Though harmless, getting a pimple on the face is very irritating. Pimples occur when the sebum gland secretes too much oil. Excessive production of oil clogs the pores leading to pimples. When we look in the mirror and find pimples, we start looking for ways to get rid of them. Many of us also start Googling about ‘how long do pimples last?’ In this blog, we’ve covered all aspects regarding the lifespan of pimples. Knowing the facts will certainly de-stress you.
How Long Does a Pimple Take to Fade?
Single and small pimples last for only a few days. But, stubborn pimples can last as long as six weeks. Generally, no treatment is required. They fade on their own.
Pimples cause damage to your pores. The pores get inflamed when the blood vessels dilate to stop bleeding. During this, red or brown acne marks appear.
The walls of pores are repaired. New collagen starts to form. All this happens within 3-5 days of the appearance of the wound. Your skin enzymes restrict the spreading of newly formed collagen. If the enzymes fail to restrict the spreading, acne scars will develop. Generally, this entire process of forming pimples and their disappearing last for 4 to 6 weeks.
This infographic from Byrdie will give you a clearer idea regarding the lifecycle of a pimple.
Do Pimples Go Away Faster If You Pop Them?
The American Academy of Dermatology says pimple popping has unwanted side-effects. You can develop permanent acne scars, painful lesions, and infections from bacteria. Your dermatologist is the best person to pop a pimple. The professionals inject the blemish with corticosteroids. They know very well how to do acne extraction to prevent whiteheads and blackheads. So, instead of popping a pimple yourself, leave this job to your dermatologist.
How Long Does a Pimple Last If You Don’t Pop It?
Popping a pimple can make the matter worse. Premature pimple popping can even leave stubborn marks. If you don’t pop a pimple, the blemish will heal automatically within 3-7 days.
Can a Pimple Last for Years?
Oftentimes, regular pimples heal within a few days. However, acne nodules may last even for months. They remain under the skin as hard knots. Generally, they do not form any whiteheads. Many people with acne nodules complained to have pain. Moreover, these types of pimples affect a person’s self-esteem.
Why Some Pimples Last for a Long Time?
Some of the common causes for a pimple to take a long time to heal are:
a) The pimple is infected
b) You’re a smoker
c) You have dehydrated skin
d) You popped a pimple and the wound recreates
e) You’re malnourished
How Long Do Different Treatments Take to Fade a Pimple?
1. Benzoyl Peroxide
Controls oil production and accelerates the skin cell turnover process. The pimple may take 2 to 12 weeks to heal completely.
Fights pimple-causing bacteria, reduces inflammation, and oil production. The use of retinoid may help you cure the pimple within 4 to 12 weeks.
3. Azelaic Acid
Reduces bacteria and inflammation. You will see positive results within 16 weeks.
Speeds up the wound healing process and fights bacteria. It is also used to reduce inflammation. Pimple will last for 8 weeks with this treatment.
Niacinamide works great for severe acne. It improves skin texture and protects your skin from environmental stresses like pollution, sunlight, etc. The use of niacinamide will enable you to get rid of pimples within 8 weeks.
Some Skin Care Tips to Heal Your Pimple Fast
a) Apply Sunscreen Everyday
Not only does sunscreen prevent tanning but also prevents acne formation. The UV rays of the sun can make your skin secrete more oil and clog the pores. This, in turn, leads to pimples. However, wearing sunscreen prevents UV rays to penetrate the skin.
b) Remove Makeup before Bedtime
Dirt and debris build up on your face. They remain stick to the makeup you’ve applied on your face. Use a makeup remover to remove the makeup. If you don’t remove the makeup, the pores will get clogged and pimples will occur.
c) Warm Compress
Pimples open and pus is released with a warm compress. A warm compress is recommended especially for treating pimples under the skin. Take a washcloth and soak it in warm water. Place the washcloth gently on the pimple and keep it as it is for 10-15 minutes. Do this multiple times a day till the pimple is healed.
When to See Your Dermatologist
Visit your dermatologist if the pimple:
a) Doesn’t go away with at-home treatments
b) Is big and painful
c) Takes more than six weeks to disappear
d) Has signs of infection, nausea, and fever
When your pimple is not responding to over-the-counter products, the dermatologist recommends oral medications, antibacterial creams, and retinoids. Early diagnosis of cystic acne or scarring can prevent long-term marks.
The lifespan of all pimples is not the same. A number of factors can contribute to making a pimple last for a long time. Following a skincare routine can always help. Knowing where a pimple is in its lifecycle will give you the confidence to start the right treatment.