Afrogal asks…Recently I popped one of my pimples and a big lump formed on my forehead. I’m starting to wonder whether it is going to go away. Are moles genetic or can they appear when you pop pimples or have bad skincare routine?
The Right Brain responds:
Moles are not caused by popping pimples or by by anything you’re doing with your skin care routine. Cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing the skin only affects the upper layer of skin called the stratum corneum.
What causes moles?
Moles are formed in the epidermis, a deeper layer of skin. There, cells called melanocytes produce the melanin (the brown pigment that gives your skin its color.) Sometimes these melanocytes start to overproduce and grow together in clumps. This over growth of cells is what causes a mole to appear. This over growth can be triggered by combination of genetic factors and exposure to the sun. But your skin care products are not a problem.
Why does popping pimples make skin look dark?
Are you seeing some darkened skin after pimple popping? That could be from hyperpimentation which is, as SarahF pointed out in our Forum, usually flat, not lumpy, but darker than the rest of your skin. It will eventually fade, but you can help it along with fade creams. Some experts think the hyperpigmentation you get from the sun (aka melasma–which is different from moles) and so-called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (what persists after a pimple) are actually caused by the same underlying process, inflammation. (Thanks Sarah!)
Image credit: static.neatoshop.com (Do you like how we continued the “plush microbe” theme from our post on Natural Preservatives? That was where Sarah Bellum got excited about plush representations of STDs!)