Are Pimples Contagious?

Are pimples contagious?

It’s a reasonable question to ask: are pimples contagious? You might have wondered before, or you might have other similar questions about pimples and acne.

The short answer is no. Pimples are not contagious, so you can’t “catch” acne from other people. But it’s an interesting question and taking a deeper look at the answer should be insightful!

So, Are Pimples Contagious?

There are a lot of myths surrounding acne. One such myth is that pimples are contagious – that you can catch them from someone else or they can spread between people. Other myths are that acne is caused by dirt, or that people with acne are unclean. None of these statements are true. 

We know that there’s nothing unclean about acne. In fact, it’s more likely to be caused by too much cleaning! Cleaning away the natural oil on the skin can lead to over-production, causing more acne. This is the ironic truth that can be difficult to understand, many go about scrubbing their face with strong cleansers to wonder why their acne is only getting worse – don’t fall into the trap!

Everyone has the acne bacteria on their skin. But whether or not it turns into pimples and acne depends on other factors, it’s a careful balancing act. You can’t spread it to other people, because it’s already there and will not transfer. You can share towels, kiss, or touch skin with acne without “catching” it. But, in general, you should be careful about unknown or unclean items touching your face as it can irritate your pimples or make them worse. It would be unlikely to contract an infection through ache but it is possible, so treat spots with care and regularly clean them if they get dirty, e.g. when playing sports. Touching your acne can introduce germs and other bacteria to the wound, making the spot much worse!

Picking with your fingers can also make your acne much worse as the underneath of the nails is generally not clean. This can cause redness, swelling and irritation – our hands carry a lot of germs, bacteria, and dirt, even if they look clean! If you squeeze or pick at a pimple and break the skin then those germs can get into the pimple. This can cause the pimple to get worse, or infected.

While the answer to “are pimples contagious?” is no, there are lots of things you can do for your acne. Cleaning your skin regularly is important. But so is moisturising to replace the lost oils. Using a proper “pimple popper” or comedone extractor is hygienic and causes less swelling and redness. Your doctor might be able to prescribe medication for your acne.

Acne and pimples affect most people at some time. It’s not contagious, or dirty. It might be frustrating but it’s no reason not to feel confident and great about yourself. Acne is a natural process for many of us and treating and managing it is easily doable if you’re armed with the proper techniques and products to support you! 

Faces photo by Soroush Karimi on Unsplash

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