How Long Do Pimples Last?

How long do pimples last?

Everybody can agree that pimples are a nuisance. They always appear at the worst time, and getting rid of them quickly often seems impossible. Whether you have an important event coming up, or you simply want to look your best, it’s useful to know how long pimples last.

Knowing what causes pimples and how to treat them can help you get rid of pimples quicker. Learn about what to do and what to avoid if you want your pimple to heal properly.

What Causes Pimples?

Pimples are a common yet harmless type of skin lesions. They can often be red, swollen, and filled with pus. Not to mention painful. 

Pimples and acne happen when oil, sebum, dirt, or dead skin cells clog your pores. Usually, they appear on your face, but body acne is also common on your chest, back, and shoulders. 

The three most common causes of acne are:

  1. An overproduction of oil
  2. Too many dead skin cells in the follicles
  3. An overgrowth of bacteria

All three of these issues are preventable through regular cleansing and using skin care products that regulate the oil production of your skin.

How Long Do Pimples Last Normally?

How long your pimples last depends on what type of pimple it is, how severe it is, and how you cared for it. Mild pimples that you treat well can disappear within days. However, severe pimples that you pop and bother could last up to six weeks, if not longer.

How fast your skin heals depends on the combination of the preventive measures you follow and the treatment you currently do. 

Some Pimples Last Longer Than Others

While most pimples disappear within a couple of days or weeks, others linger for longer. If you encounter an especially long-lasting pimple, it may be one of the following types of pimples:


If you have an outbreak of pimples, you probably have acne. Whiteheads (closed comedones) and blackheads (open comedones) are common types of acne. Sometimes, severe acne can also mean painful and red nodules under the skin.

The cause of acne is a bacterial infection. Due to the closed pores of your skin, an overgrowth of the bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes (P acnes) can trigger an outbreak.

Cystic Acne

This is a severe form of acne that goes deeper than the surface level of your skin. When oil and dead skin cells build up within your hair follicles, they can cause cysts under your skin.

The best person to turn to if you have cystic acne is a dermatologist. They can prescribe medication to treat your pimples and prevent infections.

Fungal Acne

An overgrowth of bacteria isn’t the only cause of acne. Fungal acne happens when an overgrowth of yeast (Pityrosporum) gets into your hair follicles. The pimples and breakout that you experience are easy to mistake for regular acne.

The reason fungal acne lasts longer than regular acne is because you’re treating it wrong. Antibacterial ointments won’t help. You need antifungal medication.

What makes pimples last long?

What Makes Pimples Last Long?

Sometimes, the reason your pimples last longer is because you don’t care for them well. Here are three reasons why pimples may last long, and what you can do about it.

You Mess With It

The urge to pop a pimple is often very strong. You think it will go away and heal faster if it’s free of the pus. It will at least hurt less, right? No.

Popping a pimple can open the lesion and lead to further infection. And even if it isn’t, the melanin production of your skin changes as it heals. This is called hyperpigmentation. Which can lead to a permanent scar or a darker spot in the place of the pimple.

You’re Exfoliating Too Hard

Cleansing is crucial when you’re prone to acne. And exfoliation can definitely help you shed an accumulation of dead skin cells and dirt. However, scrubbing your face hard or using harsh exfoliating products does more harm than good.

Harsh exfoliation opens lesions and can lead to permanent scarring. Opt for a gentle wash with a muslin cloth instead. And replace harsh abrasive products with chemical exfoliation.

It’s Not a Pimple

Sometimes, what looks like a pimple isn’t acne at all. Make sure what you’re seeing is a pimple before you treat it like one. 

Skin problems that cause blemishes that appear like pimples are: 

  • Boils: boils are infected hair follicles that often look like pimples. They’re red bumps under the skin that often turn into a whitehead.
  • Ingrown hairs: ingrown hairs are common in areas where you shave. If the hair grows under your skin, it can develop into painful red bumps. 
  • Cold sores: pimples near your lip can also be cold sores. This infectious disease happens when you have the herpes complex virus.
  • Skin cancer: there are various types of skin cancer, some of which (basal and squamous cell skin cancers) often look like pimples. They can also be scaly or discolored. If a pimple doesn’t heal within three weeks, or keeps healing and reappearing in the same spot, it’s worth seeing a physician to eliminate the possibility of skin cancer.

How to Get Rid of Pimples That Last Long

If you have long-lasting pimples, it’s never too late to start caring for them. Knowing how to treat pimples is crucial for fast healing times. Follow these 6 steps to restore your skin barrier to its healthy glow.

1. Leave It Alone

Again, despite the urge, don’t pop the pimple. Don’t scratch it or mess with it. Avoid irritating it if you want to avoid infections and hyperpigmentation.

2. Wash Your Face Regularly

Cleansing twice a day can help wash away the oil, dirt, and dead skin cells that cause pimples. It’s a great preventive measure.

However, washing too often or too harshly can irritate your skin and cause even more pimples. Choose a gentle cleanser, and wash your face with warm water.

3. Try a Warm Compress

Soak a washcloth in warm water and apply it to your skin. Even 10-15 minutes of this can open your pimple and let it release pus on its own.

4. Use Over-the-Counter Skin Care Products

The type of skin care products you use matters a lot. There are various kinds of ointments, topical creams, and lotions that promise to remove pimples instantly. However, not all of these work.

Knowing your skin type can help you determine what kind of product you need to care for it. If you have dry skin, you need something to moisturize it. If your skin is oily, reducing its oiliness can prevent pimples.

Most importantly, the products you use shouldn’t be so heavy as to clog your pores. Non-comedogenic products are your best bet if you have acne-prone skin.

This BIALife Acne Rescue Kit includes everything you need to treat your pimple. A gentle cleanser for everyday hygiene, muslin cloths for a revitalizing physical exfoliation, clarifying pads for chemical exfoliation, and an elixir for skin hydration.

Here's how you can treat pimples

5. Consider a Cortisone Treatment

You have two options if you want a cortisone treatment: you can opt for a topical cortisone cream or a cortisone injection.

Both can effectively reduce the redness of your skin and remove the pimple much quicker than other methods. However, this method only treats the symptom, not the underlying cause. Your pimple can return if you don’t use appropriate preventive measures.

6. Get Prescription Medication

If you suffer from severe acne, a dermatologist can prescribe you medication to target your breakouts. For some, this is a contraceptive method that influences your hormones. For others, it’s a dapsone gel or antibiotics.

Your dermatologist or physician can assess your situation and recommend the most effective treatment.

Pimples Don’t Last Long If You Have a Skin Care Mentor

Taking care of your skin can boost your health and your confidence. But, committing to a skin care routine and choosing the right products isn’t as easy as it seems. You could cause a lot more pimples that last long if you don’t care for your skin right.

Having a skin care mentor who can give you personalized advice can save you and your skin a lot of trouble. At BIALife, we know about the struggle of finding the right products. That’s why we want to help you find the creams and ointments that will truly make a difference to your skin and heal your pimples quickly.

And by joining the BIALife community, you can find the motivation and encouragement to commit to a skin care routine and transform your skin permanently. 

With love, Janelle & Shasa

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