Pimples are clogged pores. We’ve all heard this before. But what is a pore? The deep thinker may ask. There are sweat pores which are connected to sweat glands. And, there are “normal” pores that are associated with hair follicles that extend outwards into the external environment as hair shafts. Pimples form within these normal pores from which the hair shaft grows (labeled “pore” in nifty diagram below).
One or more sebaceous (oil) gland(s) are associated with a hair follicle. The oil these glands secrete is called sebum. Why do humans have these microscopic lubrication factories?!To waterproof and protect our skin and hair of course!
Pimples form when the divine complement system of skin shedding and skin protecting goes awry. Skin is the largest human organ and holds incredible regenerative properties. Each skin cell within the epidermis has a turn over rate of 14 days. A cell works its way from the bottom-most layer of the epidermis to the uppermost layer. And, this is where the dead skin cells slough off. When dead skin cells accidentally accumulate within our pores, the sebum intermixes and makes all that waste matter stagnant, creating the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
The more sebaceous glands you have, the more sebum you secrete: which leads to a higher probability of your face creating treacherous pimply mounds. The number of sebaceous glands a hair follicle associates with increases linearly with the density/thickness of the hair follicle. I don’t know if the relationship is really linear but if true, that would make mother nature all the more fascinating.
What you’ll need:
- Rubbing alcohol (I use 70%)
- Bacitracin aka antibiotic ointment (ie Neosporin)
- A microneedle roller (ie Dermaroller) 0.5-1.5 mm (I’m a tough cookie so I use 1.5 mm)
- A good rejuvenating facial serum: DIY post here
This is a microneedle roller
1. Rub target site labeled for destruction via pimple protrusion with alcohol. If you are weary of using high percentages of alcohol on your face, a toner with lower alcohol content will suffice.
2. Apply antibiotic with a sterile applicator. I use a q-tip, which is not really sterile…but it’s clean enough.
3. Use the microneedle roller to draw an asterisk (*) with pimple in the center. Each line of the * should be rolled on 15-20 times. Looking at the schematic diagram below you can see that rolling down once and up once on a * line amounts to 2 times.
4. Apply rejuvenating facial serum. Again, sterility. If you’re lazy you can use your microbe laden fingers to complete this task. If you’re a clean freak use a Q-tip.
5. Douse microneedle roller in alcohol to clean and store properly.
Remember to apply facial serum every night! Especially the nights that follow this procedure.
My pimples completely go away within a 48-72 hour period. Hopefully your success rate will be as giggle-worthy as mine. Also, I would not use the microneedle roller on the same spot for at least another 4 weeks. Let your skin heal.
What’s with the microneedle roller?
Microneedling was first introduced in 1995 by the Orentreichs demonstrating its scar revision capabilities. A decade later, the dermaroller was designed to be used for collagen induction therapy and reverse photoageing (aging from UVA and UVB exposure). Microneedling stimulates multiple growth factors and structural proteins–namely, collagen and elastin in the dermis of the skin (reference photo above). It also induces new capillaries and vascularization to form: well oxygenated and vascularized skin equals pretty skin. The microneedles puncture the upper layers of our skin and create microconduits (tiny holes) without damaging the outermost layer. This is why you can go about your life per usual the next morning without looking like a laser attacked your face.
Your microneedle roller may also be used on wrinkles, stretch marks, and scars…(update: I used these on my stretch marks and they didn’t improve their appearance, so I’ve just been sticking to using this on my pimples!)
Where can I get a microneedle roller?
I bought mine for $6 from ebay…from Asia…and it’s been working great, you can also get these super cheap from amazon! Make sure you buy one that comes with a case.
If you are not stingy like me, you can purchase one from dermaroller’s official site.
2. Doddaballapur S. Microneedling with dermaroller. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2009;2:110–1.