Acne & Pimples - Why Do You Get It & How Can It Be Treated?

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    I got pimples very early, even before I became a teenager. Why do you get it and how can it be treated? This is a common question I get! If you suffer from acne and seek help, read my entire post to take note of the facts I found / my experiences.

    When you know why you get pimples and what they are, it can be easier to find a treatment for acne that works.

    Today they do not actually bother me at all. If I get a big and evil, it's just over of course but I'm never completely finn-free, but it does not matter to me anymore :)

    But it is actually thanks to the pimples that I became interested in makeup from the beginning! At first I only had a small powder box with me to school, but the more pimples I got the more makeup I put on. Then I got to the level that I had to use blush, bronzer too so as not to look like a ghost of all the coverage. :) Then I realized that this is actually fun!

    What is acne & pimples and how can I treat it?

    Table of Contents:

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    What is acne?

    Acne or pimples as it is also called, is simply an inflammation of the sebaceous glands on the skin. Common areas that suffer from acne are the face, back, chest and neck but it can also affect other areas.

    Pimples are caused by a bacterium that lives on the skin and feeds on sebum, dead skin cells and residues from the skin. 

    If there is an increased production of nutrients for the bacterium, it increases in number and size and releases enzymes and proteins. These enzymes and proteins damage the cell structure of the sebaceous glands and lead to inflammation and the appearance of blackheads. Further clogging of the pore increases the inflammation which then forms a pimple.

    Different types of acne:
    • Acne vulgaris - Common pimple, larger more inflamed pimples.
    • Comedonica acne - Blackheads, hardly any inflammation.
    • Papulopustulosa acne - Inflamed pustules & papules (pimples).
    • Acne nodulocystica - More severe acne, lumps in the skin.
    • Acne conglobata - The most serious form of acne. All of the above symptoms, large inflamed acne cysts.

    If you get a recurring pimple in the same place, it is a sebaceous cyst that occurs when the sebaceous gland is clogged.

    acne & pimples treatment

    Here you see my jaw :) I do not usually have this much and small, however. Has more often fewer but larger and more scattered.

    Why do you get acne & pimples?

    Acne is caused by various factors. For example, increased sebum production as sebum and dead skin cells can clog the pores and create an inflammation = pimple.

    It can also be due to stress, hormones, release of inflammatory substances in the skin, hyperkeratosis (a skin problem that causes thick skin) and colonization of anaerobic propionibacterium acnes (ie an Anaerobic bacterium in the skin).

    Acne is also most likely an impact on our diet and environment in the short and long term.

    I found a study on acne vulgaris where it was established that it is a disease in Western civilizations. It had examined the number of acne cases from 2 non-western populations: Kitavan islanders in Papua New Guinea and Aché hunter-gatherers in Paraguay. Of the more than 1,200 people examined, they showed no symptoms of acne (neither mild nor severe). 

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    The study also shows connections between other groups who before they were introduced to Western foods did not have cases of acne.

    Which quite clearly shows that pimples mainly have to do with diet and the environment. Whether you then develop severe acne or not may have to do with genetics and hormones.

    The study in its entirety can be read on the JAMA Network:

    The link between acne and diet:

    I also found another study where they go through different foods and acne.

    They investigated the link between acne and milk & dairy products. Among other things, the study carried out on more than 10,000 girls and boys in their teens showed that a higher intake of milk & milk products increased the amount of pimples in people.

    Eating foods with a high GI (glycemic index) also seems to be associated with acne. In the study, people with pimples had a diet with a much higher GI than that of people without pimples.

    Examples of foods that have a high GI are soft drinks, juices, sweets, pastries and white bread.

    Both studies can be read in English here:

    How to get rid of acne & pimples?

    There is no easy method to get rid of acne, as pimples can be based on several causes. That's a bit of the problem. I think my pimples are due to 1. high sebum production 2. hormones and 3. I eat healthy overall but yes there will be a lot of dairy products and then gottis on the evening twig;) I also notice directly on my skin when I am stressed! The skin even tells before the brain.

    So if you're looking for a miracle cure for acne, I do not have it. However, I have all the other information that will hopefully be helpful!

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    Today there are many different creams, treatments, tablets and other remedies & medications for acne. Whether they work to counteract acne or just relieve it, may differ from person to person and from product to product. If you find a product that helps, it's great! But many times you just treat the symptoms instead of finding the root of the problem.

    It is also possible to use antibiotics in severe cases to reduce the symptoms. It is usually a long course that lasts 3 months. But whether it is treated with creams, tablets or antibiotics, it is important to get to the root of the problem.

    I know several who have taken tablets for acne (I have not tested myself) e.g. Isotretinoin. Although they work, there are many side effects. For example, that you get extremely dry instead, I know someone who could not use a towel on her face anymore because the skin broke and she got blisters around her lips. But to get an insight into the different variants that exist and different side effects / benefits, I recommend that you google specifically on this :)

    Over-the-counter drugs containing benzoyl peroxide can also be used for mild and moderate acne and these work by opening the pores and reducing the number of bacteria on the skin (anaerobic propionibacterium acnes). And can be a great way to get rid of pimples quickly. Basiron e.g. is such a cream that many like!

    There is also much to suggest that laser treatment for inflamed acne is an effective method as it reduces the bacterial content and inflammation in the skin.

    What can I do to treat acne & pimples?

    • I have found several studies that point to a clear link between acne and diet, especially foods with a high GI (glycemic index) and milk & dairy products.
    • Even studies in which non-Western populations who lived on only "natural food" did not have any acne at all.
    • Studies also show that omega 3 fats, antioxidants & vitamins as well as selenium & zinc and other minerals improve skin conditions.

    So the simple answer should be to eat more "natural food" (ie food that is not processed) and eat less of things that have a high GI and / or are broken down and reduce the intake of milk & milk products.

    At you can see a list of which foods have a low and high GI, respectively: If you want inspiration on recipes with a low GI, I can also recommend Tasteline:

    In addition to probably helping against acne, the whole body is happier with good bacteria and natural vitamins & minerals. NOTE! This is not a quick fix, but it requires dedication to change ingrained lifestyles. :)

    Also read:

    10 tips for pimples & acne:

    Fireplace: you do not get pimples because the skin is dirty or unhygienic, but keeping the skin clean from bacteria can relieve acne.

    1. Cleanse the skin every day. Wash off makeup thoroughly! I clean very carefully in the evening, in the morning I only use hot water.
    2. If you have oily skin, feel free to use make-up for oily skin. Light makeup that allows the skin to breathe. Even when you are unmade up, it is good with e.g. a degrading transparent primer. My experience is that if I use e.g. an absorbent powder, I get less pimples, than days I go completely unmade up. I think it's because I get the oil off the skin so that the oil does not clog.
    3. Clean your makeup brushes often, every week!
    4. Also clean your phone, or use headphones when calling.
    5. Wash the pillowcase often.
    6. Moisturize the skin properly. That you should dry out the skin to get rid of pimples is a myth! In addition: fat dissolves fat. So if you have oily skin, feel free to use a face oil in the evening. Only it is so thin / light that it does not clog the pores.
    7. Squeeze with pork clamps. Yes I know "you should not squeeze at all" but people (me too) do anyway - then it is better to squeeze with a pork squeezer instead of the nails which are both sharp and unhygienic. I'm addicted to my pork clamps!
    8. I give you permission to squeeze with pork clamps but do not overdo it! When people talk about "operating" their pimples, I want to cover my ears. If you have to fight, do not do it. Is the fin not ripe? Wait to squeeze. Will it not come out more? Stop squeezing. You get three seconds per pimple, no more;)
    9. A complexion with acne is often also sensitive. Do not use too strong products (test yourself carefully) and use soft towels. Never rub and wear on the skin.
    10. A mild acid is good for removing dead skin cells from the face. It does not have to be a strong acid! For example. is Pixi Glow Tonic (link to my own webshop) great!

    Makeup tips for removing pimples:

    make up pimples & acneAlso read my post about that make up pimples step by step

    I hope my post has been helpful! If questions arise or if you have your own tips and experiences, you are very welcome to share them in the comments field below. Maybe there is a secret tip that someone is sitting on that works extra well against pimples? Feel free to share with you so I can update the text! :)


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    Helena Amiley
    Helena Amiley
    I write mostly about beauty but also offer glimpses from the entrepreneurial life and the construction of our own camper van. Vanlife here we come!

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