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Causes and Symptoms of Zits

causes and symptoms of Zits
HWC team
January24/ 2017


Zits are a common term used to define the presence of spots and pimples on your skin surface. A pimple is nothing but a small pustule or a papule that appears on the skin surface. Zits are commonly called as pimples or spots. These are small skin lesions that develop when the sebaceous glands on the skin surface becomes clogged up leading to swelling and red lesions that are filled with pus.

Pimple appearance is primarily concerned with oil production, dead skin cells and clogged pores. Sebaceous glands become overactive due to the hormone dysregulation. Hormone dysregulation occurs generally around the time of menses and that is the time when acne starts appearing.

Parts affected with Acne or Zits

The most common parts that are affected with zits include: face, back, shoulders and chest. The pimples appear due to the proliferation of sebaceous glands. Generally people think pimples and acne are same but, pimples are a sign of acne especially when breakout occurs.

Causes of Pimples/Zits

The sebaceous glands are responsible for producing sebum. The dead skin cells are generally left behind and get stuck together by the sticky sebum resulting in causing blockage in the pores. Pore blockage usually occurs during puberty because the sebaceous glands produce more sebum at the time of puberty.

Sebum and dead skin cells together accumulate and block your pores and increase the growth of undesirable bacterium called Propionibacterium acne. Propionibacterium acne is a slow growing bacterium that is linked to acne on your skin surface.

Propionibacterium acne is normally present on your skin. When the conditions are favorable these organisms reproduce more rapidly and can create problems. The bacterium produces certain substances that cause an immune response resulting in skin inflammation and spots.

Pimples and zits are also associated with yeast infections. There are certain yeasts called Malassezia that can grow on your skin, forehead and chest. Yeast usually does not inhabit the same pores as Propionibacterium acne. Male hormone called testosterone is mainly responsible for producing excess sebum thus, increases the risk of appearance of clogged pores.

Symptoms of Zits

There are many different types of pimples or zits that appear on your skin and each having a different sign and symptom. The common sign and symptoms include:

  • Whiteheads

Whiteheads are also called as closed comedo. These kinds of pimples are very small in skin and remain under the skin surface and appear as a small, flesh colored papules.

  • Blackheads

Open comedo are commonly called as blackheads. These are clearly visible on your skin surface as they are dark brown or black in color. The color appears due to the oxidation of melanin in your skin.

  • Papules

Papules are solid, small round bumps that rise from the skin. These bumps are often pink in color and do not lead to any complications as it is curable.

  • Pustules

The pimples that are filled with pus are referred as pustules and are clearly visible on your skin surface. The base of the pustules generally appears red in color and the pus is on the top position.

  • Nodules

Nodules are similar to papules. The only difference between the papules and nodules is that nodules appear larger in size. Nodules are more painful as they are present deep inside the skin.

  • Cysts

Cysts are seen in rare cases and they are filled with pus and more painful. Cysts generally lead to scars.

Zits or pimples are preventable and curable disease conditions and does not cause any major health issues. A healthy life style and a balanced diet help in preventing and curing zits or pimples.

HWC team

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