Oil, dead skin cells and bacteria block pores and cause small bumps called blackheads or whiteheads. If a blocked pore stays open, it can look kind of black and is called a blackhead. If a blocked pore closes up, the top of the bump looks more white. So it's called a whitehead. Blackheads and whiteheads are pretty easy to treat. You probably can use stuff you buy at the store. If these are the only kind of pimples you have, it's not so bad.
A cyst on the nose1.
When blocked pores get more irritated, they get even bigger. They go deeper into your skin, too. They can really hurt. Nodules are hard. Cysts have pus and are softer. If you have these, you might be embarrassed to see people. If you have nodules or cysts, you should see a skin doctor. The skin doctor can use many treatments so you aren't stuck with these pimples.
| | Nodules on the back of someone's head1. | | A nodule on an eyebrow3.
After pimples go away, they might leave red or dark marks on your skin. These marks fade, but it might take few days, weeks, or months. Sometimes you get permanent scars from pimples. The scars can be bumps or dents in your skin. A skin doctor can help make some of those scars fade.
Next: Treating pimples.
1. Photos used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.
2. Photo used with permission of Elsevier. Dermatology DDxDeck, Vol 1, Pg 31. Habif T, Campbell J, Chapman M et al. “Pustular acne.” Copyright Elsevier (2006).
3. Photo used with permission of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, J. Am Acad Dermatolog 2007 August: 57(6):1072-83.