Blind pimples - what kind of acne is this?

Blind pimples - what kind of acne is this?

You may never see the face of these pimples but they will still manage to scar your skin. Blind pimples are the cystic acne that grow under your skin and can be painful. Worst thing? They cannot be popped. If you try to squeeze it, all it will give you is acne scarring without the satisfaction of bursting it. If you’ve gotten one or you frequently get one of these, then you’ve got to read up on this!

What is a blind pimple?

Of course, these are the pimples that you can’t see on the surface of your skin. But why and how is what we will understand now. Blind pimples are the closed comedones just like whiteheads but the difference between your normal pimple and blind pimple is that blind pimples are set deep into your skin layers, which makes them so painful since they are usually cystic acne. They are tricky to treat and hence one can easily develop acne scars once they’re gone. They’re almost impossible to pop since they’re under your skin. So if you squeeze you will just end up with more inflammation and a stubborn scar.

What are the causes of blind pimples?

Unlike zits and whiteheads which are caused due to trapped dirt and pathogens, blind pimples have a reason that is more internal. It depends on your gut health, hormones and mental health. If you simply keep these in check then you can avoid another flare of blind pimples. Let us help you understand the causes of blind pimples a little more-

1. Hormones

If it’s a blind pimple then you know that this acne is deep rooted. So mainly what’s inside you is causing a blind acne more than blaming the dirt, dead skin and pathogens. For females, your hormone levels aren’t just changing with age but also every month. So to see a flare of acne or seeing blind pimples around the menstrual cycle is normal. They may go away on their own if you take care of your gut health. Learn more about hormonal acne and it’s treatment here.

    If you have conditions like PCOS or PCOD, you might see acne flaring up without any reasonable cause. Learn more to decode this condition here.

    2. Diet

    As we age, we might develop an allergy to certain edibles. So a lot depends on the diet that you have everyday and also the diet that you have when you’re stressed or happy or around your menstrual cycle. Diet will enhance the effect that messed up hormone levels could have on your skin.

      Learn more about how food affects your skin here.

      3. Genes

      Acne is a genetic condition. There is less that you can do to completely cure acne due to this reason. But if it helps, blessed skin too, requires maintenance.

      4. Medications

      Medicines belonging to the class of corticosteroids, testosterone, etc could trigger acne. It can also be due to harsh cosmetics like chemical exfoliants, comedogenic products, etc.

      5. Bacteria, oil and dead skin

      Bacteria and oil can trigger blind acne if your pores are open. Due to imbalanced hormone levels, your pores will open up and produce a lot more oil. Perfect to cause cystic acne once pathogens sit on your face.

      This is an image of Causes of Blind Pimples on

      How to treat blind pimples?

      So it’s clear that blind pimples can be treated only if we make certain lifestyle changes and stick by them. Along with the lifestyle, you can also include the following skincare changes-

      1. Light therapy

      Blue light therapy has proven to successfully calm your skin and destroy the pathogenic growth sitting in your skin layers. Thanks to the advancement in cosmetology, light therapy can be done at home too. It’s great to regenerate your skin along with keeping away pimples. 

        Sublime recommends Éclair LED Therapy Mask. It has three different lights and the blue light works well to soothe inflammation caused due to acne.

        This is an image of Eclair LED Therapy Mask on

        2. Retinol

        Retinol works by increasing the cell turnover and reducing the sebum production. It could be drying so it should be used with proper instructions. Using Retinol may not destroy the pathogens but it definitely eliminates dead skin and extra oil which helps in treating blind pimples.

          Learn more about the mistakes that you must avoid while using Retinol.

          Sublime recommends Deconstruct Retinol & Peptide Serum- 0.2% Retinol + 1% Peptide Serum. Due to the low concentration of Retinol and formulation with Peptides, it’s perfect for beginners.


          This is an image of Deconstruct Retinol & Peptide Serum- 0.2% Retinol + 1% Peptide Serum on


          3. Antibiotics

          Antibiotics of prescription strengths are used by dermatologists if the blind pimple has not settled for months and the cystic acne has grown in size under your skin. Since popping is impossible with blind pimples, antibiotics help but they are used only after consulting a dermatologist.

          4. Chemical peels

          Chemical peels increase the cell turnover and eliminates the gunk that supports cystic acne in growth. Certain chemicals like Beta-hydroxy acids (BHA) are oil-soluble and hence can seep into your cystic acne to break down the pathogenic growth. To acne-prone skin, BHA is a godsend! If you have never used chemical exfoliants and are vary of its effect, you can also try using Tea tree oil with a carrier oil as a spot treatment on your blind pimple to reduce the infection.

            Sublime recommends Dr. Sheth's Neem & BHA Spot Clarifying Serum. It has Neem and Tea tree oil to attack the pimples at the root level.

            This is an image of Dr. Sheth's Neem & BHA Spot Clarifying Serum on

            5. Ice it

            To treat blind pimples, you must reduce the inflammation that your skin layers are facing inside. Ice it, to calm your skin. This will disrupt the favorable environment that pathogens need to grow in. Less inflammation, quicker the healing of blind pimples.

              Sublime recommends Isa Ice Therapy. It’s a cryotherapy that also has the finest blend of ingredients.

              This is an image of Isa Ice Therapy on

              6. Pimple patches

              If you’re someone who loves squeezing bumps on your face then this one is perfect for you. Pimples patches are hydrocolloid patches that mainly contain acne fighting ingredients like Salicylic acid (BHA). They are transparent so you can wear them under your makeup. We love the Priveda ones, which work wonders for your skin. It has tea tree oil to combat bacterial growth, Calendula extract and Madecassic Acid to soothe and repair your skin. Since these are transparent films, they can even be worn under makeup!

              This is an image Priveda Spot Clearing Patches on
              This is an image of Treatment of Blind Pimples on

              How to prevent blind pimples?

              If you keep your guts clean and your skincare is in place, then you will not see the red painful bumps ever. Here’s exactly what you need to focus on to prevent blind pimples-

              1. Cleanse well

              By cleansing well, we were obviously hinting at double cleansing. Double cleansing is a process where you break down your makeup and sunscreen with an oil-based cleanser. And they move towards a foaming cleanser that will take off the rest. This ensures that no irritants  are sitting on your face for long. It’s an effective practice that everyone with clear and smooth skin would swear by.

                Learn more about double cleansing here

                Sublime recommends Pulp Off-Duty Superfood Cleansing Balm as the first step and then going in with Pulp Off-Duty Superfood Cleanser as the second step of double cleansing. It’s a non-stripping combination but effectively cleanses your skin!

                This is an image of Pulp Off Duty Cleanser on

                2. Eat clean

                You are what you eat. Acne is triggered by many factors of which lifestyle and diet tops it. You cannot expect your skin to not flare up by just using expensive skincare and eating junk. If you’re a woman in your mid-twenties, include something that can regulate your hormones so that your skin is not in bad shape every month before menstruating. We also recommend using multivitamins everyday as per your need.

                  Sublime recommends Cosmix Stress Me Not. It’s a fine blend that helps you de-stress and hence let you keep the hormone levels in check.

                  This is an image of Cosmix Stress Me Not on

                  3. Maintain your skin barrier

                  Even if your skin is producing a lot more oil and your pores have enlarged due to hormones, till the time your skin barrier is not in shambles, pathogens cannot harm you. More than 50% of your skin barrier is made up of Ceramides. It also has good bacteria that fights the growth of pathogens. If you have actives in your skincare routine then you definitely need something that takes care of the barrier since actives can deter your barrier.

                    Learn more about skin barrier here.

                    Sublime recommends Dr. Sheth's Cica & Ceramide Overnight Repair Serum. It has Cica to heal your skin and Ceramides to strengthen your skin barrier.

                    This is an image of Dr. Sheth's Cica & Ceramide Overnight Repair Serum on
                    This is an image of Prevention of Blind Pimples on

                    When to see a dermatologist?

                    If you’ve used every DIY hack in the books to make your blind pimple run away but it still sticks there, then probably you need a treatment method that your dermatologist will suggest. Ideally a blind pimple stays for a few to many months depending on the depth and size of the cystic acne. But if the blind pimple has stayed blind for a longer duration and has led to signs of scarring then you must approach a dermatologist before it turns into a stubborn mark.


                    Blind pimple is nothing but a closed comedone that is growing in the deeper layers of skin. They are cystic nodes and they can grow if you don’t treat them. It is, however, impossible to pop a blind pimple since it is beneath your skin layers. Squeezing and nailing the skin around won’t do much except for giving you stubborn scars. Treat the skin around it gently and in a few weeks to months, the pimple will subside. If nothing, we always have a dermatologist to come to our rescue.

                    - Divya Salvi

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