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While watching skin care videos and reading blog posts, one can begin to wonder about what exactly causes acne. Additionally, it makes sense to wonder how long it takes for your pores to become clogged and start the ticking time bomb process that creates acne breakouts.
The answer is not a simple one. More or less, how long it takes for your pores to become clogged depends entirely on your own genetic makeup, skin type, and what environmental factors you are exposed to. There is no cut and dry answer available because what may be instantaneous in some people may not happen at all in others.
What is a clogged pore?
To understand how long it takes for a pore to become clogged, you must first understand a bit about what pores are and how they become clogged up in the first place. Let’s take a closer look at your skin and why this issue occurs.
Pores are basically small openings in your skin that can be found all over your body, though we tend to focus more on the ones that are located on the face. These holes release oil and sweat and are also connected to your hair follicles.
Clogged pores occur when these holes can no longer release their secretions due to being blocked, causing them to become irritated and inflamed. This typically can be attributed to a variety of different factors, ranging from makeup, poor skin maintenance, bacteria, sweat, oil production, and hormonal imbalances. These all cause dirt, oil, and debris to become trapped in the pores, blocking them up.
Clogged pores and acne
Though clogged pores are not the only causation for acne flares, they can play a massive role in the prevalence and severity of breakouts. When your pores are clogged, bacteria can become trapped in your skin where it multiplies and causes an immune response that triggers inflammation.
Additionally, when your pores are clogged, the protective oil lipid layer that usually covers your skin can become unbalanced which can result in bacteria moving more easily. This means your acne is more prone to spreading and your skin will also look duller than usual.
How to treat clogged pores
Treating clogged pores can be a bit tricky. You see, when your pores are clogged they are already becoming damaged by the debris and oil stretching them. The main concern with treatment aside from actually fixing the issue is to minimize the damage dealt to your face during the process.
Many viral treatments like Dr. Pimple Popper and trendy charcoal peel masks may look great on a laptop or phone screen but when replicated at home the resulting issues can be detrimental. Dr. Pimple Popper is a trained professional who knows how to use her tools in a safe manner.
Trying to extract stubborn pores yourself can lead to you making them massive and even more inflamed, especially if your tools are not properly sterilized. These procedures should be left to professionals to prevent broken capillaries, breakouts, injuries, and other issues.
The super satisfying peel masks can be picked up at pretty much any store that sells beauty products. They are massively popular due to their easy to use, supposedly effective nature. Unfortunately, they can do quite a bit of damage to your face.
Peel masks may extract the gunk from your pores relatively easily but they are not recommended by dermatologists. When the masks pull out the debris, they end up stretching your skin and creating potential wrinkles. Additionally, your skin can become very irritated which can trigger other reactions and inflammation, especially if your skin becomes broken and allows bacteria to make its way inside.
The worst, most common issue that comes with peel masks is that they must be used frequently because they cannot provide long term results. Peel masks end up stretching your pores bigger and bigger each time you use them, leaving you more open to future breakouts.
How to avoid clogged pores
If you want to avoid clogged pores, the most important thing you can do is take preventative care steps. Having a daily skin care routine is absolutely key in ensuring that your face remains clear; wash your face regularly and remain consistent in the steps you choose to take each day.
Additionally, be sure to check the ingredient listings on your makeup and cosmetic products to ensure that they are non-comedogenic, which means they will not block up your pores.
Remove your makeup before bed each night and do not wear it for more than twelve hours or so to prevent it getting trapped in your skin. Try to avoid touching your face, especially if you have not recently washed your hands and never pick at breakouts. Lastly, exfoliate regularly to remove dead skin cells and excess oil and debris to keep your pores clear of build up.
If your pores are already clogged, there are some things you can do before moving on to preventative care. Firstly, try steaming your face. This loosens your pores and can help the debris wiggle its way out.
Using chemical exfoliation is also a great way to go about treating clogged pores. Try benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to help keep your skin smooth and blemish free while removing debris and bacterial build up.
If these things do not work for you, try not to resort to squeezing or popping the clogged spots. Instead, schedule a dermatologist appointment to begin to properly address the issue. The doctor may recommend a facial treatment or do an in office extraction to help ease the more severe spots. Prescriptions also work really well and may be prescribed if you are having issues clearing up your skin.
1. How long does it take for a cystic pimple to form?
When you get a pimple it may seem like it popped up in the blink of an eye. They always seem to show up at literally the worst possible times, usually just before an important meeting, special date, or photo appointment. Actually, though, cystic pimples take much longer to form. They typically begin formation one to two weeks before we see them or feel any discomfort.
It takes quite a while for everything to reach the surface which is why being proactive and having a good skin care routine is so very important. An ounce of prevention is much better than a pound of cure; it is easier to stop the breakout before it happens as opposed to dealing with it once it is already there.
2. How long does it take for a pimple to form after eating?
It is common knowledge that acne can be correlated to your diet. High sugar diets can trigger your body to become imbalanced via blood sugar spiking which can cause hormonal issues. These hormonal changes trigger inflammation which, in turn, leads to acne. Still, pimples take several weeks to form. Food sensitivities and exposures can contribute to and speed up the process but it still takes a relatively large amount of time for a pimple to form.
This means that if you are sensitive to dairy and have ice cream on Tuesday then get a pimple on Wednesday, the two events likely do not correlate in any significant way. If you eat dairy everyday for a week then have a major breakout two or three weeks later, there may be some weight to the correlation that is worth considering. If you suspect a certain food is triggering your breakouts, try keeping a daily food journal to help you track down the culprit conclusively.