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Can you name the baddie who interrupts when you want to go to a party? The one which forces you to hide somewhere far away from people may not always be the shyness but a teensy pimple. We’ve all been there when an avoidable pimple becomes a killjoy before a social gathering, especially when it turns out to be a papule or nodule.
Papules and nodules? What are they? Well, these are all pimples. So, even pimples have got their own family.
So, today you’re going to wrap your mind around these types of pimples, particularly the blind pimples, what causes them, myths about these pesky zits, and the age-old question ‘how to get rid of a pimple under the skin‘ or blind pimple, which is the most damaging of all to even leave your skin scarred. Let’s get it.
Every pimple falls under acne. It is a skin condition affecting around 95 percent of people from 11 to 30 years old. Teenagers are more likely to deal with acne because the teen years bring hormonal changes and it’s when the skin produces more sebum (oil) in addition to when you are born. The oil production decreases as you age. That said, around 3 percent of adults continue to get pimples even after the age of 35.
Acne vulgaris is a medical term for acne or breakouts. Acne is a wider term that includes different types of pimples that not just show up on your face but are common on the chest, back, and forehead too which get the more supply of sebum due to the presence of sebaceous glands. These glands are everywhere on your body except feet, palms, and lower lip, and their blockage results in acne.
Types of Pimples
The NHS describes 6 types of pimples that come under acne conditions. These are –
- Whiteheads – small zits that are closed and can be formed by the blockage of dead skin cells and oil in the pores.
- Blackheads – these again are small bumps but open and get darker when exposed to air.
- Papules – swollen and painful lumps on your skin that you can easily see.
- Pustules – the reddened spots usually infected with pus.
- Nodular acne – large under the skin bumps with inflammation.
- Cystic acne – these large blind pimples appear under the skin’s surface and are often filled with pus.
The first two come under the mild form of acne, papules and pustules are found to be increased in severity, but nodules and cysts mostly require you to seek a dermatologist, being the most severe cases of acne.
Whiteheads, blackheads, papules, and pustules are visible sore spots that may be treated by over-the-counter medicines which have ingredients like salicylic acid. However, it’s mainly the nodules and cysts, also called blind pimples that are challenging and many times don’t respond to treatments like topical antibiotics as they reside under the skin and cause inflammation on the skin’s surface.
A Closer Look at the Blind Pimples
What leads a blind pimple to form? Blind pimples or any other pimples for that matter erupt due to the default in the pilosebaceous system. The system has parts like hair follicle (a structure through which hair grows and gets nourishment through the adjoining oil glands), sebaceous glands (known to produce oil to moisturize the skin), and hair shaft (the actual hair that is seen on the skin).
Our skin functions normally with the oil production, removal of dead skin cells, and stay of P. acnes (Propionibacterium acnes) now known as C. acnes (Cutibacterium acnes). However, the excess sebum, plugging of the dead skin cells, and overstepping of the bacteria (which should be living on the outer skin) into the follicles, (which then multiply and result in swelling of the pimples) contribute to the blind pimples.
The Appearance of a Blind Pimple
- Invisible or partly visible due to its deep presence in the skin.
- Solid lump with no head.
- A large red spot that you can feel.
- It may or may not contain pus.
How Long Does a Blind Pimple Last?
Acne starts as you go through puberty. Everyone has to outlive the invasion of acne before they successfully enter adulthood. Usually, you get rid of acne as you get into your 20s. However, it’s not always the case as adult acne is also a real thing. Interestingly, few women experience acne in their adulthood for the first time.
Moreover, males are more receptive to acne during puberty while adulthood acne targets females more. The reason for this may be hormonal changes.
Causes of Pimples
1. Clogged Pores
The underlying cause of any pimple or a blind pimple is when your skin’s pores become enlarged, get blocked by the dead skin cells and oily substance, and are infected by the relatively harmless bacteria that live on your skin.
There’s not enough research to say that acne is absolutely a hereditary issue but genes indirectly can cause you to deal with pimples. For instance, your oily skin or hormonal fluctuations can be impacted by the gene factor.
3. Hormonal Changes
Production of androgens in males during puberty and hormonal shifts around menstrual cycles and menopause in females result in acne.
Besides males, females also produce some amount of androgens for muscle and reproductive health. An increase in androgens and sensitivity to it in some women may cause the acne problem.
Stress isn’t a cause of acne but a risk factor as it causes the upsurge of androgens which then force the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum resulting in pimples.
5. Other Risk Factors for Acne
- Using any skin and hair products that clog pores or irritate the skin.
- Any hidden medical or skin conditions.
- Some hormonal medicines like oral corticosteroids or antidepressants can cause or make your acne severe.
Effects of Acne on Your Life
A study from the University of Limerick, Ireland found that having acne can compromise the quality of your life. Because that’s linked with mental issues that lead to poor physical health causing problems such as stomach issues and headaches. While, the negative impact of acne on sufferers, meaning that acne causes poor self-image, has already been proven by earlier research.
The study was conducted with 271 people with acne conditions in which females were more prone to the symptoms than males.
The author also pointed out that the stigma around the acne problem can cause sufferers to feel alienated. This may also result in social isolation and other health issues. Thus, acne should be normalized by its positive representation in online campaigns which can lead to improved health problems.
Treatment of acne at its early stage can prevent it from worsening and causing physical and emotional scars, says the American Academy of Dermatology Association.
How to Prevent Blind Pimples?
Blind pimples can be controlled in the starting by following some preventive measures in your consistent skincare routine. Only a dermatologist can handle severe cystic acne.
What You Can Do: Follow Safe Habits
- Keep your hands clean, always, especially before you apply any gel or cream on your skin.
- Wash your face twice a day with a cleanser that suits your skin.
- Take shower daily to get the proper feel of cleanliness.
What You Shouldn’t Do –
- Don’t buy comedogenic and acne-causing products.
- Don’t touch and pop your acne breakouts.
- Don’t be harsh on your skin by excessively rubbing or exfoliating.
- Don’t sleep with make-up on.
How to Get Rid of a Pimple Under the Skin – Skincare Routine to Follow
- Gently deal with your face cleaning process by choosing the right products and washing the skin with light pressure with lukewarm water.
- Pat your skin lightly to let it dry and then use topical treatments like creams or gels that contain ingredients such as salicylic acid if you’ve just noticed a zit.
- Apply an oil-free moisturizer to help balance the oil on your skin after using different products.
- Various anti-acne treatments may leave your skin sensitive to sun rays. So, wearing a protective sunscreen is a must but it should be non-comedogenic.
- Always remove your make-up before bedtime and use a cleanser and toner to make sure that your skin is properly dirt-free.
- Use a retinol-based night cream or serum to get rid of acne and aging spots or scars.
Suggested Reading: Why skincare is more important than ever before
Treating Blind Pimples – 8 Ways
1. Benzoyl Peroxide
Being an antiseptic, benzoyl peroxide helps your skin deal with acne-causing bacteria by reducing or killing them. It can be prescribed by your doctor in some cases as it may have active ingredients like retinoids or bought as an over-the-counter product form like a face wash with 5% benzoyl peroxide.
Used with clean hands, its application, once or twice a day can treat mild blind pimples, but results may show up after a few weeks. For sensitive skin, it should only be used once a day before bed. You should avoid going out in the sunlight on its application or use strong sun protection.
People who have severe pimples like cystic acne, have sensitive skin, or are allergic to it should use it on the doctor’s prescription as it can be potentially irritating.
Benzoyl peroxide may lighten the acne scars when applied effectively (usually a small amount) as it has bleaching agents, thus it should only be applied on the skin. You may notice initial common side-effects like skin irritation, redness, and peeling which should disappear as you get used to it, else you should see your dermatologist.
2. Tea Tree Oil
As a topical treatment, tea tree oil works magic for your acne because of its antibacterial nature, Mayo Clinic points out. Used in various skin products, it’s considered safe when used topically but can even bring side effects in some cases.
A board-certified dermatologist, Joshua Zeichner, MD said in a post that tea tree oil may naturally reduce acne-causing bacteria – a claim backed by the research. Only 5% concentration oil applied 2 times can do your job of treating less severe blind pimples.
Whether LED light therapy is an effective cure for your acne in the long term is still in the process of research. However, you can go for this rather expensive alternative to see the short-term effects in case of mild acne.
Both blue and red light may be used together to treat blind pimples – blue light may help fight C. acnes and red light reduce inflammation, as per this article. Depending upon the specific condition, this process may even be sensitive to your skin. So, a dermatologist should be consulted before going for such treatment options.
4. Oral Medication to Treat Blind Zits
- Antibiotics like erythromycin and tetracycline may work by reducing bacteria and redness in cystic acne.
- Birth control pills and a pill named spironolactone may treat hormonal acne in women but even result in complications.
- Isotretinoin may also help in scars and severe acne but has its side effects, especially for pregnant women.
Other Acne Treatment
5. Using chemical peels helps remove the dead skin.
6. Your health care provider may treat you with corticosteroid injections if you have many blind pimples. They treat pimples by reducing the swelling by lowering the immune system’s activity which relieves pain.
7. A warm compress offers a speedy healing process to a blind pimple by freeing the bacteria and oil when the pimple breaks out on the top which ultimately relieves pain. You can then take the help of acne patches, once the pimple is on the surface.
8. Apply raw honey to your entire face as a home remedy to reduce inflammation and pimple marks. Overnight or 15-20 minutes application of raw honey soothes your breakouts due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Myths About Blind Pimples
Myth 1. Recurring blind pimples result from a lack of hygiene.
Truth: The main cause of a blind pimple can be anything from hormones to genes. But that doesn’t mean cleaning the skin isn’t necessary. Mild cleansing twice a day is what’s required where too much scrubbing can aggravate the pimples.
Myth 2. You can always pop a blind pimple to heal it quickly.
Truth: Popping a painful lump means damaging your skin because it provokes an unhealthy response as it’d stimulate bacteria thus more pimples and even scarring.
Myth 3. Excess oil gives you under-the-skin pimples.
Truth: People with oily skin tend to deal with acne problems, but as its causes vary, so anyone can get pimples at any stage, even people with dry skin.
FAQs About Blind Pimples
1. Does eating chocolates or oily food give you pimples?
Research hasn’t yet proven that but healthy eating habits are always rewarding.
2. What causes the skin’s surface to produce too much sebum?
Excessive sebum can lead to more breakouts and one reason which may be the major cause of this is the hormonal fluctuations. Progesterone and mainly androgens (female and male hormones, respectively) are usually in charge of sebum production. An increase in these hormones escalates the sebum.