Acne: What causes pimples? How can you relieve the symptoms?


Acne is a skin ailment caused by the excessive production of sebum. It is a greasy matter produced by the sebaceous glands. Moreover, this skin disease can cause whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples to form on the skin. In the absence of a proper remedy for zits, you may have scars. The symptoms of acne include the following-

  • Occasional redness, swelling, itching, or irritation on the face
  • Mild to severe blackheads and whiteheads on the face
  • Bumps around the mouth and nose filled with pus

What causes pimples?

Several factors can result in causing this skin disease. However, the main cause appears to be genetics. Another factor that contributes heavily to the condition is hormone levels. Hormones are also the most likely reason why most males are afflicted with acne well after puberty, albeit in a less pronounced way than females. Other factors include-

  • Medications
  • Damage to the skin barrier
  • Reactions to skin creams and lotions
  • Skin sensitivities
  • Environmental pollutants or dirt
  • Bacterial infections, caused by zit-promoting bacteria called P. acnes

It is significant to understand that not all cases are identical in terms of severity. Moreover, different kinds of acne lesions require different types of acne treatment. Blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts mark acne vulgaris, the most common type of pimples.

What are the types of zits?

  • Blackheads

Blackheads are a type of acne. They form when pores become clogged with sebum and dead skin cells. Moreover, the blackhead appears as a dark spot on the skin surface.

The main cause of blackheads is overactive sebaceous glands (oil glands). Sebum is the oil our skin produces to keep it smooth and supple. Usually, the body absorbs most of this sebum. However, sometimes not all of the oil is re-absorbed. The excess sebum builds up in the opening of a hair follicle (pore) under the skin surface and oxidizes, turning brown. It forms a blackhead.

  • Whiteheads

Whiteheads are a mild form of zits. They occur when the pore opening is partially blocked and filled with sebum and dead skin cells. However, the top stays open to the air. Here, it oxidizes and makes the pore turn white. You can look for an effective remedy for pimples if symptoms trouble you.

  • Papules

Papules are small raised bumps on the skin. They can be pink, red, white, or brown. Moreover, most people consider papules as moles or birthmarks. Papules may also appear less conspicuous by other conditions. Furthermore, these conditions may include acne, eczema, or psoriasis.

  • Pustules

Pustules are small raised bumps that contain pus, colloquially known as spots. They tend to be the same colour as the skin. Moreover, they generally appear over a week or two. Like papules, they can sometimes be mistaken for moles or birthmarks. However, they vary in their appearance. They are shinier than papules since they contain pus rather than just oil.

  • Cysts

A cyst is a type of inflammatory acne. Moreover, it is the most severe type of acne vulgaris. Cysts can occur anywhere on the body. However, you may often see them on the face, neck, and scalp. Cystic lesions look similar to cysts that form under your skin when you have ingrown hair. However, they are red, painful instead of silvery-white, and painless. These types of pimples can turn severe. Therefore, taking remedy for zits on time is crucial.

  • Nodules

Nodules are also a type of inflammatory acne lesion. However, they differ from cysts. They are smaller (1 to 5 millimetres in diameter) and rough. In addition, they also tend to cause more damage to the skin than cysts do. Nodules typically form on the chest, back, or shoulders. Nevertheless, they can take place anywhere on the body. These lesions are deep within the skin. Moreover, they can cause pain, redness, and tenderness.

What are the effective treatments for zits?

There are varieties of effective remedies for acne They may range from over-the-counter medications to prescription drugs. Nevertheless, some of the most familiar treatments comprise-

Benzoyl peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is a common over-the-counter treatment for zits. It comes in the form of a gel, cream, or lotion. This treatment helps reduce the amount of pimple-causing bacteria on the skin. Moreover, it also promotes the peeling of dead skin cells.

Oral antibiotics

Doctors generally prescribe using oral antibiotics in combination with a topical retinoid or benzoyl peroxide. They work by inhibiting the growth of certain skin bacteria that contribute to acne formation. In addition, your doctor may also prescribe one of several different antibiotics. They may include erythromycin and tetracycline.

Topical retinoids

Retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A. They unclog pores and help with your healing. Moreover, retinoids reduce the amount of sebum produced by the skin. They are available in a prescription form or over-the-counter and include products such as the following-

  • Tretinoin (Retin-A)
  • Adapalene (Differin)
  • Tazarotene (Tazorac)

Isotretinoin is a powerful prescription medication sometimes used to treat severe cases of pimples. It helps reduce the amount of sebum produced by the skin and unclogs pores. However, it can also lead to severe aftereffects. For that reason, you should only consider it as the end choice.

Can home remedies help?

There are many home remedies for acne that may be effective in mild cases. However, some effective ones include-

Tea tree oil

This natural remedy has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. These characteristics may help reduce pimples. However, you can apply it directly to the skin or add it to a bath.


Honey has natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties. These features may diminish the severity of acne. It can be applied directly to the skin or used as a face mask.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is a well-working at-home remedy for zits. This plant has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce the redness and swelling associated with acne. However, It can be applied directly to the skin or used as a face mask.

Acne is a familiar skin disease that influences people of all ages. There is a variety of effective treatments available. They include both over-the-counter and prescription medications. However, some of the most common treatments include benzoyl peroxide, oral antibiotics, and topical retinoids. In severe cases, experts may also prescribe isotretinoin. Many home remedies may be effective in treating pimples.

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