Pimples is the term commonly used to indicate the skin manifestation of acne. These are raised red patches (papules), often containing pus (pustules), which in severe cases of acne take on the characteristics of real nodules.
Within certain limits, the spread of pimples is considered a physiological imperfection linked “above all” to puberty.
The most affected areas are the face, neck, chest and back.
The causes of pimples can be of various types: genetic, hormonal, infectious or psycho-emotional.
Other predisposing factors are: exposure to UV rays, chemical hypersensitivity to some products, the use of hormonal drugs, climate changes, etc.
When pimples become excessively widespread and large, they are considered a disorder. Especially on the face, they can create dissatisfaction with one’s image and important changes in social relationships.
The material published has the purpose of allowing rapid access to advice, suggestions and remedies of a general nature which doctors and textbooks usually dispense for the treatment of Acne; these indications must in no way replace the opinion of the attending physician or other health specialists in the sector who are treating the patient.
The measures to be taken to prevent the onset of pimples and reduce their severity are many and varied:
- Evaluate the metabolic impact of foods and prefer those that do not cause glycemic and insulinemic surges.
- Maximize the intake of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants of various kinds.
- Ensure a good state of hydration.
- Check for allergies (contact, food, etc.).
- Use a light make-up and keep it on the skin for as little time as possible.
- Choose cosmetics that do not irritate the skin.
- Use mild detergents.
- Treat the skin of the face gently (e.g. during the drying phase).
- Avoid hormonal contraceptives.
- Through the prescription, start a specific drug therapy.
- Guarantee skin hygiene, possibly adopting products with the following functions: anti-inflammatory, astringent, antibacterial and purifying.
- Pay close attention to hair removal; this concerns skin hygiene, the method, post-depilatory treatments (including the use of specific ointments) etc.
- Guarantee the intestinal functionality and the trophism of the bacterial flora.
- Ensure good liver health.
- In women, try to regulate the cadence of menstrual cycles.
- Exfoliate the skin with scrubs or dedicated chemical peels, turning to professionals and avoiding “do-it-yourself”; for example:
- Abusing pasta, bread, pizza and sweets.
- Follow a monothematic diet, mainly based on preserved, cooked, dried foods and without fruit and vegetables.
- Fatiguing the liver with unhealthy or excess foods, useless supplements, sugary drinks, alcohol, and unnecessary medications.
- Consuming foods evidently implicated in the onset of pimples (even if the cause is not known).
- Irritating the skin with the use of too aggressive cleansers and creams or cosmetics based on: anolin, isopropyl myristate, sodium lauryl sulfate and laureth-4.
- Go overboard with makeup.
- Increase the oiliness of the skin by applying greasy or oily products.
- Compromising skin hygiene by touching with dirty hands.
- Scratch, scrub and pop pimples; this habit causes:
- Expansion of pathogenic bacteria on the rest of the face.
- Possible formation of definitive scars on the skin.
- Sun exposure during specific drug therapy for pimples.
- Applying retinoid products to mucous membranes or other sensitive areas.
- Mixing multiple drug therapies.
- Waxing or shaving with old, dull, dirty blades, without washing the skin before and after shaving.
- Drink about one milliliter of water per calorie of food consumed; an average person should drink about two liters of water a day.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables, rich in antioxidant vitamins (carotenoids or pro-vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E) and polyphenols.
- With regard to carbohydrate sources, prefer foods with a low or medium glycemic index and in adequate portions.
- Take an appropriate amount of prebiotics (soluble fibers, unavailable carbohydrates, etc.) and probiotics (fermented foods such as yogurt, tempeh, kefir, tofu, etc.).
- Ensure the supply of zinc, contained above all in: liver, meat, milk and derivatives and some bivalve molluscs (especially oysters).
Some dietary supplements can be very useful.
Depending on the etiological cause of the pimples, one or more natural remedies can be used.
- Purifying herbal teas based on:
- Natural remedies to regulate the menstrual cycle (indicated when pimples depend on certain hormonal alterations). They are indicated:
- Natural remedies to be taken orally (herbal teas/capsules) with a calming-anxiolytic action, indicated when the pimples are triggered by excessive anxiety and stress:
- Topical application of pimple creams with a purifying / remineralizing action:
- Compresses with essential oils with a disinfectant action. It is necessary to dilute the essences in a little water and apply everything directly on the skin:
- Topical application of natural antibacterial preparations:
- Tea tree oil: natural remedy particularly suitable for refractory pimples.
- Immunostimulating herbal teas:
- Natural liver detoxifiers, when pimples depend on liver fatigue:
- Plant extracts with antiandrogenic properties:
Pharmacological remedies for pimples are:
- Eat adequately, as we have specified in the dedicated paragraphs.
- Do not touch your face with dirty hands and wash them thoroughly, as well as the affected area, before applying make-up or depilation (including shaving the beard).
- Also avoid contact with hair and objects of dubious hygienic status (for example a motorcycle helmet that has never been washed, etc.).
- Wash and possibly exfoliate the skin daily; professional deep cleansing treatments can help.
- If necessary, clean locally with wet wipes or mild disinfectants during the day.
- Reduce global stress: sports practice, mental training and yoga can help.
Alternative remedies for pimples are:
- Homeopathic treatments: Sulfur Iodatum, Calcium Bromatum and Natrum Muriaticum.
- Chemical exfoliating treatments: they have a keratolytic action, i.e. they compromise the intracellular junctions that bind the keratinocytes of the stratum corneum:
- Laser therapy: a remedy used to repair the scars left by acne.