Pimples are irritated, raised skin pores that may be filled with white or yellow pus. They can develop on the surface of the skin or as hard cysts underneath the skin. Pimples can form when bacteria is present on the skin, causing pores to become inflamed. Pores can also become blocked with excessive dry skin flakes or oil and result in pimples. The condition can range from mild to severe, but is curable.
There are various factors that may make you more likely to get pimples, such as genetics, stress, hormones, or reactions to medications. To get rid of pimples and prevent more from forming, keep your face clean so bacteria doesn’t build up. Twice a day, use a facial cleanser labeled as mild, since washing your face excessively or using harsh cleansers may make pimples more irritated. If you have pimples on your body, you can use a body cleanser that contains antibacterial ingredients because the skin isn’t as sensitive as your face.
Washing is typically not enough to get rid of pimples, so select topical medications to apply onto pimples. Most over the counter products contain two main ingredients: benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. These ingredients treat bacteria, as well as dry up excessive oil and get rid of extra skin cells that block pores, but may cause redness or dry skin. Apply the products directly onto any pimples, as well as the surrounding area to keep additional pimples from developing.
If you have a more severe case of pimples that you can’t get rid of at home, a dermatologist can prescribe antibiotics. Moderate pimples usually require a topical antibiotic cream or gel, but a dermatologist may prescribe antibiotic pills to get rid of pimples that are more stubborn. If you have extremely painful pimples that do not respond to any other treatment, you can get a prescription for isotretinoin, a medication taken orally that limits oil production; however, it can have serious side effects, such as painful skin cracking, depression, or birth defects.
Once you get rid of pimples, there are preventative measures you can take to ensure they don’t return. If you wear makeup, select products that are labeled noncomedogenic or nonacnegenic because they may be less likely to irritate skin. Powdered makeup may also be gentler on your skin than heavy liquids or creams, plus they won’t block up your pores as much. Makeup should be washed off before you go to bed to prevent pores from clogging and forming pimples.
Take extra measures to keep your skin bacteria-free by only using clean washcloths, towels, or pillowcases. Phones can also be covered with bacteria and may rub off on the side of your face, so wipe down your phone with an antibacterial cloth. Pimples can also be caused from the bacteria on your hands when you touch your face, so keep your hands clean and avoid touching your face, especially any areas where you tend to get pimples.