FAN MAIL FRIDAYS: The Difference Between Cystic Pimples and White- Eyed Pimples (And All About Pimples!)

Hello! I hope you're not eating while reading this post because it contains pretty graphic photos featuring acne. Maybe you should finish that up before proceeding or set it aside for a while because this will help you understand your zits better. Thanks, Stella for sending this question!

Hi Martha! 
What's the difference between Cystic zits and zits filled with pus? What causes each type of zit? Thank you in advance for your reply! 

Photo Credit:

Hi Stella!

Thanks for the question. There are actually more types of acne, but the most common ones are the ones that you've mentioned: Cystic Zits and Pustules (White- Eyed monster). Click READ MORE and I'll briefly explain what causes the two, the different ways to treat them, and a brief run down of the different types of acne. :)

So these are the types of acne that plague men and women:

Photos sourced from Google

1. Whitehead- whiteheads are actually considered as a type of Acne-they are tiny, white protruding spots and a little bit like Pustules, which I will discuss later on. If not treated early on, it may lead to Pustules, Nodules, or Cysts. Whitehead is normally caused by external factors such as dirt, oil, and bacteria. To get rid of Whiteheads, they have to be extracted or pricked.

2. Blackhead- blackheads are considered as a type of Acne too. The opposite of Whiteheads, these are black spots that are flat- looking on the surface, but are deep. If not treated properly, it can develop into graver types of Acne or it can worsen on its own as a Blackhead (have you seen those Blackhead extraction videos? They're so sick. You've been warned. :p). Blackhead is normally caused by dirt, dead skin cells, and oil. To heal /get rid of Blackheads, they have to be extracted.

3. Papules- characterized as tiny, pink spots that are oftentimes tender to touch-these look like skin hives. Papules may or may not come in clusters and are normally caused by a bacterial infection or increased sebum production. To heal Papules, a topical spot solution or Acne injection are advisable.

4. Nodules- the big, bad boys of Acne. Nodules are elevated, hard, and really painful spots on the skin. Nodules are caused by pore blockages under the skin, making it hard to treat and they're caused by both hormonal and bacterial factors. Nodules can be treated with a combination of exfoliants such as BHA and AHA, Vitamin Supplements, and Acne injections. Severe cases of Nodular Acne may require all the previously mentioned treatments plus medications.

Photo sourced from Google

Pustules or White- Eyed zits (or simply Pimples) are the most common type that plague men and women. It is caused by a bacterial infection, when hair walls break down, allowing bacteria to enter. The inflammation and pus are ways for your body to combat the infection. Pustules are pretty easy to treat: Just grab a sanitized needle and pierce the Pustule sideways specifically on the white part-this will not hurt as the skin surrounding the Pustule is dead already so you won't feel any pain as long as you pierce the white part only (and make sure that the white part is really visible before doing so). Afterwards, dab a spot treatment on the ruptured Pustule to aid your body in the healing process. DO NOT SQUEEZE YOUR PIMPLE-this will just create more damage to the surrounding, healthy skin.

Photo sourced from Google

Cystic zits are a little bit like Nodules, but they're softer and smaller in size, and they sometimes come with the white eye like Pustules. Cystic zits are caused by hormonal changes in the body such as increased oil production, menstruation cycle, and even food reactions. Cystic zits take a while to heal and they may even worsen just when you think they're almost healed already. I was told that Cystic zits cannot be healed by topical spot treatments alone: it's either they have to be ruptured (which is not advisable as it will lead to scarring) or be treated from within using Acne medicine or Acne Injections. There are also topical treatments that claim to treat such Acne like Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion, which I am trying out at the moment.

Hope you got to know your Pimple today (and use this info to your advantage :D). Happy weekend!

**Got a burning question about makeups, skin care products, beauty, dieting, and health tips, relationships, and whatever? Just send them to or shoot 'em up at The Beauty Junkee's FB Fan Page via the MESSAGE button and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. (Please, do not send me Math- related queries. :D)

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4 Lovely Thoughts

  1. Another informative post! I thought whiteheads and blackheads are different from acne. I have whiteheads pa naman, and I thought they were harmless. :/ I'll treat this soon. As for acne, I rarely have one, but if I don, I just make sure that my face is cleanse so well. After that naman, the next day usually wala na. Super thanks for this post, you even gave us tips on how to treat acne! :)

  2. I've experienced having each of those mentioned *sigh*. I'm using peel off mask to remove white heads and black heads and I tried the deluxe facial of Diana Stalder last year and it really helped in removing the tiny black and white heads. As of the moment, I'm having a hard time with papules. They look harmless but still ruins my confidence.

  3. glad that i dont have acne prone skin ms m and im thankful for that, my only concerns were the tiny blackheads on tip of my nose (haha pango na nga ako ms m andun pa talaga yung blackheads ko, i remove them using tweezers kasi para syang tiny hairs kaya madaling maalis) and kapag dumadating ang monthly period ko dun lang ako nagkkaron ng pimple (minsan meron, minsan wala)

    tapos paisa-isa ang pag labas nya (masakit kapag nahahawakan o nadadali) i apply celeteque acne gel and wash it with celeteque facial wash (one for acne)

    and main problem ko kapag nagheal na sya ms m, nagle-leave sya talaga ng dark spot (how can i get rid of it? -- please help)

    again thank you for clarifying this out ms m, i could remember my cosmetology teacher told us about acne, ito raw ay toxic sa dugo natin na hindi nakakalabas kaya nagiging pimple, kaya hindi daw totoo na kapag kumain ka ng nuts eh magkakapimple ka

    there are some who had hard time dealing with pimples kasi nakakawala talaga ng self confidence (at madalas ito ang napapansin kesa sa bago mong lipstick -- based on experience)

    thanks again ms m!

  4. They are certainly quite an eyeful, but thank you for this! Very very informative!


Thank you for your comments!