Acne and Pimples: Know the Differences Between Them

Acne and Pimples: Know the Differences Between Them
Published : Feb 14, 2024
Last Updated : Feb 14, 2024

Almost 80% of people experience some minor acne or pimples in their life. Most people also think that acne and pimples are similar, but that’s incorrect.

There is a difference between them, so let us quickly determine the difference between acne and pimples. One significant difference between acne and pimples is that acne is a skin disorder, and pimples are one of its main symptoms.

Blocked pores cause acne and pimples, but the two have some fundamental differences.

Understanding the difference between acne and pimples is essential because it will help you to treat and manage your skin problems.

What is acne?

Acne is a common skin disorder characterized by pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads on your face, chest, neck & back.

When hair follicles get blocked with oil and dead skin cells, acne occurs and leads to inflammation & and the formation of blemishes.

This skin condition of acne can range from mild to severe. Several people experiencing acne also have discomfort & self-consciousness.

Types of acne

There are different types of acne, such as:


They are tiny white bumps that occur on the surface of your skin.


These are caused when dust oxidation builds up in pores due to air.


They are small, raised, and red bumps on the skin that are tender to the touch. When walls of pores break down, papules occur.


Pustules are same like papules but contain pus. They look like red & inflamed bumps with a yellow or white center.


Nodules are solid, larger, and painful lumps that develop within your skin deeply.


Cysts are severe forms of acne. They are large, painful, pus-filled lesions that develop within your skin.

What are pimples?

Pimples are considered minor inflammations or infections of the skin that happen when your hair follicles get blocked with bacteria, oil, and dead skin.

They appear red, raised bumps on your skin, and might be filled with pus.

Pimples can happen on your chest, face, neck, shoulders, and back. However, they are more common during at the time of puberty because of hormonal changes.

Some factors are responsible for developing pimples, like bacteria, certain medicines, oil production, and genetic and hormonal imbalances.

Types of pimples

There are two types of pimples:


They are raised, small, and tender bumps.


Pustules are similar to papules but comprise pus at tip.

Difference between acne and pimples

Here are some key differences between acne and pimples:


Acne comprises a broad range of skin disorders, such as blackheads, whiteheads, and more severe forms, including cysts.

While pimples mainly refer to small, inflamed, and red bumps.


It is essential to know that acne can range from mild to severe, with different degrees of inflammation & presence of varying types of blemishes.

Conversely, pimples are usually mild and localized, appearing like tiny red bumps on the skin.


A combination of factors like blocked pores, hormonal changes, bacteria, excess production of oil, and inflammation mainly causes acne.

But pimples are caused when hair follicles get blocked with dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria.


Acne is a chronic skin disorder that lasts for months or sometimes years, with recurring flare-ups.

On the other hand, pimples are temporary and might get resolved within a few days or weeks.


Acne can occur on different parts of your body, such as the back, face, chest, and shoulders.

Pimples are most commonly found on your face, mainly on the nose, forehead, and chin.

Prevention or treatment of Acne & Pimples

Here are some effective methods which can help you to prevent or treat acne & pimples:

Cleanse your face twice a day regularly

It is suggested to use a gentle cleanser to wash face in morning and evening. This aids in eliminating excess dirt, oil, and bacteria that contribute to acne & pimples. 

Avoid picking or popping pimples

Picking or popping pimples might cause scarring and inflammation. It is best to leave them and let them heal in a natural way.

Use non-comedogenic skincare products

You must opt for products that are considered non-comedogenic as they will not block your pores. These products do not cause acne or make existing acne worse.

Maintain a healthy diet .

Have a balanced diet that includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains as they promote healthy skin.

To reduce acne and pimples, avoid the consumption of sugary and greasy foods in excessive quantities.

Related Article - Antibiotics to use Trat Acne


Thus, it is important to understand difference between acne and pimples to maintain a healthy skincare regime.

Once you know the difference between the two, it becomes easy to make informed skincare decisions and choose skin products accordingly.