Skin Information Network

What are Zits? The Basics

Zits, otherwise known as pimples, are a type of acne spot, and the result of excess sebum becoming trapped in the pores, which becomes inflamed. Zits are one of the most common symptoms of acne, and are often painful. Zits can vary in size and severity.

Papules are what we most commonly call zits, and most people have had experience with them at one time or another. They are inflamed lesions appearing as small bumps on the skin. They are most common on the central face and the back, but can occur anywhere on the skin where there are sebaceous glands. Although they are often viewed as a mere annoyance, they can cause permanent scarring, especially if irritated. This is one of the main reasons that we discourage the popping of zits. Inappropriately popping zits will often push the bacteria deeper into the skin, and further aggravate the problem.

Pustules are pus-filled legions, which occur when papules (regular zits) rupture. When these become larger, they are called nodules. Nodules are rare except in those with very severe acne, and should be treated immediately.

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