Spiritual Pimples: Day 1

For this series, “Spiritual Pimples”, I am equating pimples to the sin in our lives. Or the supposed sin in our lives—you know, those things that someone told us were a sin, because that’s what they were taught. Not necessarily what they STUDIED. Just what they were TOLD.

spiritualpimples day1

I recently covered this study with our ladies group at church, and although they looked at me like I was crazy when I first introduced my study, they all enjoyed it and got a lot out of it. God doesn’t use everyone to accurately equate sin to pimples, so I consider myself blessed.

Pimples. We have all had them show up at one point or another. But how much do we really know about them?

Here are a series of facts about pimples and the different types of pimples:

Blackheads

  • Blackheads form when oil and dead skin cells trapped in the pore lining make their way to the pore opening.
  • When this oil plug makes it to the skin’s surface and is exposed to air, it oxidizes, creating black dots, most commonly seen on the nose, chin, or center of the forehead.
  • Blackheads are not related to dirt or general hygiene!
  • Blackheads are not caused by bacteria, so they don’t respond to topical disinfectants. such as benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, or topical antibiotics.
  • Treating blackheads involves ongoing use of a well-formulated BHA product to improve the shape of the pore and to exfoliate built-up layers of dead skin cells.
  • Stubborn blackheads that don’t respond well to over-the-counter BHA products may benefit from a series of BHA peels from a dermatologist.
  • Scrubs and pore strips are of little use because the problem is not just on the surface.
  • Prescription-only medications such as Retin-A, Renova, or skin-care products with retinol can help improve cell function so the pore can function more normally.

Whiteheads (also called Milia)

  • Whiteheads are small, hard, white bumps that look similar to pimples but without the redness or swelling, and the contents can’t be squeezed out.
  • Whiteheads occur most often on the forehead, cheeks, and in the undereye area, but can occur anywhere.
  • Whiteheads can be stubborn and are difficult to treat. The best skin-care treatment is to use a well-formulated BHA product once or twice a day.
  • In many instances, whiteheads need to be physically removed by an aesthetician or physician.

Regular Pimples (Papules)

  • This is the mildest type of acne lesion. Papules are pink to slightly red bumps with a soft white surface filled with fluid and oil. They can be sore to the touch.
  • Papules occur when a clogged pore ruptures, bacterial growth causes inflammation, and white fluid pushes to the surface.
  • This is the easiest form of acne to manage. Research has shown that over-the-counter products containing benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are the absolute best way to treat these kinds of breakouts.

Large Pimples (Pustules)

  • When pimples become large, engorged, and swollen, a papule has become a pustule.
  • Most teens dealing with acne have a combination of papules and pustules.
  • Managing this type of breakout almost always requires a combination of over-the-counter and prescription-only products.

Deep, Painful Pimples (Cysts and Nodules)

  • Cysts and nodules are the largest, most painful, and most difficult type of acne to treat.
  • A cyst does not always look like a pimple; it can be just a large red swollen lump.
  • Cysts reach deep into the sebaceous gland and the deeper layers of the skin. If left untreated, they almost always lead to scarring.
  • Scarring occurs because the cyst is so large and deep it damages the skin’s surrounding support structure.
  • For cysts and nodules, it is critical for you to see a dermatologist because there are no over-the-counter products that can treat this type of acne.

We all grew up hearing several different things about pimples, what we needed to do to not get pimples, what we needed to do to get rid of pimples, what pimples are and what they are not. And so it is with our Christian walk. We have all grown up being told certain things about our faith. Are they valid? Have you taken the time to research the answers for yourself? Or are you just taking someone else’s word for it? If we have been this wrong about pimples are whole lives, then we are surely missing the boat in our faith walk somewhere.

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