Difference Between Acne and Pimples

Key difference - acne vs. pimples

Pimples and acne are two types of skin conditions that are common in the general population these days due to various reasons such as improper dietary factors and hormonal imbalances. The main difference between acne and pimples is that pimples are a type of skin lesion or inflammation of the skin, while acne is a chronic skin condition that occurs when the hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells and sebum.

In this article we will discuss

1. What is pimple? - Clinical features, causes, management and treatment

2. What is acne? - Clinical features, causes, management and treatment

3. What is the difference between pimples and acne? Difference Between Acne and Pimples - Summary of Comparing Acne vs. Pimples

What is a pimple

A pimple is a small pustule or papule that develops when the sebum glands are clogged and infected, resulting in a swollen, red-colored lesion with pus. This can also occur due to increased sebum production, increased cell turnover, which leads to multiple dead skin cells, clogged pores, and bacteria.

These papules or pustules can usually be seen on the face, neck, back, and shoulder. These pore obstructions are more likely to occur during puberty due to sudden hormonal changes in the body that lead to increased sebum production by the sebum glands.

For some people, however, these clogged pores can create a well-nourished environment for microorganisms to grow, ultimately leading to infection and making matters worse.

According to the latest research studies, pimples affect around 80% of teenagers, with a clear female dominance.

While pimples are not life-threatening and do not cause serious complications, it is better to seek medical advice, as severe pimples are often a cause of mental health problems, in which sufferers can avoid social interactions and communication out of embarrassment.

The following steps can help reduce or control pimples.

  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Wash your face often and moisturize it well
  • Avoid touching or popping pimples as this can lead to deep scars.
  • Avoid using makeup and face creams that contain harsh compounds and acids.
  • Wash off make-up properly, preferably with a detergent.
  • Maintain good self-hygiene

As far as pharmacological treatment for pimples is considered, chemicals like resorcinol and salicylic acid are known to be the best options. You can find these in the form of gels, pads, creams, lotions and soaps.

It is very important to use these drugs strictly under the guidance of a doctor, as some can cause allergies, skin irritation, dryness, redness, or even burning sensation due to the natural mechanism of action or as side effects.

Difference Between Acne and Pimples

What is acne

Acne is a chronic skin condition that occurs when the hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells and sebum that is secreted by the sebum glands.

This is very common in teenagers due to hormonal changes and increased androgen production during puberty; Genetics also play a major role in etiology. In addition, the bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes and the local release of inflammatory chemicals in the skin as a result of various skin irritants are known to cause acne, depending on individual factors such as skin type.

Acne mainly affects the face, upper chest, and back. Patients affected by this skin condition are often faced with microcomedones, comedones, papules, pustules, nodules, and scars, the color of which varies depending on the complexion of each skin.

Lifestyle changes, procedures like cautery and medications including salicylic acid are hallmarks of acne therapy. It is also highly recommended that you minimize your consumption of sugary foods, carbonated beverages, and oils.

If the main cause is suspected to be infection, antibiotics and retinoid are the treatments of choice, available in both topical and oral formulations.

Early intervention and aggressive treatments are highly recommended for those with acne to reduce the long-term effects such as scarring, pigmentation, and darkening of the skin.

Key difference - acne vs. pimples

Difference Between Acne and Pimples


Pimples are a type of skin lesion or inflammation of the skin.

Acne Vulgari , also known as acne, is a chronic skin condition that occurs when the hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells and sebum.


As for the etiology, pimples usually appear due to a specific clogging of the skin pores while

Acne results from an increased stimulation of androgens.

In addition, pimples are not always genetic, while acne can be caused by familial or genetic factors. In some people, pimples can also be a cause of severe acne.

Image courtesy:

"1606765" (Public Domain) via Pixbay

“Papule and Plaque” by Madhero88 - Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the author: Embogama

Embogama has been a passionate freelance writer for several years. Her areas of interest include general medicine, clinical medicine, health and fitness, Ayurvedic medicine, psychology, counseling, and piano music