Pimples occur when skin pores and hair follicles become clogged with natural oils, dirt, and bacteria. For most people, pimples are little more than an occasional annoyance, small red bumps and whiteheads that disappear after a few days. Some individuals, however, experience chronic, painful acne that can result in permanent scarring if not treated properly. There are several different products available to treat pimples, including over-the-counter scrubs, medicated pads, and creams, as well as prescription strength oral and topical medications. In severe cases of acne, dermatologists might apply chemical peels, provide dermabrasion treatments, or surgically remove cysts and scars.
The most common home remedy used to treat pimples is consistently washing the face and other acne-prone areas with a gentle soap and warm water. Most dermatologists suggest that people wash afflicted areas two to three times a day to rid skin of excessive oils and bacteria buildup. Washing the skin more often than suggested can result in redness and irritation. Many people are able to clear up their skin and prevent future acne breakouts by maintaining a daily washing routine.
There are several types of over-the-counter medications that can be used to treat pimples. Pharmacies, grocery stores, beauty salons, and specialty shops sell face scrubs that can be used regularly, in addition to soap and water, to help cleanse the skin and open clogged pores. Many stores carry medicated pads and topical creams that contain low doses of salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. These chemicals can be very effective at breaking up dirt and bacteria in pores, though chronic use can lead to painful dryness and irritation of the skin.
Individuals with painful or consistent problems often seek the guidance of licensed dermatologists to treat pimples and remove scars from their bodies and faces. Dermatologists frequently prescribe topical gels and creams with high concentrations of salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, as well as oral, hormone regulating medications. Doctors often apply chemical peels to remove damaged, dirty outer layers of skin. Dermabrasion treatments involve clearing pores and removing dead cells by scrubbing the skin with wire brushes, minerals, and special chemicals.
People with severe scarring and painful outbreaks may require more intense medical treatments or even surgical procedures. Dermatologists can use laser technology to treat pimples and initiate the formation of new, healthy skin. Laser treatments remove outer layers of skin and warm the inner layers to reduce scarring. When surgery is required, doctors make small incisions to physically remove scars and stitch up the remaining skin so that it may heal properly.