Acne develops when oil glands enlarge and produce excessive amounts of sebum, which clogs pores and leads to pimple formation. Acne is most common on the face, neck, shoulders, back and chest, but can also affect the scalp, arms, buttocks (axilla), and external genitals (penis or labia).
A pimple is a visible lesion that occurs when a pore becomes blocked with excess oil, dirt, bacteria and dead skin cells. Unlike blackheads and whiteheads, which are non-inflammatory lesions that aren’t filled with pus, most forms of acne are inflamed and contain pus, the American Academy of Dermatology explains. Pimples are characterized by red bumps that feel hard and painful to the touch. The most common types of acne include papules and pustules, which are closed, red bumps with a white head that contains bacteria and dead skin cells; cysts, which are larger, inflamed, and embedded deep into the skin; and nodules, which are large, angrier and more irritated versions of papules and pustules.
Pimples can be very uncomfortable, but they are usually not a cause for concern. Most can be treated at home using a mild soap and an exfoliating sponge to remove oil, dirt and dead skin cells. Avoid rubbing and picking at blemishes as this can increase inflammation, delay healing, and lead to scarring.
If your stomach pimples don’t clear up after two to three weeks or if they are very painful, contact your doctor. Your doctor or dermatologist will be able to diagnose the underlying cause and recommend treatment options.