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Acne Types

What is a Pimple? Know the Enemy, Defeat the Enemy

Girl holding magnifying glass to face showing pimples

What is a pimple… Isn’t that a silly question? We all know a pimple is simply a good-for-nothing pain in the ***.

But not so fast. The best way to defeat an enemy is to know all about it. So, if we know what a pimple is “made of” and how it forms, we can treat and prevent it much more easily.

And the anatomy of a pimple is actually sort-of interesting. Unfortunately it also points to the fact that there is actually a point to them (they’re an inflammatory reaction).

But that’s where your power is: Knowing what they are reacting to and exactly how they are reacting to it.

Let’s get on with it.

What is a pimple?

A pimple is an inflammatory response to an invasion of bacteria inside a pore.

The redness, swelling and tenderness of a zit are all symptoms of inflammation.

It becomes inflamed in response to the body attacking the bacteria, trying to prevent it from causing bad damage to surrounding tissues.

The Basics Of Skin

How a pimple forms is all about simple anatomy of the skin, once you know the basics it’s fairly obvious what pimples and acne are all about:

  • skin is covered in pores
  • sebum is pumped out to the skin’s surface from a gland in each pore
  • sebum travels up the hair, through the follicle opening and onto the surface of the skin to lubricate and protect
  • sebum is removed naturally by friendly bacteria on the surface of the skin (and daily cleansing)

How a Blocked Pore Happens

This can happen fairly easily when an excess of dead skin cells and sebum forms a plug.

  • pus forms as a by product from the bacteria and dead skin cells
  • the sebaceous gland still pumps out sebum, but it’s now trapped inside
  • the friendly bacteria on the skin’s surface start to gorge on the build up
  • it turns unfriendly and will destroy the skin’s tissue if left unchecked

YOU MIGHT LIKE: How To STOP A Pimple From Forming

The Body Triggers Inflammation To Destroy The Bacteria

Inflammation is what causes the redness, swelling, and tenderness of a pimple by:

  • increasing blood flow carrying white blood cells to the area
  • these cells fight the bacteria and stop it from causing too much damage
  • the swelling and tenderness is is there to stop you from interfering (why squeezing a pimple at this early stage always results in a bigger mess)
  • when we want to reduce the redness of a pimple we need to remember this inflammation response

Treat The Causes – Clear Skin Will Follow:

What is a pimple? Begin to see them as the body’s response to an infection of one little area… It helps to know that the best way to get rid of them is by preventing the conditions that cause this infection in the first place.

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