Pimples: How Long Do They Last and How Can You Manage Them?

In the United States, acne is the most common skin condition that affects around 50 million Americans every year. [1] Acne usually begins when a person hits puberty and continues until adolescence. The condition can shatter confidence and make acne sufferers feel worthless.

In this blog, we will take you through the different types of pimples that you should be aware of and how you can manage this condition.  
Let’s get started.

 

The Different Types of Pimples

 




There are many different types of pimples or acne. Not everyone has the same skin and hence, acne does not affect everyone in the same manner. Let's look at some common acne types [2]:


1. Papules



Papules are round, raised surfaces formed by skin tissue. They are mainly caused by the oil, dirt and bacteria trapped inside our pores. The clogged pores cause our hair follicles to become inflamed. Papule formation can also be triggered by too much sugar consumption, stress and certain medications.


2. Comedones


Small skin-colored bumps found near the forehead and chin are called comedones. Most comedones are invisible to the naked eye and are referred to as microcomedones. Slightly larger comedones are called blackheads [3], which form when sebum in pores reacts with the air and oxidizes. Giant comedones are called whiteheads, which are flesh-colored and have closed surfaces.


3. Pustules


Pustules are small bumps that contain pus or fluid. They look like white bumps that are surrounded by red skin. Most papules turn into pustules if not cared for. Although they can appear on any part of the body, pustules are more common on the face, chest and back.


4. Nodules


Nodules are formed by abnormal growth of the skin tissue. They develop inside the skin and can even penetrate deeper, affecting our organs. Also referred to as enlarged lymph nodes, nodules are painful and occur mainly in the armpits, groin area, lungs, forehead and neck.


5. Cysts


The most severe type of acne is cystic acne. Cysts form when nodules get filled up with pus and liquid. They look similar to boils and occur most commonly near the jaw and around the chin. They are extremely painful. You must head over to a dermatologist right away if you develop cystic acne.

 

How Long Does a Pimple Last?


It really depends on the size and type of pimples you have. Most small lesions disappear in a few days. Some pimples, for instance, cystic acne, can take as long as six weeks to disappear. It also depends on the care you provide. If you pop your pimples, they can linger around for weeks and can scar your skin.

It usually takes 4 to 6 weeks for a pimple to disappear. [4] However, the process can take longer if you have dehydrated skin or pimples with infections. If you are a smoker or are malnourished, pimples can take a longer time to disappear.

Never ever pick on your pimple or try to pop it. Doing so can create a wound or scar that will last longer than your pimple would have.
Most comedones, however, do not disappear like most pimples. Blackheads and whiteheads are rooted in the flesh and shed off when your dead skin cells do after a full cell turnover cycle.

If you have multiple pimples appearing and disappearing simultaneously, it can take you up to 2 to 3 months before your face gets entirely clear.

 

Conclusion

We hope you found the information provided in this blog about types of pimples and managing them useful. The more you know about your skin condition, the better you will be able to take care of it. But remember, your skin condition does not define you. It’s who you are on the inside that matters the most.

 

References

1. Bickers DR, Lim HW, Margolis D, Weinstock MA, Goodman C, Faulkner E et al. The burden of skin diseases: 2004 a joint project of the American Academy of Dermatology Association and the Society for Investigative Dermatology. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 2006; 55:490-500. 


2. HOW TO TREAT DIFFERENT TYPES OF ACNE. American Academy of Dermatology Association.

3. MACAELA MACKENZIE. ACNE 101 What Are Blackheads Actually Made of, and WTF Comes Out When You Extract Them? April 27, 2018.

4. Science Becomes Her. SKINCARE. How Long do Pimples Last? 11 Ingredients To Get Rid Of Them Fast. June 18, 2020.

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