When an intrusive redness appears on your face, avoid the temptation to pick it and follow the following dermatological tips. Have a party and need to hide it? We offer you some products.
The last weeks of the year are synonymous with big events: weddings, baccalaureates, graduations, company parties and family reunions, among other situations, accumulate in the tight final calendar. There, alongside stress and troubles, other events also tend to appear, which are marked in red but not on your diary but on your face: unfortunate pimples.
What to do with a large, red one that appeared just on the cheek the morning before a New Year’s Eve gala? Break it up ? Make her up? If you encounter this kind of problem, here we explain everything you need to know to solve it in the best way. And no, it doesn’t pinch her.
Why do pimples appear on the face?
As Natacha Quezada, a dermatologist at UC CHRISTUS Health Network, describes it, acne is a multifactorial phenomenon. Among other conditions, genetics are very important: if my sebaceous glands are large, oily and powerful, I will be more likely to get pimples.
Other influencing factors are lifestyle – such as diet or level of physical activity -, comorbidities – such as diabetes – or hormonal disorders, very common during puberty and adolescence. “Everyone’s influence will depend a lot on their age,” says Quezada.
Of course, “not all pimples are necessarily classified as acne,” says Constanza Ullrich, dermatologist at Clínica RedSalud Vitacura. “If you don’t see blackheads or whiteheads, called comedones, it could be another skin condition.”
Blackheads, conceptually, are the result of clogged pores due to excess bait, dead skin cells, and/or bacteria. If the pores are clogged and the sebaceous gland is active, a bait is produced and, due to the bacterial flora that lives in the skin, this inflammation appears. “It’s not a polluting thing, it’s there to defend you, but if you provide it with a very humid environment, with bait, it overfeeds and ends up producing this pustule, which is a pimple,” explains Quezada. “It’s your own bacteria, it’s not like it’s infected somewhere else.”
Not all buttons are the same
Before hating it and wishing it a thousand and one evils, the most useful thing is to try to classify it. Quezada explains that at first, an erythematous papule may appear, which is what painful “red spots” are called. Then, it progresses to the level of pustules, “which is the classic yellowish pimple”.
Then come the nodules, “which are these big pimples”, which can be seen and felt, and which clearly have content. “This happens because they are in a state that is not yet contagious, but rather inflammatory.”
The common point is that after a few days, it diminishes, heals and then disappears. But in more severe cases, they can lead to a cyst, which is when the nodule becomes encapsulated. This happens when you try to pop a pimple from which the expected pus does not come out; instead, it may look somewhat dilapidated, but still swollen. “If you have a cyst, it’s already serious because it means it’s infected and you need to take antibiotics. Often they come from the fact that people squeeze the nodules, then the body, to defend itself, encapsulates itself,” explains the professional.
You don’t burst
As a general rule, dermatologists do not advise their patients to pop pustules, much less nodules. “When a pimple becomes inflamed, it is under no circumstances recommended to attempt to extract, squeeze or disinfect it,” says Ullrich. This “can lead to additional scarring, persistence of the lesion, and even worsen the skin condition.”
“Normally, we don’t recommend squeezing or popping pimples,” says Quezada. “It is not advisable to squeeze them, because the pus that flows out can contaminate the skin attached to the area with bacteria”, María Olga Estrada, director of the aesthetic clinic of the same name . “They should not be handled, as this will only aggravate the adverse effects and after-effects that they may have,” also emphasized dermatologist Lorna Velásquez, from Clínica Alemana. “The sequelae may be erythematous (pink) lesions, pigmented lesions (spots) and/or atrophic (depressed) scar lesions. »
However, it has happened to more than one person that one of these pustules burst spontaneously or by chance.
“If this happens, it’s best to squeeze gently, without being rude, because this inflammatory response can escalate into something more serious, like a cyst or nodule,” says the UC CHRISTUS dermatologist.
If your pimple bursts spontaneously, the next step is to apply a non-irritating antiseptic soap, if possible, such as wound cleanser or chlorhexidine, and gently clean the area with a piece of gauze. “If the alcohol is very strong, it will become inflamed and the inflammatory response will be redder.”
How to treat a pimple
Although acne is a disease that requires treatment and management guided by a dermatologist, if an unexpected pimple appears suddenly, and just before a particular event, there are ways to deal with it. “We are full of pores, especially in the seborrheic parts, like the nose, forehead and chin,” explains Quezada. The risks of a pustule appearing, especially if we are stressed or eating poorly, are high.
The instructions that follow are for this specific case in which a visible pimple appears, but not for longer treatment. It is rather an emergency procedure, which you can resort to when this pimple takes on great importance on your face.
“If you do something to reduce sebum production, like using zinc oxide, you can help: it’s like using ‘chlorine’ to prevent bacteria from growing in that area,” says Quezada. Therefore, an alternative is to apply products that contain this drying property.
Salicylic acid and tea tree, which is a more natural option, also work well. “If I dry, I remove the bait, and if I remove the bait, I remove the bacteria,” explains the UC CHRISTUS dermatologist.
The other route suggested by the specialist is to resort to topical anti-inflammatories, which also have antiseptic effects, such as sulfur, resorcinol derivatives, alpha bisabolol or chamomile.
“There are several sticks containing antiseptics and anti-inflammatories, which work as an emergency measure to dry out the shin area. There are many mass sales options,” explains the specialist. She suggests the following list, which includes drying gels and others with covering properties. The idea is that everyone can choose the one that is most effective based on their skin.
Cerave anti-blemish gel
Uriage Hyseac Bi-stick double care
The Body Shop Tea Tree Anti-Blemish Gel
ISDIN Acniben On the Spot Spot Corrector for Face
Eucerin Dermopure Corrector
ISDIN Acniben 3 pimple correcting gel
*Product prices in this article are current as of November 27, 2023. Values and availability are subject to change.
I am David Jack and I have been working in the news industry for over 10 years. As an experienced journalist, I specialize in covering sports news with a focus on golf. My articles have been published by some of the most respected publications in the world including The New York Times and Sports Illustrated.