Skincare Essentials: How to Treat Infected Pimples or Acne?

Cystic acne and pimples are a common skin condition that can affect anyone, regardless of age or skin type. Sometimes, however, they may become infected, requiring treatment to clear up the infection and prevent further problems. Read on for more!
infected pimple

What Does an Infected Pimple Look Like?

A pimple is a small sac or bump that forms on the skin, often as a result of clogged pores or bacteria. Pimples can occur anywhere on the body, but they are most common on the face, neck, chest, and back. While not all pimples are infected, those that are may appear red, swollen, and painful. An infected pimple may also leak pus or blood. If you suspect that you have an infected pimple, it is important to see a doctor or dermatologist for treatment. Left untreated, an infected pimple can lead to serious health complications.

How Do Pimples Get Infected?

Pimples are small, raised bumps on the skin that are caused by excess oil and dead skin cells. When these two substances become trapped in the pores, they can harden and form a plug. This plug can then become infected with bacteria, causing the pimple to swell and fill with pus.

In some cases, the infection can spread to the surrounding tissue, leading to more serious problems. Fortunately, there are many effective treatments available for pimples, ranging from over-the-counter products to prescription medications. However, if a pimple does not respond to treatment or continues to worsen, it is important to see a doctor or dermatologist for further evaluation.

The Dangers of Infected Acne

If left untreated, however, acne can lead to a number of serious consequences, including permanent scarring, bacterial infections, and in rare cases, even death. In addition, infected acne lesions can spread bacteria to other parts of the body and cause serious infections. In rare cases, these infections can be life-threatening. For these reasons, it is important to seek medical treatment for severe or infected acne as soon as possible.

How to Treat Infected Pimples

Some simple home remedies for infected pimples include applying ice to the affected area, using tea tree oil, and making a paste from baking soda and water. Often, multiple methods must be tried before finding one that works best. It is important to avoid picking or squeezing pimples, as this can lead to further irritation and even scarring. If home remedies do not work, it is best to see a dermatologist for prescription medications.

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Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is a common acne treatment that can be found in over-the-counter (OTC) products. It works by penetrating the skin and killing the bacteria that cause pimples. Benzoyl peroxide comes in different strengths, from 2.5% to 10%. The lower strengths are typically used for people with sensitive skin, while the higher strengths are reserved for more severe cases of acne.

Most people use a benzoyl peroxide product that contains 2.5% or 5% benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is safe for most people to use, but it can cause side effects like dryness, redness, and peeling. For this reason, it’s important to start with a lower strength and increase as needed. It’s also important to apply benzoyl peroxide only to the areas of your skin that are affected by acne. Applying it to healthy skin can increase your risk for side effects.

If you have sensitive skin, you may want to look for a product that contains aloe vera or another soothing ingredient. You can also ask your doctor about prescription options if over-the-counter products aren’t working for you. Benzoyl peroxide is a popular acne treatment because it’s effective and relatively inexpensive. It’s available in many different forms, so you can find one that works well for your skin type and acne severity.

Salicylic Acid

Another way to help treat infected pimples is with salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is featured in many over-the-counter acne treatments, and works by loosening the top layer of dead skin cells, unclogging pores, and reducing inflammation. It’s important to follow the directions on the product label when using salicylic acid, as it can cause irritation if used too often.

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Usually, it’s recommended for spot treatment for an inflamed zit or pimple. In addition, salicylic acid may not be suitable for everyone, so it’s important to talk to a dermatologist before using it. When used as directed, however, salicylic acid can be an effective way to treat infected pimples.

Staph Infection

A staph infection is a bacterial infection that can occur anywhere on the body. It is often mistaken for just infected pimples; however, it usually looks more like a bump or a boil. The infection is usually treated with antibiotics, but in some cases may require hospitalization. Severe cases of staph infection can lead to death. The best way to prevent staph infection is to practice good hygiene and to avoid sharing personal items such as towels or razors. If you have a cut or scrape, it is important to clean the wound and cover it with a bandage to prevent bacteria from entering the skin.

When to See a Doctor

Pimples are a normal part of life, and most people will experience them at some point during their life. However, sometimes pimples can become infected, leading to redness, swelling, and pain. If you think you have an infected pimple, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Left untreated, an infected pimple can lead to serious health problems, including scarring and even blindness. Fortunately, doctors can usually treat infected pimples with antibiotics or other medications. So, if you are concerned about an infected pimple, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your doctor.

How to Prevent Breakout

Wash your face twice a day. It is very important to keep your face clean when you are trying to prevent pimples. Use a mild cleanser and warm water. Avoid using harsh cleansers as they can irritate your skin and make the pimples worse. Gently massage the cleanser into your skin for about 30 seconds and then rinse it off with warm water. Pat your face dry with a soft washcloth.
Exfoliate your skin once or twice a week. This will help to remove dead skin cells that can clog pores and lead to pimples. Look for an exfoliating cleanser or scrub that contains small beads or particles. Apply the cleanser to your face and massage it in for about 60 seconds before rinsing it off with warm water. Be sure to exfoliate gently, as excessively scrubbing can irritate your skin and make the pimples worse.
Moisturize your skin daily. It is important to keep your skin hydrated when you are trying to prevent pimples. Choose a light, non-greasy moisturizer and apply it to your face after cleansing and exfoliating. Gently massage the moisturizer into your skin until it is fully absorbed. Do not skip this step, as drying out your skin can actually trigger more oil production and lead to more pimples.

The Bottom Line

Pimples are a normal part of life, but sometimes they can become infected. If you think you have an infected pimple, see a doctor as soon as possible. Left untreated, an infected pimple can lead to serious health problems. Fortunately, most cases of infected pimples can be treated with antibiotics or other medications. To prevent pimples, practice good hygiene and exfoliate your skin regularly.

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