How can I stop getting pimples on my face?

Pimples, and how to prevent them

Pimples appear when the sebaceous glands are overactive, and pores become irritated. Some kinds of skin germs also worsen pimples. Pimples can appear anywhere on the skin. However, they usually happen on the face. Because pimples are generally activated by androgen hormones and, sometimes, genes, there’s no guaranteed method to avoid them. Still, there are many approaches to reduce their intensity and keep them in check.

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What is a pimple?

A pimple is a small papule or a pustule. Pimples form when sebaceous (oil) glands get clogged up and infected, resulting in inflamed, red lesions filled with pus. Also referred to as zits or spots, they are all part of acne. They mostly appear around adolescence but not limited to that age period.During puberty, there are hormonal changes that take place. This can cause sebaceous glands to produce excess oil. Hence, the reason why pimples usually appear in the teenage years and around menstruation, for women. Pimples frequently affect the face, shoulders, chest, and back. These areas have many sebaceous glands that is why they are prone to pimples. Acne vulgaris, the main reason for pimples, impacts over 80 percent of teenagers. After the age of 25 years, it impacts 3 percent of males and 12 percent of ladies.

Types of pimples

There are numerous different types of pimples. The different types have different characteristics.

Whiteheads

These are little pimples that remain under the skin and hence referred to as closed comedo. They look like a little, flesh-colored papule.

Blackheads

These are clearly noticeable on the surface of the skin and hence referred to as open comedo. They are dark brown or black, due to the oxidation of melanin.Some people mistakenly believe they are triggered by dirt, because of their color, and scrub their faces intensely. Not only does scrubbing not help, but it also may cause other problems by aggravating the skin. 

Papules

These are solid round bumps on the skin. They are frequently pink.

Pustules

These are pimples loaded with pus. They have a tip filled with pus and a red base. They can be clearly seen. 

Nodules

They are similar to papules but only bigger. They are sometimes painful because they form deep in the skin.

Cysts

Cysts are filled with pus and are unpleasant. Cysts frequently trigger scars. They can be clearly seen.

Why do pimples appear?

Causes of pimples

Pimples take place when pores get clogged with sebum and dead skin. In some cases, this causes infection and inflammation. It is still unknown why pimples affect some people more than others. 

The sebaceous glands and pimples

The sebaceous glands secrete sebum. Sebum or simply oil is a substance that oils the hair and skin. Sebaceous glands are found inside the pores of our skin, all over the body, except the palms and soles. The face and scalp are where most of the sebaceous glands are found. As the glands produce sebum inside the pores, new skin cells are continuously growing, and the external layers of skin are being shed. Often, dead skin cells are not shed. They remain in the pores and get stuck by the sticky sebum, causing a blockage in the pore. Pore clogging is most likely to occur during adolescence, as the sebaceous glands produce more sebum at this time.

Bacterial infection and pimples

Where sebum and dead skin cells collect and clog a pore, this encourages the development of germs, including the infamous Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), a slow-growing bacterium connected to acne. Propionibacterium acnes are found in our skin. They can rapidly reproduce when the conditions are right. This may become a problem. The slow-growing bacterium feeds off the sebum and produces a compound that causes an immune response. This causes skin inflammation and spots. Although pimples belong to bacterial infection, they are not infectious. You can not catch pimples from someone else.

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How to prevent pimples?

How do I stop pimples?

Wash your face properly to prevent pimples

To avoid pimples, it’s crucial to eliminate excess dirt, oil, and sweat daily. However, cleaning your face more than two or three times a day might worsen the situation.  Wash your face with cleansers that are alcohol-free and are not harsh.

How to wash your face for pimples and acne?
  • Wet your face with warm water. Do not use hot water.
  • Apply a mild cleanser in a circular movement. Use your fingers and not a washcloth.
  • Rinse properly, and pat your face dry.

Know the type of your skin to prevent pimples

Pimples can attack anyone, regardless of their skin type. However, oily skin is the most pimple-prone. This is because the sebaceous glands produce excessive oily sebum. Another kind of skin that may trigger pimples is combination skin. This means that your skin has both oily areas and dry areas. The oily areas tend to be the T-zone. That is, the forehead, nose, and chin. Knowing your skin type means you will pick the right skin care products. For instance, if your skin is oily, choose noncomedogenic products that are created not to block pores.

Moisturize your skin to prevent pimples

Moisturizers help the skin remain hydrated. But many moisturizers include oil, artificial fragrance, or other active ingredients that may aggravate skin leading to pimples. The best use of moisturizers is to first pick a noncomedogenic moisturizer that is fragrance-free. The use it when your skin feels dry or after a face wash. 

Use over-the-counter acne treatments

Over-the-counter (OTC) acne treatments might assist zap pimples quick or prevent them altogether. Many contain either sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, or salicylic acid. Use an OTC treatment to spot-treat pimples. Or use it to manage outbreaks. To help prevent side effects such as dryness, inflammation, or soreness, follow the instructions on the package. 

Stay hydrated to prevent pimples

If you’re dehydrated, your body produces more oil. Moreover, dehydration gives your skin a dull look and promotes redness and inflammation. You are advised to drink a minimum of eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. Drink more after a workout, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you hang around in a hot, humid environment.

Limit your makeup to prevent pimples

It’s tempting to use makeup to conceal pimples. However, doing so might block pores and set off breakouts. Avoid makeup when you can. When you do use makeup, avoid heavy foundations and oily products. Use makeup that is noncomedogenic and fragrance-free. Oily or greasy body washes, shaving creams, shampoos, and hair styling items might all trigger pimples. To avoid outbreaks, go for oil-free, noncomedogenic choices.

Avoid touching your face to prevent pimples

Your hands come across bacteria continuously throughout the day. And each time you touch your face, a few of those pore-clogging impurities might get transferred to your skin. It does not mean you cannot scratch an itchy spot on the face. But clean your hands regularly, and try to touch your face only when necessary. 

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Limit exposure to direct sunlight to prevent pimples

Catching some rays may dry pimples in the short term, but it triggers major issues in the long run. Frequent direct exposure to the sun dehydrates the skin, which gradually triggers it to produce more oil and block pores. Wearing sunscreen is important. However, many sunblocks are oily. You need to select a sunscreen that is noncomedogenic and oil-free.

To prevent more pimples, do not pick the pimples

It is tempting to try to get rid of that large pimple on your face by squeezing it, do not do it! Popping pimples may trigger bleeding, extreme scarring, or infection. It might also increase inflammation and clog surrounding pores, making your pimple issue worse.

Use tea tree oil to prevent pimples

Tea tree oil is a popular folk treatment for pimples. It can reduce the number of inflamed and non-inflamed lesions.

To use tea tree oil for pimples: Apply a couple drops to the swollen area. You can incorporate tea tree oil in your everyday moisturizer or cleanser. Just add a few drops. You should remember to do a patch test before using tea tree oil. This is to see if it reacts with your skin. Apply a couple of drops under your arm and wait for some hours. If there is inflammation, then you are to dilute the oil in the 50:50 ratio. 

Use antibiotics to prevent pimples

Prescription antibiotics help in reducing inflammation and germs on the skin.Prescription antibiotics are often recommended. They may be used topically to your skin or taken by mouth. Those taken by mouth are generally the last resort for individuals whose acne is severe or does not react to other treatments. Long-lasting antibiotic use may lead to antibiotic resistance. If your doctor recommends antibiotic therapy for pimples, ensure you speak to them about the risks involved.

Apply French green clay for pimples

French green clay is a mineral-rich clay with healing capabilities. French green clay has potent anti-bacterial properties. It helps extract impurities, reduce inflammation, and soak up excess oil that may lead to pimples. French green clay is offered in a powder form that can be used to make a face mask when mixed with water. You can also add other skin-soothing active ingredients such as honey or yogurt.

Avoid certain foods to prevent pimples

A study revealed that eating a high glycemic diet might cause acne. High glycemic foods and drinks such as baked items made with white flour, sodas, chips spike blood sugar levels and are typically less healthy than low glycemic foods. The study likewise found eating dairy might set off pimples.

Reduce stress to prevent pimples

Stress doesn’t cause pimples, but it may worsen. Research has revealed that when you’re stressed, your body produces more oil-stimulating hormones. Some options to help you with stress are:

  • massage
  • yoga
  • meditation
  • aromatherapy
  • journaling

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Managing pimples

Most of the methods to avoid pimples still apply when managing them. For instance, reducing stress, avoiding picking the pimples, and eating right. All these will help to manage them and reducing the time they appear on your face. If you have bad acne despite taking actions to prevent it, you may require a prescription-strength treatment such as:

  • Topical retinoids (stemmed from vitamin A) to help prevent blocked pores
  • Contraceptive pills or antiandrogen agents. These help to reduce hormones that increase the production of sebum.
  • Oral isotretinoin (Accutane), a retinoid that assists prevent clogged up pores, and minimizes inflammation, sebum production, and skin bacteria

Prescription-strength treatments might trigger side effects. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages with your skin specialist to figure out which treatment is best for you.

The conclusion on preventing pimples

Everyone gets pimples now and then. Lots of things might trigger pimples, such as hormones, genetics, diet, and stress. Some medications may even set off breakouts.Pimples can be annoying at best. However, at their worst, they might trigger anxiety, serious stress, and permanent scarring. Prevention efforts might help. However, they aren’t foolproof.Whatever pimple prevention strategy you pick, patience and consistency are key. A dab of benzoyl peroxide may diminish a single pimple overnight. However, a lot of the treatments take several weeks to produce the desired results.

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