A pimple is a type of spot or sore which appears during an acne outbreak. Pimples are often known as ‘zits’. They are small inflamed lesions which contain dead skin cells and bacteria and develop due to excess production of oil or sebum from the sebaceous glands. This excess production blocks the skin pores, leading to greasy, inflamed skin and pimples.

Pimples along with other visible signs of this skin condition are discussed in more detail in our acne section.

Types of acne spots

People assume that acne is a collection of pimples only. But acne is in fact, a mixture of different types of spots which occur during an outbreak. The extent and types of spots that develop depend upon the volume of sebum which flows from the sebaceous glands onto the skin. Everyone is different in the amount of sebum they produce and the greater the volume the worse your acne symptoms will be.

Mild and moderate forms of acne result in the formation of pimples, blackheads and whiteheads.

Severe forms of acne occur when the sebum combines with naturally occurring bacteria which triggers a reaction from the immune system. This reaction worsens the existing crop of acne spots, which become larger, inflamed and pus filled, not to mention painful as well. These spots then turn into nodules and cysts which can cause scarring.

Do not pop pimples

Some pimples contain pus, caused by bacteria, which if scratched or picked will only push these deeper into the skin causing further inflammation. It can also lead to scarring.

So don’t pop a pimple. It will clear up on its own or apply a special acne cream to the infected area. But avoid picking or squeezing as this only makes things worse.