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Understanding a Pimple's Life Cycle and How to Heal It

The Life Cycle of a Pimple and How to Treat Each Stage, According to Dr. Pimple Popper

Understanding a Pimple's Life Cycle and How to Heal It

We all know that dreaded feeling when a new pimple starts to form deep under the skin — the painful sensation is recognizable anywhere. We immediately go into damage control mode, freshly cleansing the area, layering on any acne spot treatment within arm's reach, and hoping for the best. Even still, the inevitable usually happens, and the zit grows no matter how much preemptive planning is involved.

It's hard to stop a breakout in its tracks but not impossible. To do so, it helps if you understand the life cycle of a pimple — from the very start when you first feel it deep under the skin to the moment it finally fades away. Here, board-certified dermatologist and founder of SLMD Skincare, Sandra Lee, MD, AKA Dr. Pimple Popper, explained.

First, What's Triggering Your Breakout?

There are many different factors to consider when trying to pinpoint the cause of a new pimple. The main ones are genetics, hormones, environmental aggressors, and lifestyle. "If your parents dealt with acne, you are more likely to experience pimples popping up," Dr. Lee told POPSUGAR. "Hormones also play a huge role because they trigger increased oil production in the skin." Hormones are the reason teenagers are typically more prone to breakouts and also why women might break out during their periods.

"The environment the skin is living in can also play a factor," said Dr. Lee. "Polluted air can wreak havoc, as can hot temperatures, if you are sweating more than usual and staying in that sweat." Medications, makeup products, and dietary choices can also be to blame. "Dairy may be an exacerbating factor because of the elevated hormones in milk, so if you recognize that this may be causing your breakouts, try your best to not eat a ton of cheese or dairy products."

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