Why the Same Pimple Keeps Rearing Its Ugly Head on Your Face Over and Over Again

And how to get rid of it...for good.

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The scene: Your left nostril. The crime: A pimple that finally disappears only to torture you by resurfacing again and again and again in perpetuity forever. The motive: Driving you crazy for no reason at all?

Okay but really: Why does this happen? And to so many of us?

While we know what causes pimples in the first place—stress, hormones, diet, touching our skin, etc.—the case about why certain zits just won't go away is still unsolved. So we took it to the pros.

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"Zits reappear in the same place because a pore may have gotten damaged and keeps getting re-infected," explains celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau. "Picking at a blemish can loosen the cell lining of the pore and cause the clogged oil to slip deeper into the skin, creating an inflammatory reaction."

Yeesh. The silver lining? It is possible for a pimple to go away for good, but only if you STOP. PICKING. and adjust your lifestyle to help avoid flare-ups in the first place. "If it's food, stress, a product/ingredient, or hormone-related, and you remove the cause, the symptom should disappear," says Rouleau.

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As far as eradicating that sucker goes, your arsenal should consist of a spot treatment that contains salicylic acid, which works to get into the pore lining and reduce acne-causing bacteria. And here's the key: Use it even after that pimple is gone. Keep applying it to the offending area and you might just avoid those resurgences altogether. Try these:

1. Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment, $7.49; drugstore.com.

2. Renée Rouleau BHA Clarifying Serum, $47.50; reneerouleau.com.

You should also check out:

The 8 Worst Things You Can Do to Your Skin

Why We're Not Growing Out of Our Acne Like Everyone Said We Would


What's That Like? 10 Celebrities With the World's Most Perfect Skin

The Weird But Totally Mind-Blowing Skin Care Powers of Turmeric



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