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What’s the Difference Between Acne and Pimples?

pimples/acne treatment

The phrases “acne” and “pimples” are frequently used interchangeably. Although a majority of us are susceptible to confusing these two concepts, they don’t all refer to the same thing. There is a clear distinction among the two. Pimples are a sign of the condition known as acne. In reality, comprehending the difference between acne and pimples can be the finishing touch you need to completely cleansing up your complexion for good. This article will explain what acne is, what pimples are and the difference between both of them.

What is Acne?

As a result of congested hair follicles beneath the skin, acne is a prevalent skin disorder. Dead epithelial tissue and sebum, an oil that effectively prevents the skin from getting too dry, clog pores, causing nodules to appear, often known as pimples. Acne Rosacea, that arises in grownups, and Acne Vulgaris, that occurs in adolescents, are, for the most part, two different forms of acne. In addition to the face, neck, chest, arms, shoulders, and back, are susceptible to either types of lesions. Based on the seriousness of the condition, the appearance could change and might need a acne treatment in Singapore.

One of most typical forms of acne are nodules, cysts, blackheads, and whiteheads. Of which, the type of acne causing the greatest pain, that also affects underlying skin layers, are cysts and nodules. Acne with blackheads and whiteheads is much less serious.  Whiteheads are small, spherical, and white-coloured bumps that are commonly referred to as enclosed comedones. On the contrary, the clogs obstructing the pores turn black when exposed to the air.

The skin’s sebaceous glands attach to the hair follicle, which houses fine hairs, and cause acne, an inflammation of the skin. Sebum produced by the sebaceous glands in normal skin is released onto the surface of skin by the pores, a follicular outlet. Keratinocytes, a form of particular skin tissue, surround the pore. The keratinocytes typically ascend to the top layer of skin during skin tissue shedding. Due to the sebum glands producing excess oil, a blockage results. This causes hair, sebum, and keratinocytes to clump collectively in the pore of an acne patient. As a result, the keratinocytes are kept from flaking and sebum is kept from penetrating the appearance of the skin. Inflammation, including edema, swelling, warmth, and discomfort, is brought on by bacteria that ordinarily reside on the skin and can proliferate in clogged follicles when oil and cells are present. When the membrane of the congested follicle breaks, releasing bacteria, epidermis cells, and sebum onto the nearby skin, resulting in sores or pimples.

Some factors causing acne include:

  • Genetic background. If either of your parents had acne, scientists suggest you may be greater susceptibility to as well.
  • Age. Acne can affect anyone at any age, although adolescents are more likely to have it.
  • Hormones. Acne may be caused by a rise in androgens. They typically rise throughout adolescence across both boys and girls, causing the sebaceous glands to grow and produce more sebum. Acne can also be brought on by pregnancy-related hormonal fluctuations.
  • Medications. Acne can be brought on by some medicines, including hormone-containing, corticosteroid-containing, and lithium-containing ones.

By the time individuals reach ages beyond 30 years old, acne usually disappears for the majority of them. However, there are instances where some individuals still struggle with this condition beyond 40 years old.

What is a Pimple?

An unofficial word for either open or closed comedones, commonly referred to as whiteheads and blackheads, is the definition of a pimple.  They are tiny, non-inflammatory lesions that develop whenever a pore is clogged. These lesions develop in the epidermis, near to the skin’s surface.

Whiteheads that are closed comedones have a nucleus that is surrounded by an extremely fine skin covering. On the contrary, the center of open comedones, also referred to as blackheads, is subjected to oxidation, giving them their black and dull look. A regular skin type may occasionally have breakouts, which can typically be treated with over-the-counter topical creams.

How Do They Differ?

Understanding that pimples are a sign of a skin ailment, while acne is the ailment itself, makes the distinction among the two conditions more obvious. Pimples are a common occurrence for people with acne-prone skin, but not every person who experiences the infrequent occurrence of a pimple has acne-prone skin.

Acne refers to a chronic skin problem that is significantly more severe, enduring, and usually more unpleasant than the infrequent pimple. Recurrent and chronic pimples, often followed by bigger, profound bumpy appearance like nodules, pustules, papules, or cysts that develop deep into the superficial and underlying skin layer, are the hallmark of acne-prone skin.

There are several common leading triggers of pimples and acne, but there are also some important intrinsic distinctions that are important to comprehend. Numerous variables, such as hormones and hormonal imbalances, too much sebum, heredity, food, pollution, amongst others, can cause pimples. When a pore fills up with sebum, an ingrown hair, or other pollutants, a pimple develops. Despite the presence of some bacteria there, it generally isn’t sufficient to cause an inflammatory condition. On the contrary, acne develops when this inflammation worsens and spreads. Therefore, even while acne is related to many causes that lead to breakouts, there are certain things that are significantly associated with getting this chronic skin problem.


With the development of new, improved technology that can handle and help treat even the most severe forms of acne, acne treatments and procedures in Singapore have progressed through time. We wish to extend an invitation to you for a visit with one of our doctors if your acne is severe and resists other traditional ways of treatment. Drs. Grace Ling and Lim Luping are experienced in addressing various forms of acne, including several that have been thought of as incurable and have more than 40 years of collective training in the medical and aesthetics discipline.

Eeva Medical Aesthetic Clinic