What Are Pimples? Pustules? Cysts?
Put simply, a pimple is an inflamed acne lesion that has not come to head yet. As oil and dead skin cells build up, they put pressure on the cells surrounding the pore. With enough pressure, the sides of the pore rupture and the contents of the pore leak into the surrounding skin. Because this sebaceous material contains a lot of P. acnes bacteria, the surrounding skin now becomes infected, creating a red bump that we know as a pimple.
A pustule is a pimple that has come to a head. It is different from a pimple only in that it contains white blood cells. When the immune system fights off the P. acnes infection, white blood cells, which are soldiers of the immune system — pile up, creating pus in the pore.
Acne cysts are soft, pus-filled and inflamed lesions that occur deep in the dermis. When a group of pustules cluster together under the skin, they form a cyst. An acne cyst can appear similar to a nodule, but is pus-filled, and can have a diameter of 5mm or more across. They are usually very painful and often scar. Cystic acne can affect anyone, but it is more common in teenage boys and young men.
Inflamed acne lesions like pimples, pustules and cysts tend to respond quickly to the right acne products. This along with the right lifestyle changes can dramatically clear up and get rid of inflamed acne.