If you've ever had an infected pimple, then you know exactly how agonizingly painful and ugly they can be. Not only that, they can potentially become ugly acne scars. Infected pimples are generally much larger than whiteheads or blackheads. They are usually bright red, and full of pus. It's painful to touch them, and they are most common on the face. This is because the facial oil glands tend to be very active. Sometimes, though, they will occur on the neck, upper back or shoulders.
Generally, a pimple forms because the skin pores are blocked. This is caused by an accumulation of dead skin cells and sebum. There are always lots of skin bacteria present on the surface of the skin, and these are normally harmless. However once they get trapped in the skin pore, they help the pimple to become infected.
Once the infection occurs, the immune system springs into action, producing macrophages and monocytes to fight off the infection. These eat up the bacterial cells, and the remaining residue left behind in the pore erupts into a pus filled pimple. Pus is simply a mixture of toxins, fluids and dead cells. The dead cells are a mix of skin cells and bacterial cells. The problem is that pus can help encourage a secondary infection, which can make the existing acne problem even worse.
When you see a big, throbbing pimple on your face, it's very tempting to pop it. But beware - that's basically the worst thing you can do. Pimples are a little like icebergs - the pus filled papule is only about 40% of the total pimple. The rest is lurking deep under the skin. Popping the pimple actually pushes the pimple deeper into the skin, particularly if it's done in an unhygienic way. This makes the condition worse, and often leads to nearby follicles becoming infected as well.
When you've had an outbreak of acne, the surrounding area is very sensitive. The situation can be aggravated by the slightest irritation of the skin. When you burst a pimple and release all the pus, you risk triggering further outbreaks in uninfected areas. Popped pimples are also more susceptible to secondary infections and the formation of scars.
If you're patient, the swelling and redness will be substantially reduced after 2-3 days. The pimple will start to dry out and then wither away. It's important to follow some healthy practices if you want to control acne breakouts in an effective manner. Eat a healthy diet that includes a lot of fluid. This helps to restore the biochemical balance of your body. Wash your hands and face at least twice a day, using an antiseptic solution. Also clean your skin just before going to bed, using a mild cleanser. This will help flush your skin free of oil and dirt.
To treat painful pimples you need to analyze them. This is an important step; you need to know if it's a cystic or infected pimple. Cystic pimples burrow deep into the skin, so you may need to see a dermatologist. Otherwise, skin can end up scarred as mentioned above.
Be sensible about painful pimples and don't freak out just because it hurts or is ugly. Stressing can make it worse! Stress is one of the causes of pimples and acne. So, remain calm and don't start trying to pop it right off the bat.
- Step 2
Wash the pimples with soap and water gently and don't scrub as this can make them worse. Your goal is to remove dirt and oil that may be clogging pores. Use products that you know do not irritate the skin and be sure that the washcloth is a clean one. Bacteria are transferred, so clean is a must.
If soap and water doesn't help, then progress on to over the counter products for acne prone skin. Choose products depending on degree of severity of painful pimples. There are different levels from mild to severe. Also, consider skin type which will be normal, dry or oily.
- Step 3
Use acne prone skin products or soap and water in the morning, after sweating and before going to bed. If you overdo you can make matters worse and irritate the skin. Painful pimples can be avoided many times just by practicing a faithful skin care regimen.
Painful pimples can be popped if you have deemed them to not be cystic or infected. To safely pop cover the area with a warm to hot cloth to soften and possibly bring to a head. Wrap sterile gauze on fingers and apply soft pressure, do not squeeze. If it doesn't come out it's not ready.
- Step 4
Buy a comedone extractor for easy removal of painful pimples. It's a very handy little tool and well worth the money if you have pimples popping up on a regular basis. For less than $20 pimples and pain can disappear.
Avoid painful pimples with a healthy lifestyle. This includes healthy foods, adequate sleep, less stress, cleanliness and drinking plenty of water.