Why Do We Get Pimples? Causes, Prevention, and Treatment



Pimples are one of the most common skin problems that affect people of all ages, especially teenagers and young adults. They are small, inflamed bumps that appear on the skin when the pores get clogged with oil, dead skin cells, bacteria, or other substances. Pimples can occur anywhere on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders, or arms, and can vary in size, shape, color, and severity.

Why Do We Get Pimples?
Why Do We Get Pimples?

What Causes Pimples?

Many factors can contribute to the formation of pimples, such as:

Hormonal changes:

Hormones play a key role in regulating the production of sebum, the natural oil that lubricates the skin and hair. During puberty, pregnancy, menstruation, or menopause, the levels of hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone can fluctuate, causing the sebaceous glands to produce more or less sebum. Excess sebum can clog the pores and trap bacteria, leading to inflammation and infection.


Some people are more prone to developing pimples than others, due to their genetic makeup. If your parents or siblings have acne, you are more likely to have it too. Genetics can also influence the size and activity of your sebaceous glands, the sensitivity of your skin, and the response of your immune system to bacteria.


Stress can affect your physical and mental health in many ways, including your skin. When you are stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol, which can increase the production of sebum and inflammation. Stress can also impair your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off bacteria and heal the skin.


What you eat can have an impact on your skin, as some foods can trigger or worsen pimples. Foods that are high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, dairy, or saturated fats can increase the levels of insulin and inflammation in your body, which can stimulate the sebaceous glands and aggravate acne. On the other hand, foods that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and improve your skin health.


Some medications can cause or worsen pimples as a side effect, especially those that affect your hormones, such as birth control pills, steroids, or antidepressants. If you notice that your pimples are related to your medication, talk to your doctor about changing or adjusting your dosage, or finding an alternative treatment.


Some cosmetics, such as makeup, moisturizers, sunscreen, or hair products, can clog your pores and cause pimples, especially if they are oil-based, comedogenic, or contain harsh chemicals. To prevent this, choose products that are non-comedogenic, oil-free, hypoallergenic, and suitable for your skin type. Also, make sure to remove your makeup before going to bed, and wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser.


Poor hygiene can also contribute to the formation of pimples, as dirt, sweat, bacteria, or makeup can accumulate on your skin and clog your pores. To keep your skin clean and healthy, wash your face twice a day with a mild cleanser, exfoliate once or twice a week to remove dead skin cells, and use a toner and a moisturizer after cleansing. Avoid touching your face with your hands, as they can transfer bacteria and oil to your skin. Also, change your pillowcase, towel, and washcloth regularly, and avoid sharing them with others.

How to Prevent Pimples?

While pimples are not a serious health threat, they can cause discomfort, pain, embarrassment, and low self-esteem. Therefore, it is important to take steps to prevent them from occurring or spreading. Here are some tips to prevent pimples:

  • Follow a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Avoid foods that are high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, dairy, or saturated fats, as they can trigger or worsen pimples. Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated and flush out toxins.
  • Manage your stress levels by practicing relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, or massage. Getting enough sleep, exercise, and social support can also help you cope with stress and improve your mood and well-being.
  • Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, or using drugs, as they can damage your skin and increase the risk of pimples. Smoking can reduce the blood flow to your skin, impairing its ability to heal and regenerate. Alcohol and drugs can dehydrate your skin, alter your hormone levels, and weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to infections and inflammation.
  • Protect your skin from the sun, as excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin, cause premature aging, and increase the risk of skin cancer. UV rays can also worsen pimples by drying out your skin, increasing the production of sebum, and causing inflammation. To protect your skin from the sun, use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, wear a hat, sunglasses, and protective clothing, and avoid the sun during peak hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
  • Consult your doctor if you have severe, persistent, or cystic acne, or if your pimples are affecting your quality of life. Your doctor can prescribe medications, such as antibiotics, retinoids, or hormonal therapies, that can help treat your pimples and prevent scarring. Your doctor can also refer you to a dermatologist, or a skin specialist, who can perform procedures, such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or laser therapy, that can improve the appearance of your skin and reduce the signs of acne.

How to Treat Pimples?

If you have pimples, you may be tempted to pop, squeeze, or pick them, but this can worsen your condition and cause more inflammation, infection, and scarring. Instead, you should treat your pimples with care and patience, using the following methods:

  • Apply a cold compress, such as an ice cube wrapped in a cloth, to the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes, several times a day. This can help reduce the swelling, redness, and pain of your pimples.
  • Apply an over-the-counter (OTC) topical medication, such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or sulfur, to the affected area, once or twice a day, after cleansing your skin. These medications can help kill bacteria, unclog pores, and dry out pimples. Follow the instructions on the label, and avoid using too much or too often, as they can irritate your skin and cause dryness, peeling, or burning.
  • Apply a natural remedy, such as tea tree oil, aloe vera gel, honey, or lemon juice, to the affected area, once or twice a day, after cleansing your skin. These remedies have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and healing properties that can help treat pimples and soothe your skin. However, be careful, as some people may be allergic or sensitive to these ingredients, and they may irritate, burn, or staining. Test a small amount on your inner arm before applying it to your face, and dilute them with water or carrier oil if needed.
  • Keep your skin moisturized, as dry skin can trigger the production of more sebum and worsen pimples. Use a moisturizer that is non-comedogenic, oil-free, hypoallergenic, and suitable for your skin type, and apply it after cleansing your skin and using any medication or remedy. Avoid using too much or too often, as this can clog your pores and cause more pimples.
  • Be patient and consistent, as pimples take time to heal and disappear. Do not expect immediate or miraculous results, as this can lead to frustration and disappointment. Stick to your skincare routine and treatment plan, and you will see improvement over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about pimples and their answers:

Why Do We Get Pimples?

Pimples are caused due to the activity of sebaceous glands present inside our skin. This gland produces an oily substance called sebum. Sebum comes up to the skin’s surface through a pore and moisturizes our hair and skin. Like a moisturizer.
Absolutely. However, sometimes the pore gets blocked due to dead skin cells. Due to this blockage, the sebum gets accumulated, creating a bump.
As sebum is a very good source of nutrients for the bacteria in our skin. They start to grow in that area, leading to an infection. Our immune system responds to this infection by sending blood and immune cells. Blood makes the area red whereas the immune cells kill the bacteria.
Resulting in inflammation and the formation of a pimple.

What is the difference between pimples and acne?

Pimples are a type of acne, which is a general term for various skin conditions that involve inflamed or infected pores. Acne can manifest as different types of lesions, such as blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules, or cysts, depending on the severity and depth of the infection. Pimples are also known as pustules, which are pus-filled bumps that appear on the skin surface.

Can pimples be contagious?

No, pimples are not contagious, as they are not caused by a virus, bacteria, or fungus that can be transmitted from person to person. However, sharing personal items, such as towels, makeup, or razors, can transfer bacteria and oil to your skin and clog your pores, increasing the risk of pimples. Therefore, it is advisable to use your own items and avoid sharing them with others.

Can pimples leave scars?

Yes, pimples can leave scars, especially if they are severe, cystic, or inflamed, or if they are popped, squeezed, or picked. Scars are the result of the skin’s healing process, which involves the formation of new collagen fibers to replace the damaged tissue. Scars can vary in size, shape, color, and texture, depending on the type and extent of the injury, and the individual’s skin type and genetics.


So in This Post, Why Do We Get Pimples? What other points can you think of/have experienced? Let me know in the comments.

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