less well, your digestion deteriorates, you feel depressed and maybe quickly irritated and out of balance. And for many people it does not take long before the skin starts to show signs of this: your skin starts to itch, you get spots that quickly turn red and impurities arise.
It has long been known that emotional stress is linked to acne, but research shows that until recently, science underestimated the influence it can have on acne.
13. Clean your hair
Just like your face, your hair is constantly picking up dirt and impurities throughout the day. This dirt, added to the oil naturally produced by the hair and dandruff caused by dead skin cells, will create an irritating mixture for your skin.
This mixture can easily reach your face, especially if you have long hair touching your face.
Furthermore, unclean hair will dirty your pillows at night. Dirty pillows are one of the main causes of pimples.
Make sure to wash your hair regularly with a cleansing shampoo.
14. Avoid irritating products
In the event of a severe acne breakout, it may be tempting to use all possible and imaginable solutions to try and get rid of the problem. Unfortunately, this is the wrong tactic. Indeed, many current products aimed at fighting acne contain irritating substances, which can then lead to a vicious circle: dryness, irritation, and… new acne (pimple) outbreak.
Some products over-dry the skin, giving the impression of controlling the sebum, but to compensate, the biological system produces even more oil to restore the necessary balance. This development of an overproduction of oil is called the rebound effect, and together with the peeling of the skin caused by dryness, it increases the accumulation of acne, aggravating the infectious process and forming comedones.
In addition, several ingredients found in cleansing, correcting and moisturizing items are capable of clogging pores and hurting your face.
Getting rid of pimples requires adopting a healthy diet as well as changing some habits. While some products on the market might promise some miracle solution, they often end up making the situation worse. The goal is to keep your face clean and free of impurities. However, if the pimples are caused by a specific disease or health condition, make sure you talk to your doctor.
A journalism student at the University of Florida, Serena writes mostly about health and health-related subjects. On her time off, she enjoys binge-watching her favorite shows on Netflix or going on a weekend get-away.