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Why do pimples hurt? Everything you need to know!

Why do some pimples hurt?

Because painful pimples are inflamed from the inside. It comes out of the skin as red, swollen & angry pimples that hate to get touched!

A girl in the picture having pimples on the face

What does inflammation mean here?

A condition in which bacteria attacks & infects our blocked pores & hence our immune system tries to fight off the bacteria, leading to the term called inflammatory acne which physically looks like hot, red, swollen, cystic acne & painful pimples. Why pimple hurt? So, when you try to wash your face or put moisturizer on, you touch pimples & since they are already vulnerable, they kinda hurt!

What is in those blocked pores?

Gunk, Dirt, Excess Oil, Dead skin cells, hair follicles & Bacteria

How should you stop the pain & treat the inflammatory painful acne?

Treat from inside & outside both! Read till the end to know how to deal & calm the angry pimples so that they stop damn hurting.

Defeat painful pimples & cystic acne with 3 changes at home

  • Balanced Hormones
  • Healthy Lifestyle Changes
  • Correct products

This might sound boring but there isn’t any shortcut that works trust me! Your whole pimple & cystic acne condition can majorly be rounded up to these 3 points

To begin with,

Balanced hormones

  1. Fluctuated jumpy hormones will obviously cause troubles not just in acne form but in many more ways. Hence, we got to fix that!
  2. How?
  3. Take a complete hormone blood test, it should include hormones & all kinds of vitamins in the test.
  4. Results will give you a very clear inside picture of your body. If you have any ups or downs in the results, discuss them with your doc & first start correcting that by either supplements or whatever your doc suggests!
  5. Next, for balancing hormones start including seeds, nuts & good fats in your everyday diet. E.g., include Flax, hemp, chia, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, almonds, Brazil nuts, pistachios, avocadoes, green leafy veggies, whole eggs & dark chocolate
  6. Start taking Shatavari powder, it helps to balance hormones
  7. You can also try a primrose oil supplement
  8. Cut dairy products for at least 3 months
  9. Your Hormones will really be a bit relaxed.

Healthy Lifestyle Changes

A picture of a girl choosing a healthy lifestyle and trying for healthy pimple free skin


Choose healthily & see the results

  1. Low down CORTISOL, popularly known as stress ha-ha.
  2. How? Practice meditation even for 10 mins, be active guys- run every day, it produces happy hormones.
  3. Engage more in leg workouts when you are feeling down, do a few squats & lunges every day. The happiest hormones are released!
  4. Products that will help with stress are- Chamomile tea, magnesium supplement, or lavender oil supplement
  5. Wear more cotton/linen clothes, ditch synthetic
  6. Start your day with green vegetable juice on an empty stomach
  8. Switch to a paper towel for your face 
  9. Change your bed sheets & pillow covers every week
  10. Don’t touch your face unnecessarily & don’t even think of popping the pimple
  11. Body massages are highly underrated when it comes to healing acne conditions. The improved blood circulation in the body really adds up in healing acne.
  12. Ice water Therapy is again very relaxing for those angry pimples. Fill a bowl with ice water & dunk in your face for a few seconds with a total timing of 10 mins. Do it 2-3 times a week.
  13. Lastly, goes without mentioning, sleep for 7-8 hours min & 3 liters of water every single day

Correct Products

  1. Retinoids, Salicylic acid Benzoyl peroxide are going to be your friends in your acne journey.
  2. They come in different concentrations, brands, OTCs & Prescriptions.
  3. If you have mild pimples, OTC products will work for you, if you have moderate to severe acne condition, a prescription from your Dermatologist will be needed.
  4. Do not use any cosmetic product on your face with fragrance or alcohol in it.
  5. Use chemical peels for exfoliating or a warm washcloth of muslin material, ditch the physical scrubbing of the face pls
  6. Moisturize every day & night. Choose water-based products & a non-comedogenic moisturizer with ceramides, niacinamide, or hyaluronic acid in it.
  7. And don’t try to mix any of these products together for faster results! You will probably burn or peel your skin. Retinoid has 7 kinds, but only one i.e., adapalene can be paired with benzoyl peroxide.
  8. Use Retinoid & Benzoyl peroxide only at night. Your skin will become sensitive to UV rays with the acne products so always step outside with sunblock on & preferably a cap.
  9. All the products mentioned will take a few weeks to respond to & give results. So be patient & always do a patch test before applying.
  10. Use just a pea-sized amount or a few drops of these ingredients.
  11. Brand suggestions for over-the-counter treatments- La Roche Posay, Cereve, Cetaphil, Panoxyl- benzoyl peroxide, Murad, Paula’s Choice, Inky list, Avene, the ordinary, Elta MD, Differin adapalene gel, these companies have a good reputation, and they use no-nonsense ingredients.
  12. You’d have to see a board-certified Dermatologist if you got moderate-severe acne, his prescript medications like tazarotene, tretinoin, or acne spot treatment- Erythromycin, etc. will be very helpful to you.
  13. Store all these acne medications away from sunlight in a dark, dry place. Your bathroom cabinets are a good option.
  14. Concentration/Prescription strength of the products


How salicylic acid/BHA works on your skin to remove excess dead skin cells and clogged pores to get rid of that painful pimple.

Salicylic acid 0.5% – 2%

Retinoids- 7 kinds


Retinoid Family tree for your easiest understanding. Retinal & Retinyl Palmitate are the least effective of them.

  • Retinol 0.1% – 1.0%
  • Retinyl palmitate 1%
  • Retinal 0.1%-1.0%
  • Retinoic Acid/Retin-A/Tretinoin 0.01-0.1%
  • Adapalene 0.1%
  • Tazarotene 0.1%
  • Isotretinoin – Oral Retinoid


This is how you find Retinoids in the market. Divided into 3 classes. All work great for acne treatment. Most potent is tazarotene & tretinoin.

Benzoyl Peroxide 5-10% in cleanser form is highly recommended from PanOxyl.

What if you get any irritation or burns from using all these acne treatment products?

Peeled skin of a girl due to exceeding the quantity of the ingredient


When you exceed the quantity. Always use just a pea-sized amount of these acne medications!

Don’t panic & stick to these rules to heal the skin faster at home

  1. Take cold showers or apply ice wrapped in a thin cloth. Avoid hot water showers at any cost.
  2. Choose Alcohol-free & fragrance-free cleansers & moisturizers
  3. Use Thermal spring water to calm the skin (Try from La Roche Posay)
  4. Give a lot of moisture to the skin. Apply moisturizers loaded with Ceramides & Hyaluronic acid a minimum of 2 times daily. Morning & Night.
  5. Seal the skin with a thin layer of Vaseline. It locks in all the goodies & lets the skin heal faster.
  6. Stop using any other exfoliants, Retinoids, AHA’s, BHA’s, or peroxides, until you are completely healed.
  7. Glycerin & Aloe vera, both are great soothing & calming agents for the skin.
  8. Product suggestion- Try Avene- Cicalfate + restorative protective cream
  9. Apply sunblock before stepping outside.

If you have read the whole article & are keen on changing your lifestyle & products, I can already say your skin is on the right track! All the best guys

Healed pimples of the girl in the picture


Healed pimple-free clear skin

Love ~ Beauty Stroll


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By Aayushi S
By Aayushi S
Aayushi is a New York based freelance writer and a content strategist. She is a computer science graduate, a health and skincare fanatic and is also the founder of “Beauty Stroll “. She aims to make science-backed skincare easy to understand for her readers.

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