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Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answeredAcne pimples can look red and swollen when they are inflamed and irritated. Scrubbing and washing acne pimples with harsh soaps can cause further irritation, making the lesions look even more swollen. Instead, gently massage a mild, non-abrasive cleanser on your skin with your fingertips. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry. Talk to a dermatologist (a doctor who specializes in the treatment of skin, nail, and hair conditions) about ways to decrease the redness and swelling of acne pimples on your skin.