How pimples form

Illustration of a pimple forming in a hair shaft

Pimples form when dead skin cells mix with excess oil (sebum). This mixture plugs the pore, causing swelling. Bacteria can grow in the mix and lead to infection and pus.

Last Updated: February 27, 2009

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Alexander H. Murray, MD, FRCPC - Dermatology

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.