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Papules: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment


What Is a Papule? Rounded Skin lesions, Skin discoloration

Most commonly seen on Caucasian skin or white pale skin are these brown spots that are quite usual amongst people in western countries residing in colder climates.

However, the raised skin that develops discoloration is nothing but a kind of skin disorder that is referred to as Papule. Most teenagers might have encountered a pimple or two in their transitional stage but skin blemish is something people are not quite familiar with.


How to spot a Papule? Look for a circular pock mark

Being an assault of Papule, you would notice a solid, round heave up in the affected skin generally less than 1cm in diameter. It can be a small solid skin lesion that has no visible liquid linked with the blemish.

Just that the affected surface of the skin becomes discolored, and the papule is often slightly raised. Though they are generally circular in shape, but may also form other shapes, and it’s not unusual for them to develop in patches, resembling a rash.

A papule at times may be accompanied by additional skin issues like pus, scaly patches, or dried sebum. Papule is usually harmless, but if accompanied with serious skin deformities may be indicative of a more serious issue.


What Causes Acne Papules?

Like most types of acne, papules are an inducer of an increase in buildup of oil and germs confined inside the pore by dead skin cells. Papules usually materialize when the blocking of pores causes a hair follicle to become swollen and septic.

When this occurs, the body’s immunity system transmits white blood cells (WBC) to combat the infection. The pus or bacterial debris in the bloodstream form when WBC dies and gathers inside the papule converting it into a pustule.

In some cases Papules be caused not because of any underlying skin condition. It can spur up due to insect bites, razor burn, insect bites, goose bumps, skin tags or benign growth.


Other Common causes

Some examples may be:

  • Contact dermatitis, which is caused when certain materials come in direct contact with the skin and produce an allergic reaction and irritation.
  • warts, that are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • keratosis pilaris, a condition in which cells generates patches of rough bumps sometimes known as “chicken skin”
  • seborrheic keratosis, a condition in which cells generates skin growth that is rough, actinic keratosis, (often known as sun spots)
  • cherry angioma, a skin infection in which accumulation of small blood vessels develop red moles
  • molluscum contagiosum, a skin infection caused by Molluscum contagiosum
  • atopic dermatitis, skin infection also referred to as eczema,

Other potential causes

Though quite uncommon, the following may also cause papules:

  • psoriasis, skin disorder characterized by red, rough that appears to be scaly and flaky
  • lichen planus, a non-communicable skin infection which commonly occurs on the wrist and is characterized by flat-topped, purplish, itchy bumps
  • leprosy, a skin condition characterized by skin sores, and nerve damage
  • chickenpox and shingles, a viral infection characterized by a painful blisters, rash caused by a virus called varicella zoster
  • acrodermatitis, a childhood skin disorder that has been linked with hepatitis B
  • an adverse reaction to a medicine


How Acne Papules Are Successfully Treated?

Best Acne Papule treatments: Medical means to clear the discoloration

Acne Papules usually do not develop scarring and the milder ones often dissolve on their own over time. People especially of Asian origin may find the skin condition taxing both visibly and physically thinking that it’s altering their aesthetic appeal.

Howbeit, with safe and sound medical procedures both alone or in combination can literally minimize their appearance and speed up recovery time which is not achievable through natural remedies.

There is a range of topical treatments treatment options of consideration for more severe cases.

Topical treatments— Best for Mild to Moderate Papule Acne

One of the prime considerations to effectively treat papules is the topical treatments that include (OTC) acne products such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and glycolic acid, which are available in form of lotions, cleansers and masks.

How Topical Treatments are Beneficial in Clearing Papule?

  • benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and glycolic acid helps in eradication of dead skin cells and excessive oil buildup from the skin.
  • Clearing of dead skin cells using OTC topical treatments can not only clear the existing papules, but also prevents the development of new ones.
  • Topical glycolic acid treatment is proven to produce significant improvement in those with mild papule.
  • Green clay, sulfur, kaolin masks can helps extract impurities and contract blemishes.

Other Treatment options includes

  • Salicylic concentrated Deep Cleansing Face and Body Wash Our Deep Cleansing that works as an all-over body cleanser to gently eject out dead skin cells. Commonly a 2% salicylic acid helps minimizing oiliness, unblocking pores to clear acne and fend off future breakouts.
  • Salicylic acid Formulated Daily Oil Control especially for acne-prone skin that helps to quickly remove surface shine and helps decrease breakouts. The non-comedogenic, light treatment quickly absorbs penetrated oil and keeps skin stay soft and moisturized without feeling greasy.
  • Proactiv Emergency Blemish Relief: This invisible spot treatment is designed to speed the healing of a problem pimple with an emergency dose of 2.5% benzoyl peroxide. It starts killing acne-causing bacteria on contact, while conditioning ingredients help hydrate, soothe and calm dry skin.
  • Advanced blend of antioxidants, botanicals and strength sulfur as a Purifying Mask helps battle papules, pustules and nodules. The cooling kaolin clay composed helps to refine pores while keeping the skin moisturized.
  • Doctor-developed Deep Cleansing facial Brush designed especially to help decongest pores. The and water-resistant comes with continuous 360-degree rotation and dual- speeds to customize the level of deep cleansing while eliminating dead skin cells that can block pores.
  • Quick Fix Blemish Pen is ideal on-the-go treatment to battle papules and pustules. The slim, fine tip applicator delivers bacteria combating antioxidants and sulfur directly to skin’s surface, while drawing out impurities and contracting blemishes. It also helps absorb accumulated oil around the T-Zone area. The applicator is refillable and for self-use too.

Topical treatments— Best for Severe Papule Acne

Retinoids is the most common treatment option for more severe cases of inflammatory, cystic papule acne. Your skin specialist might prescribe retinoids, such as tretinoin (Retin-A), tazarotene (Tazorac), adapalene (Differin) or antibiotics, such as azithromycin, doxycycline or dapsone (Aczone).

How Retinoids are Beneficial in Clearing Inflammatory Papule?

  • Retinoids help combating the root cause of papules—blocked pores—but also aids in minimizing inflammation.
  • Topical antibiotics functions by stamping out acne-inducing skin bacterium.

Any complications associated with Topical treatments for Papule Acne

When you initially use these medical drugs, your skin is likely to feel overly irritated or dried out. It is due to an element- hydroxy acid- present in these medications which tends to have a low pH.

Their acidic property can interfere with the epidermal barrier which is the skin’s natural barrier that protects the skin against photodamage, bacteria and keeps it hydrated. That being so, when compromised, skin is expected to get dried off.

Oral Medications

Alternative treatments for papules consist primarily of oral medications. These include oral antibiotics, such as erythromycin, and various hormonal agents. For women, both oral contraceptives and antiandrogens can help reduce acne under some circumstances.

Non-Invasive Medical procedures— For Long-Standing, Stubborn Papule Acne

Acne treatments aren’t the one we call standard therapy like one-size-fits-all. If prescription over-the-counter ointments and antibiotics aren’t working positively for you — or if you are exposed to the complications of the topical medications and can’t bear the side effects these medications can cause — you might choose from acne treatments that are conducted at your specialist’s office.

Alternative treatments for papules that work successfully are the outpatient Medical procedures, such as light therapy or chemical peels, may help clear mulish papule.

Understand the Efficacy of these Acne Treatments for you

  • Light therapy: Revealing the skin that is affected by a type of bacteria to the beam of light significantly kills the bacteria from deep within. The pulsed light and heat energy kills the Acne bacteria settled deep within skin’s surface. This kill off not only help to get rid of the papule but prevent papules from re-occurring. The swelling and redness accompanied with severely inflamed Papule acne is caused by a type of bacteria and different types of light targeted significantly kills these bacteria. You can expect the procedure to be performed in your doctor clinic. Before the procedure, a medication is applied to the affected skin to make it more responsive to the photo light. You’ll probably need several sessions to completely get rid of the severe, long running papule acne. Your treatments may utilize red light, blue light, or a combination depending upon your best methods for treating acne with light. Possible but momentary side effects include sensitivity to sunlight and redness.
  • Chemical peels: Superficial chemical peels can help curb certain types of acne including Papule and prevent further control while enhancing the appearance of the skin. Chemical Peels have been quite popular traditionally when they were primarily utilized to deteriorate moderate facial scars and reduce the appearance of fine lines and sun damaged skin. During the procedure, a mild chemical solution is applied to your affected skin which helps unblocking the pores and extract blackheads, whiteheads, oil and dead skin cells. A chemical peel can also help generate new skin growth that’s healthier and brighter. The process might need repetition once in 2months for best results. Possible but momentary side effects include reddening, scaling, crusting, and atypical skin coloring.

Chemical peels aren’t advised if:

  • Skin is predisposed to develop inflated scar tissue — such as keloids, hyperpigmentation
  • Consumed isotretinoin within six months
  • Drainage: Your dermatologist may use special tool of ‘drainage & extraction’ to eliminate cysts, zits, blackheads and whiteheads. This process improves the appearance of your skin temporarily.
  • Steroid injections: The doctors most commonly use these injections as a temporary or occasional fix for the types of acne that cause painful lumps (cysts and nodules) under skin’s surface. After steroid injections, these conditions dissolve, the lumps flatten, and the skin can clear up within 2-4 days. Though is not used to treat widespread acne. The drug for Acne is effective but may have possible side effects that include abnormal skin lightening, thinning of the skin, and small blood vessels appearing on the treated area.

Prevention of Papules— Avert it before it Appears

While certain papules are inescapable, others may be preventable. Following the instruction below will help avert the avoidable:

  • Avoid scrubbing your skin during cleaning
  • Do not use hot water
  • Use mild, gentle soaps and cleansers
  • Do not put makeup or harsh skin care products on the affected area.


Preventable Acne Papule

  • Getting the varicella vaccine can prevent chickenpox or shingles
  • Keeping the skin clean and dry can prevent cutaneous candidiasis
  • Consuming probiotic supplementation during pregnancy and continuing through the first semester of the infant’s life may prevent atopic dermatitis.


Irrespective of which acne treatments you plan to receive, keep your expectations realistic. Severe Acne can be progressively controlled but not completely cured. To start to see quick improvements and make acne appear wither before it gets better from most treatments, visit Dr. Rohit Batra at DermaWorld Delhi.