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A pimple is a clogged skin pore that gets infected with bacteria. Pimples look red and often are raised above the level of the skin.
A pimple that bursts under the skin and releases bacteria into the surrounding tissue is called a papule. The skin around the area of a papule looks red.
A papule that is deeper under the skin is called a pustule. A pustule may not look as red as other pimples and may have a white cap in its center. It may be very sore.
Cleaning facial skin gently once or twice a day with a mild, non-drying soap and shampooing hair daily may help prevent new pimples. Over-the-counter medicine may help to dry up pimples. Squeezing or picking pimples may cause a skin infection.
Current as of: April 1, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine