Why do pimples pop up in clusters?

Having a pimple is rarely an isolated incident. Often, when one pimple pops up on your chin, a cluster of pimples on your chin follows. Just when you think you’ve taken care of that annoying pimple, you discover a cluster of bumps nearby. You’re not alone as clustered breakouts are a very common phenomenon. But, you’re about to learn more about cluster acne as well as how to best avoid and treat it!

Why do pimples pop up in clusters?

Acne forms when oil from your skin (sebum) mixes with dead skin cells and other debris to clog your pores. When acne-causing bacteria is introduced to the mix, you’ll see —and most likely also feel — pesky pimples.

Initially, this process may only lead to one pimple. However, multiple sebaceous oil glands can be connected to each pore, so the sebum clogged beneath your initial pimple can lead to nearby pores getting clogged. This, in turn, leads to multiple pimples in one spot.

Why are my clusters only in certain areas?

If you are only experiencing cluster acne in certain areas, you’re probably wondering if there’s a meaning behind the pimple location. Everyone’s skin is different, but there are areas that tend to experience acne more due to specific factors.

For example, if you often have a cluster of pimples around your forehead or hairline, it might be due to a hair product. Acne associated with working out tends to appear on your chest and back, and hormonal acne sometimes shows along the jawline. Plus, your T-zone (forehead, nose and chin) tends to produce more oil, leading to (you guessed it) more acne. Do you tend to work at your desk with your hand on your face, forget to change your pillowcase at least weekly or sleep with your cheek against your dog’s fur? You might notice that you’ll get cluster acne from these types of habits as well.

Wherever your breakouts tend to appear, keep them under control with the ProactivMD® 3-Piece System. Start with the Ultra-Gentle Cleanser included in the kit to help wash away dirt and oil that can mix to clog pores. Apply the Adapalene Gel at night — it’s a topical retinoid that packs prescription-strength power, no prescription required — to help restore even skin texture and tone by attacking breakouts on a cellular level. Finish your routine with the Ultra-Hydrating Moisturizer. By alleviating dryness, you can prevent your skin from over-producing oil.

Does popping pimples trigger more acne in the same area?

When you pop your pimples without the help of a professional dermatologist or aesthetician, it is possible to trigger additional acne in the same area. However, this isn’t because the pus you squeeze out prompts new pimples. Instead, you might be too aggressive when popping the pimple, leading to inflammation if it ruptures beneath the skin. The debris from the popped pimple could release into the adjacent area, potentially causing an cluster acne. Also, your hands may introduce new bacteria to the area. To avoid potential delayed healing, scarring, infection and more acne around your pimple, keep your hands off pimples and let your acne treatment shoulder the burden.

The bottom line

Don’t let a pimple cluster ruin your day. If your skin is properly prepared to help reduce the frequency, severity and length of breakouts with the Proactiv® acne treatment system that’s right for you, you can get back to focusing on everything else you want to focus on!