A pimple is a small pustule or papule. Pimples are small skin lesions or inflammations of the skin - they develop when sebaceous glands (oil glands) become clogged and infected, leading to swollen, red lesions filled with pus.
Pimples are also known as spots or zits.
The development of pimples is primarily connected to oil production, dead skin cells, clogged pores and bacteria (although yeast infection can also cause pimples to develop).
The sebaceous glands, which produce sebum, exist inside the pores of our skin. The outer layers of our skin are being shed continuously.
Sometimes, dead skin cells are left behind and get stuck together by the sticky sebum, causing a blockage in the pore.
Pore blockage is more likely to occur during puberty (the process of physical changes by which a child becomes an adult capable of reproduction) as the sebaceous glands produce more sebum at this time.
Where sebum and dead skin cells accumulate and block a pore, this encourages the growth of undesirable bacteria, including Propionibacterium acnes - the slow-growing bacterium linked to acne.
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Treating pimples promptly can also help overcome its emotional and psychological effects. Although pimples are not in themselves bad for overall health, living with them, especially if they are persistent and become a long-term problem can be as devastating emotionally as living with a chronic disease.