What’s Inside a Pimple?

A pimple is, by definition, a red, raised bump that is clogged with oil and dead skin and is infected with bacteria. The pimple bursts beneath the skin and sends the bacteria into the surrounding tissue. It is then called a papule. If this spreads deeper into the skin it is called a papule. If it goes even deeper it is then called a pustule. A pustule is not usually as red as other pimples, but it may have a white center and be painful. If it goes deeper than a pustule, then it is called a cyst. A cyst can be very serious needs to be treated by a trained professional.

Propionibacterium acne is found on the skin. This type of acne usually increases during puberty, as it uses sebum as a nutrient. Some people may have even more bacteria on their skin. When this occurs it collects in the pore of the hair follicle and becomes clogged with dead cells, a comedone is formed. A comedone is the medical term for blackheads and whiteheads. After the whitehead is formed, the body sends white blood cells to the follicle. The white blood cells begin to fight the bacteria and try to destroy it. This causes inflammation in the area.

A normal follicle has sebum that is produced by your sebaceous glands. The sebum fills the hair follicle and spreads over your skin; this is what causes skin to appear oily. When the cells slough off after dying, they may become lodged in the hair follicle with the sebum. If the oil breaks through to the surface, then you will see a whitehead. If the oxygen oxidizes the oil, then the comedone changes from white to black and you see a blackhead.

You shouldn’t pick at or pop pimples, but sometimes they are painful and you have to relieve the pressure. There is a sanitary way to do this that we will share with you later. In the meantime you are wondering what comes out of the pimple when you pop it – right? What you see is a whitish-yellow fluid. The fluid contains white blood cells, old tissue that has become liquefied and other cellular debris. This pus is often the site of infection where a foreign body has entered the body. This stuff is perfectly natural for it to be found in a pimple. The pus is the result of your body trying to fight off the bacteria.