A pimple occurs when dead cells of skin and oil plug the hair follicles. And face is the most common area where it occurs, though sometimes it also can be found on the shoulders, back, and neck. Whatever it is — there are plenty of options (treatments and home remedies) to make you have a pimple free face and skin.
How fast does a pimple form?
As written before, the dead cells of skin are the starting point for a pimple to occur. And anyone can have these dead cells naturally, because the skin regenerates new cells continuously to replace the old cells. In other words, it’s perfectly normal to have dead skin cells.
The length of how fast pimples form may vary from person to person. But they can start about 14 days or more before you can even notice them on the skin.
And for the length of desquamation (the process of a new cell to become a dead cell when it reaches the stratum corneum ‘the outset layer of epidermis’) is about 28 days !
This skin’s outermost section has five major layers, and stratum germinativum is its deepest layer. Stratum germinativum consists of a single layer of cells. It is the location where new cell of skin births.
The new cells in the stratum germinativum begin to travel to the higher level of epidermis layers. Before reaches the outermost layer of epidermis (stratum corneum), they need to travel through stratum mucosum and then stratum spinosum. Stratum germinativum, stratum mucosum, and stratum spinosum are also medically called as the basal layer.
After going through the basal layer, the cells then will be pushed up through the upper layer called stratum granulosum. In this phase, the cells start hardening and dying. And by the time they reach this layer, they become dead cells. The outermost layer of epidermis is made up of those tightly packed dead cells of skin which continuously being replaced and falling off .
It is a deeper section of skin after epidermis, and it is made up of strong connective tissue. This section has crucial function to supply blood and nutrient to the epidermis. So it also plays a key role in maintaining the elasticity of the skin. It only consists 2 major distinct layer (papillary & reticular layer), but it is much thicker if compared with epidermis.
Dermis is the area of some important elements for the skin such as hair follicles, sweat (sudoriferous) glands, muscles that support your hair stand on end (these muscles called as arrector pili muscles), oil (sebaceous) glands, nerves, lymph vessels, and blood vessels. Both hair follicles and oil glands with dead cells of skin are often associated with the form of pimple /acne.
They are tube-like opening (small tube) in the skin through which sebum & hair reach the outermost surface of the skin. And the epidermis (the outermost section of skin) lines the inside the hair follicles – though hair follicles are contained within dermis! In general, they consist of some major parts that include the sebaceous glands, sebaceous duct, bulb & hair root, and pore-opening.
The following is the picture of cross section of the skin:
Dead cells of skin and sebum can be easily trapped within the hair follicle in the acne prone skin. If not cleaned properly, this accumulation may form a hard plug that impedes the pore opening (this obstruction is called comedo). As a result, there is at greater chance of developing pimple on the skin or face.
In the normal case, the oil (sebaceous) glands secrete sebum /oil into the pore. Typically, dead cells and sebum naturally come up on the outermost surface of the skin through the pore opening. But in the case with pimple, this mechanism can be awry!
Propionibacteria (P-acnes) bacteria
This kind of bacteria naturally lives within the hair follicle – and therefore, they should be harmless. But sometimes they can grow out of control – particularly in the acne prone skin.
When the pore opening is blocked, there is a greater chance of this problem to obstruct the oxygen flow to the hair follicle. With the excess production of sebum and lack of oxygen in the pore opening, this will provoke P-acne bacteria to grow rapidly.
The accumulation of excessive P-acne, sebum, and dead cells within the pore opening can make swelling and cause the spilling wall of hair follicle into the dermis. The body responds by releasing some white blood cells to help control the overgrowth of P-acne bacteria.
But this mechanism often followed with redness & swelling – and a pimple /acne has now formed. If the rupturing of hair follicle’s wall falls near the surface of the skin, a pimple can form minor and typically will heal quickly. But when it breaks deeper within the dermis, this is more likely to create severe pimples such as cysts or nodules.
Pimple – more causes and risk factors!
Though acne or pimple can affect anyone, but there are some risk factors of the problem. These include:
Age – teens /young adults are relative easier to have acne if compared with adults /older adults. This reasonable since teens are still going into their puberty when the balance of their hormones are fluctuating till they reach to the post puberty.
Women of childbearing age. Many women reports that they have acne flare-ups in few days before they get their menstruation. This is also reasonable since menstrual periods also affect the balance of hormones in women.
Pimples are relatively easier to occur on the skin if you wear tight-fitting items or straps that can rub against your skin such as wearing helmets, headbands, shoulder pads. Using certain equipment that rubs against your skin (like a violin held between shoulder & cheek) also may increase your chance of having pimples.
Pimples on the face tend to occur if you scrub your face too hard or wash your face too often. A hot water (at very high temperature) and harsh soaps also should be avoided, because they can worsen the pimples.
If you are an individual who easily to sweat a lot, you are also relatively easier to have acne than others who sweat normally.
A habit of touching your face a lot with your hands.