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What is the Cause of Large Pimples & How Long Does It Last?

Pimples are caused due to the dirt the sits back on the face. The oil pores below the surface of the skin starts to excrete more oil after a person hits his or her puberty. The oil sets on the surface of the skin after flowing out of the pores on the skin. The bacteria thrive on the skin due to the atmosphere created by the oil, the hair follicle and the dead cells on the surface layer of the skin. Thus a plug is formed. The plug then swells up forming large red blister like boils which leaves a mark on the skin. Occasionally the pores of the skin gets irritated causing large pimples. The lifecycle of large pimples on the skin cannot be defined so the duration of the same cannot be predicted.

What is the Cause of Large Pimples?

What is the Cause of Large Pimples?

Usually when the plug is formed (out of dirt, dead cells and excess oil), blackheads or whiteheads are formed on the skin. Sometimes these become itchy and rupture giving rise to large pimples known as papules and pustules. If papules develop on your face, the skin area becomes very rough and dry; the papules keep growing in bunch making the skin feel like sandpaper. If you touch a papule, you can feel that it is hard. The pustule on the other hand is soft and blister like, is yellow in colour and contains pus within. Both papules and pustules cannot be treated at home; you should rather visit a dermatologist or get drugs from the medicine store.

Another cause of the growth of large pimples is development of cysts and nodules. When the pores on the skin get blocked, a swelling is formed and the root of the same goes deeper into the layers of the skin. This gives rise to large pimples known as nodules. Nodules are hard when touched and if the cyst is formed then it is soft and contains pus. Both are painful in nature and you might feel awkward to go out while having such a growth on your face or any exposed part of the skin. Only a dermatologist can help you treat a cyst or nodule.

Some of the basic reasons for the growth of painful and large pimple on any part of your skin

Acne is often the most painful of pimples that grow on your skin. Some of the major reasons which lead to the growth of painful and large pimples and acne that leave dark marks on your skin are:

  • If your body undergoes a sudden change in the hormones like the androgen amount increases then pimples may grow on your skin. Girls and women suffer more from large pimples because of this sudden shift in balance since the estrogenic levels and the steroid hormones levels increase during periods.
  • Hyperkeratosis which develops a horny layer due to deficiency in vitamin A or due to any kind of hormonal imbalance.
  • Taking in unhealthy food or following a reckless diet which gives rise to various problems including larger pimples.
  • Stress and any kind of cosmetics which gives rise to allergic reaction on your skin.

How Long Does Large Pimples Last?

There is no proper time limit yet mentioned which defines the lasting period of a large pimple on your face. The life cycle of a pimple cannot be defined since you cannot notice the growth of a pimple with naked eye when it is at its beginning phase. If it is a single pimple it may last for two days or even two weeks after you noticed the red bump on your skin. Painful and large pimples like nodules, cysts and acne can only die down with treatment which can continue for a couple of months.


  1. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Acne. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acne/symptoms-causes/syc-20368047
  2. American Academy of Dermatology Association. (n.d.). Acne. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne-and-rosacea/acne
  3. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. (2020). Acne. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/acne
  4. Zaenglein, A. L., Pathy, A. L., Schlosser, B. J., Alikhan, A., Baldwin, H. E., Berson, D. S., … & Bhushan, R. (2016). Guidelines of care for the management of acne vulgaris. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 74(5), 945-973.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 18, 2023

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