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Types of Pimples; Cyst, Nodule, Papule, Whiteheads, Blackheads, How to Get Rid of Pimples

Pimples can cause significant negative emotional and psychological effect on the sufferer.  Pimples are emergence of infected or swollen sebaceous gland on your skin. Generally, there is inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne pimples. Inflammatory acne consists of; cysts, pustules, papules and nodules.

Non-inflammatory pimples include blackheads, whiteheads and sebaceous filaments. They are many causes of pimples formation like bacterial infection, hormones, dead skin cells, ingrown hairs etc. Identifying the causes of pimples is one step towards successful treatment.

What are Symptoms of pimples?

Pimples symptoms vary depending on you the sufferer and the severity of your condition. Some of the signs of acne breakout include:

  • Papule; Small red tender bumps on your skin.
  • Pustules; small red tender bumps filled with pus on their tips.
  • Whiteheads; closed plugged pores
  • Blackheads; open plugged pores
  • Cystic lesions; painful pus filled bumps beneath your skin surface
  • Nodules; larges tender painful bumps beneath your skin.

What are the causes of pimples on your skin?

Pimples may appear on your forehead, face, shoulders, chest upper and lower back. These areas of your skin are known to have oil or sebum producing glands. According to Mayo Clinic the oil glands are connected to hair follicle.

These factor can trigger acne pimples formation

  • Hormones: in life there are many scenarios that can lead to hormonal changes. During puberty both girls’ and boys’ androgen hormones increase triggering sebaceous gland to enlarge and produce more oil. Use of contraceptives and pregnancy, also accelerate sebum production. Alternatively, lower levels of androgen hormone can worsen pimples and acne in women.
  • Stress: stress is known to trigger excess sebum production which can worsen pimples.
  • Diets: certain dietary items like milk, bread, chips, chocolate etc. may worsen acne pimples breakout.
  • Medication: some medication like corticosteroids, lithium or testosterone may accelerate and worsen acne pimples.
  • Dead skin cells, bacteria and ingrown hairs.
  • Greasy food, personal hygiene and cosmetics have shown to have little or no effects on your skin. However, skin scrubbing, oily cosmetics and working with greasy foods may trigger acne.

The risk factors may include; age, stress, genetics, hormonal fluctuations, friction or pressure on skin and working with greasy and oily substances.

Types of pimples

What type of pimples do I have?

Pimples can be categorized into two groups:

1. Inflammatory acne pimples.

Red and swollen pimples are usually referred as inflammatory pimples or acne. Dead skin cells and oil majorly contribute to inflammatory acne. Bacterial may also inhabits in the mixture of sebum and dead cells that clogs up pores in your skin. Bacterial infection causes deep infection under your skin that are painful and hard to treat.

 Inflammatory pimples include:

a. Pustules

Pustules are bumps that are red in color and pus filled. They have white or yellow heads on the top. Popping these lumps increases chances of scaring.

b. Papules

Papule occurs when severe inflammation breaks down your pores. These are inflamed red lumps, hard, tender to touch, very sensitive and painful to touch.

c. Cysts

Cyst develops when dead skin, sebum and bacterial combine. The combination forms a deep skin infection, which may result to a large white or red bump that are very painful to touch. Cysts are largest form of pimples and that are very severe. Mostly, they cause scaling in your skin or leaves a scar.

d. Nodule

Nodules are deeper infection underneath the skin. They occur when clogged, swollen skin pores with stand more irritation and grow larger. These kind of pimples require dermatologist review; you can’t typically treat them at home.

How to get rid of inflammatory pimple

  • Benzoyl peroxide works well in reducing inflammation as well as getting rid of bacteria within the skin pores. It can also help reduce excess oil on your skin.
  • Oral and topical antibiotics may also be prescribed by your dermatologist together with benzoyl peroxide.
  • Topical retinoid are also good for combating papules and pustules.
  • Isotretinoin may be prescribed for nodule and cyst pimples. It can treat and prevent nodule through reducing oil gland size within the pores.
  • In severe cases your dermatologist may surgically remove cyst.

2. Non-Inflammatory acne pimples.

These are bumps that do not cause swelling and respond well to over the counter treatments.

a. Blackheads

Open comedones as generally referred to as blackheads occur due to combination of dead skin cells and sebum. They are characterized by open pore despite the rest of it being clogged. This makes it look black in color on the surface.

b. Whiteheads

Closed comedones form when the skin pores get clogged by dead skin cells and sebum. However, the skin pore closes up, forming a protruding pimples on your skin. The closed skin pore bumps make it hard to get rid of these pimples.

How to get rid on non-inflammatory pimples

  • Non inflammatory acne respond well to over the counter ointments and treatment.
  • Salicylic acid is often works perfectly on non-inflammatory pimples. It naturally exfoliates the skin as well as removing dead skin cells. Apply toners, cleansers and moisturizers with salicylic acid as an ingredient.
  • Topical retinoid works well in getting rid of both whiteheads and blackheads pimples. DIfferin or adapalene are available over the counter although stronger retinoid are available through doctor’s prescription.

3. Other type of pimples

There are other types of pimples which include;

a. Acne Mechanica

Acne mechanica is type of acne that occur to those who have busy day especially those who move around a lot. They occur due to friction with cloth and body or friction between the skin or due to excessive heat. These acnes may be common if you are involved in sports or you wear caps, or sport gears or helmets for prolonged phases.

This type of pimples can be treated with cleansers or moisturizers that contain benzoyl peroxide. Use these products on daily basis to get rid of acne mechanica.

b. Acne Fulminans

Acne Fulminans is a type of acne that is common to young men. This condition can be very severe, causes joint aches, fever and can lead to scarring.

In case you suspect have this condition consult your dermatologist. Generally, follow the prescribes anti-inflammatory medicines or and the oral antibiotics to get rid of acne fulminans.

c. Acne Conglobata

this type of acne affects both males and females. It is one of the severest type that may manifest as large lesion of your skin. Acne Conglobata often affect the upper arms, chest, thighs, face and buttocks and leads to skin damage and leaves permanent scarring.

Consult your dermatologist in case you suspect you have this condition. Isotretinoin and certain steroids may be recommended as well as emotional support can play a big role to get rid of acne Conglobata.

d. Pyoderma Faciale


Also known as rosacea fulminans. Pyoderma faciale is nasty larges painful red bumps (nodule), pustules and sores. It’s an uncommon cutaneous disorder that affect young adult females. The main cause is not yet known although studies associate it with immunological, hormonal and vascular factors.

This disease is characterized by sudden onset of pustules, cysts, papules and painful nodules.

Facial pyoderma is rarely associated with other diseases like thyroid disease, liver disease and inflammatory bowel disease. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics, dapsone, corticosteroids or Isotretinoin to get rid of faciale pyoderma. But, the patient must be on the care of the doctor or dermatologist.

Contrasting acne, faciale pyoderma

  • Surprises abruptly
  • Hardly persists more than a year or so
  • Not associated with oily skin
  • Does not arise from comedones
  • Only confined to the face
  • Only affects females not males.

Compared with rosacea, pyoderma faciale

  • Affects young women
  • Do not affect the eyes
  • Not associated with reddening

Pimples Severity

Proper diagnosis of pimples depends on the severity on the affected person. Dermatologists group pimples from mild to severe in order to provide most effective and appropriate treatment.

  1. Mild acne; mild acne usually consists of just few pimples or whiteheads and blackheads (comedones) and remain in localized area. However, if left untreated they can cause permanent scarring.
  2. Moderate acne; Moderate acne is often a combination of non-inflammatory (comedones) and inflammatory acne. They affect a larger percentage of the skin surface area than mild acne. A good example is that it can affect the entire face, or chest or even back.
  3. Severe acne; Severe acne just like moderate acne consist of both inflammatory and non-inflammatory pimples. The severe acne is most likely to lead to scarring. Large percentage affect the face and the back. This kind of acne pimples need to be evaluated and treated by a dermatologist.

It’s worth noting that the more the severity the pimples condition are, the higher the risk of scarring and permanent skin damage to occur. It’s paramount to pursue medical treatment and take precautionary measures to evade this

The Key Takeaways

The affected person, either young or old, may suffer both emotional and social impairments for all the severity of acne pimples. For teenagers, early ailment in their social development may trigger suffering from low self esteem and depression.

According to studies done by Indian Journal of Dermatology, adult females with mild to moderate acne were found to have experienced high levels of social and emotional impairments. Therefore it is essential to start treatment as soon as possible one you experience acne pimples outbreak.

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