Thinking Out Loud

…on all things wise and wonderful.

Understanding the Problem of Pimples: The Why, The How and The What to Do

A Letter by Mr. Pimple, (On behalf of all the other Mr. Pimples)


Hello anxious teens (and 20-somethings still battling pimple outbreaks,)

My behaviour has been a cause for concern for ages now. I have often received hate mails by pretty teenage girls, blasting me for ruining their photographs, dates and sometimes, even their sleep. The mails by the 20-somethings are a lot more subtle, but still fall under the category of hate mails. Well, I have decided to write this letter to tell you a lot about myself, as I hope that with this information, you’ll be able to deal with me better, or perhaps, even avoid me. As they say, knowledge is power. (And do give me some credit for doing my bit towards making your face blemish-free and beautiful!)

The existential question: “Why I exist?” (In your terms, “What causes pimples?”)

Well, it actually has more to do with these things called sebaceous glands that exist inside the pores of your skin. Their job is to produce sebum, an oily substance that keeps the skin moisturized. Now, although you’re not aware of it, the outer layers of your skin are continuously being shed. These dead cells are sometimes left behind and mix with the sticky sebum, causing a pore to get blocked.

Although the pore is blocked, sebum continues to be secreted and gets accumulated behind the blockage. Here lies the problem, because this accumulated sebum becomes a fertile place for the growth of bacteria. (They have very complicated names, so I’m not getting there.) This causes an inflammation of the skin, and I, Mr. Pimple start to develop.

It’s in my family!

I’m not referring to your susceptibility to pimples; I’m talking about my own family. We have a condition called ‘Acne.’ This is where many Mr. Pimples exist, and these Pimples are of the more vicious kind, ‘sore,’ vile and puss-filled.

My brothers: (In your language, “Types of Pimples”)

I’m not pasting their photographs because they’re all very ugly.

There’s Mr. Blackhead and Mrs. Whitehead, Master Papule and cousin Pustule, then there is uncle Nodule and Miss Cyst.

Mr. Blackhead, as his name suggests is black, visible and sits on the surface of your skin. Mrs. Whitehead on the other hand is small-made and remains under the skin. Master papule is small, solid, pink and round and cousin Pustule has a red bottom and is filled with pus at the top. Uncle Nodule is large, tough and can really hurt. Miss Cyst is the deadliest of us all. She is filled with pus and can really, really hurt!

How to treat us the natural way? (No, not that treat, more like ‘How-to-Get-Rid-of-Pimples?’ treat)

Here are a couple of home remedies to help you get rid of pimples on your face.

  • Olive Oil is known for its medicinal benefits. It is an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. Make a paste using finely ground sea salt and a quarter cup extra-virgin olive oil. Apply the paste on your face and let it stay for 3 – 4 mins. Then, wash of the paste using warm water.
  • To get rid of scars caused by pimples, try this home remedy. Take a bit of sandalwood paste and mix rose water into it. Apply the paste on the affected area and leave it overnight. Rinse it off with cold water the next morning. If you notice that your skin has become dry, add some milk into the paste the next time.
  • Aloe Vera is a natural astringent and helps remove excess oil and dirt from the skin. To treat pimples, apply a bit of Aloe Vera gel on the affected area. Rinse it off with water once the gel has dried up.
  • Honey has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Dab on some raw honey and keep it for a couple of minutes. However, make sure to use good quality honey and rinse your face before and after applying it.

For more tips on treating pimples, getting rid of scars and other skin problems, visit:


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