Blind pimples do not initially have a head like some other types of pimples.
Acne affects around 50 million people in the United States each year, making it the most common skin condition.
What is a blind pimple?
A comedo is a typical acne lesion. Someone who has mild acne has whiteheads or blackheads that are called comedones. A closed comedo that stays under the skin is a whitehead, and an open comedo that reaches the surface of the skin is a blackhead.
A closed comedo that develops deep within the skin is called a blind pimple. A blind pimple may be painful if it is particularly deep in the skin’s layers.
The comedo may emerge as a whitehead as it rises through the layers of the skin, or it might disappear.
Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties that may kill the bacteria that cause blind pimples. Two clinical trials have shown that a gel containing 5 percent tea tree oil is an effective treatment for mild to moderate acne.
Another study found that tea tree oil significantly improved mild to moderate facial acne when applied to the face twice a day for 12 weeks. Tea tree oil is available to purchase online.
Some people find tea tree oil helpful for treating blind pimples. However, the American Academy of Dermatology says there is not enough evidence to recommend treating acne with tea tree oil.
Use topical acne treatments
Numerous topical treatments for acne are available in pharmacies, supermarkets, and online.
If a person does not see an improvement in their skin while using one product, it can be helpful to add another product to the treatment strategy. Try a product that tackles a different cause of acne.
For example, if a person is using a product that contains benzoyl peroxide, the second treatment should include another ingredient that fights acne.
There are a variety of ingredients for acne, which each target different causes of acne:
- Benzoyl peroxide reduces P. acnes bacteria.
- Salicylic acid unblocks pores by removing the layer of dead skin cells on the skin’s surface. It can also relieve inflammation.
- Sulfur suppresses P. acnes bacteria and unclogs pores.
- Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) work by exfoliating the skin.
- Retinoids unblock pores and reduce oil.
These ingredients are present in many anti-acne washes, creams, gels, facial scrubs, lotions, and pre-moistened cloths.
A prescription is not needed for treatments that contain most of these ingredients, although many are available in prescription strength as well.
Relieve pain with ice
An ice pack can be useful for reducing redness, inflammation, and swelling after a pimple has emptied.
To use ice to reduce swelling and redness, a person should:
- Use a mild facial wash and warm water, and pat the area dry with a clean towel.
- Put ice cubes into a plastic bag or clean towel.
- Hold the ice pack against the affected area for 5 minutes, remove for 5 minutes, and replace for 5 more minutes.
- Repeat the ice application three to four times a day.
Blind pimples may seem to appear out of the blue, but steps can be taken to prevent them. To reduce the chance of getting a pimple, a person can:
- Only wash the face twice a day or when sweaty. Skin that is prone to developing blind pimples can become irritated if cleaned more often.
- Avoid scrubbing facial skin. Pimple-prone skin may feel greasy or dirty, but it must not be scrubbed clean. Scrubbing can further aggravate the skin and worsen acne.
- Use skin care products that do not cause acne. Look for products that are labeled as non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic, or oil-free.
- Regularly wash pillowcases and other items that touch the face. Dead skin cells and bacteria can build up on fabrics, which can block pores.
- Ask a dermatologist for advice. If blind pimples continue to occur regularly or become severe, a dermatologist can help.
What causes a blind pimple?
Blind pimples occur in areas of the skin with more oil glands, such as the face, neck, shoulders, back, and chest.
The oil glands in the skin are called sebaceous glands. The small holes in the skin, known as pores, are connected to sebaceous glands by a canal called a follicle.
Sebaceous glands secrete oil called sebum through the opening of a follicle to protect the skin and keep it moisturized.
If a pore becomes blocked with dead skin cells, then sebum is unable to reach the skin’s surface. With nowhere to go, the sebum builds up in the sebaceous gland and develops into a pimple.
In severe cases, the mixture of dead skin cells and sebum allows bacteria that normally grow on the skin to accumulate in the blocked follicle. This bacteria is called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes).
When this happens, the bacteria produce enzymes and chemicals, attracting white blood cells. This results in redness, swelling, heat, and pain — collectively known as inflammation.
It can be frustrating waiting for a blind pimple to clear on its own.
Warm compresses and acne stickers can help to bring a pimple to a head so that the sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria can exit to the skin’s surface. Using ice can relieve inflammation.
If blind pimples occur frequently or are particularly inflamed and painful, a person should seek advice from a dermatologist.
If you want to buy any of the over-the-counter remedies or natural treatments listed in this article then they are available online.
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