We've all been there - you go to sleep with the hint of a small red bump and wake up with the world's biggest pimple on your forehead. What the heck is a pimple and why are you getting them? And why do some people seem to get only an infrequent pimple here and there while others have a face full of pimples?
What is a Pimple?
Your skin, the body's largest organ, is a well-oiled machine. Literally! Your skin is constantly producing natural oils to keep your skin and hair moisturized. Your body is also shedding dead skin cells at a rapid pace. (Almost 9 pounds a year!) Sometimes the shedding of dead skin cells can block the oil and the skin cells in the pore and cause a blockage. In simple terms, a pimple is a blockage of oil and dead skin cells in the skin's pore. (What are pores and why are mine so noticeable?)
Why Do Some People Get Them and Not Others?
There is not one explanation for why some people get pimples while others hardly get a single pimple. Genetics likely plays a role in deciding your acne-future. Ask your mom and dad what their teen years were like. Were they prone to acne? If so, you can assume you will be, too.
You can blame hormones for your acne, which is why you tend to see teens suffer from acne the most, as well as women during their monthly cycles. Medications, such as the birth control pill can cause your skin to flare up with acne, as well.
Will I Always Struggle with Pimples?
It depends, and I can't really tell you for sure. If you're a teen right struggling with acne, you might not be so thrilled to hear that 80% of adults age 20 to 30 struggle with adult acne But Angela Palmer, About.com's Guide to Acne shares in that article that nearly everyone who deals with adult acne can find a treatment plan that works for their skin.
Are Whiteheads and Blackheads the same as Pimples?
Pimples can be whiteheads, blackheads or cysts that grow under the skin. Cystic acne is most often quite painful and the hardest to get rid of. Going to your dermatologist is a good option for you if you are constantly dealing with cystic acne. The best course of action is going to come from your doctor. (How to Shrink Your Pores - Or At Least Make it Look Like You Did)
What Should I Be Doing Daily For My Acne?
With proper daily treatment products, you should see an impact in your acne as long as you are consistent with usage. Go-to ingredients are salicylic acid and benzyl-peroxide. You don't need to spend big bucks on an acne line, either. Many drugstore brands have great acne-fighting lines. A good example is OxyClinical. (Read Review) Tea tree oil is also a great pimple-fighting ingredient and there are entire acne lines based around it. Also check out our list of top face masks for oily skin for product recommendations.
Changing some of your daily habits can also help reduce acne. Check out our Top 10 Ways to Get Rid of Pimples for Good for tips on what habits might be causing more pimples.
One Plus We've Noted About Those with Oily Skin
There is no scientific evidence noted here, just our observation. Most older people that we've talked to with amazing skin had acne and oily skin growing up. Our theory is that because of the extra oil, the skin doesn't get the early aging, dry skin signs. True or not, it is something we've noted time and time again. You might be grateful for your oily, acne-prone skin when you're 50 and look a decade younger, unlike your friend with perfect skin as a teen who has aged faster than you.