Acne care: How to get rid of a simple pimple, prevent it, and keep it from spreading
How to get rid of a simple pimple
Pimples. Zits. Acne. There are so many words used to describe those hideous red bumps that always rear their ugly heads at the worst possible time. Practically everyone, at some time or another, has had an encounter with the dreaded pimple; but what, if anything, can be done to get rid of one fast? Currently, there are dozens of acne medication and face scrubs available to treat the ego-weakening skin condition, but how many of them actually work?
The first step to ending your breakout is prevention. By following a few simple rules, you can reduce your battle with pimples. To begin with, you should never go to bed without washing your face – this is an open invitation for clogged pores and hence, acne. Secondly, do not use soap to wash your face – it is much too harsh; instead, opt for a facial cleanser specifically designed for the skin on your face. Next, try not to sleep with your face directly on your pillow, as your pillowcase contains an abundance of icky skin-clogging bacteria. Be sure to drink lots of water and exercise regularly, as this helps clean out your system and prevent pimples. Finally, make sure that all products you use on your face are non-comedogenic, meaning they don’t clog pores, and hence, don’t cause zits.
If, however, you already have a pimple, there is hope for you nevertheless. First of all, do not touch, pick, or squeeze your new pus-filled friend; this will only worsen the problem and very likely, spread more bacteria to other areas of your face with an end result of even more pimples. Instead, to drain the zit, place a warm compress over the area and allow it to “pop” itself – but remember, DON’T TOUCH!!!
Aside from the acne medications on the market, there are several home remedies that work for most people. If you simply need to reduce the redness of the pimple, rather than getting rid of it completely, there are several common household problems can be used to do just that: eye drops, hemorrhoid cream, hydrocortisone cream, and ice work very well to take the red out of a pimple. In addition, popping two aspirin or ibuprofen can also help reduce redness and swelling.
To take care of the zit completely, you can buy a benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid cream – they are the most commonly found ingredients in acne medication; most of these products should be applied directly to the affected area (it must be cleaned beforehand) 2-3 times per day. However, for many people’s skin, these products are simply too harsh. Therefore, for sensitive skin, you should pick a medication that contains less than 1% of either ingredient. Furthermore, your skin type corresponds with which form of the medication you should use; oily skin works best with a gel, whereas a cream should be used with dry skin. Also, it is important to never use these types of acne treatment before you get a pimple, as they will only “bring them out” before they are present. Even by following these rules however, products containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid can still dry out one’s skin, thereby exacerbating the condition.
If you would rather refrain from using products containing benzoyl peroxide, you are not alone. As a result, there are many home remedies that are used to treat the condition. Toothpaste, for example, is one of the most common items used to dry out an already present pimple. Like acne medications, however, toothpaste can irritate sensitive skin. Another item used to treat zits is Listerine, which contains a very small amount of salicylic acid and is therefore more appropriate for people who need the strength of this ingredient, but not the side effects.
Washing your face with warm, salty water is also very helpful in drying out a pimple. Furthermore, for most people, this method results in no irritation at all. Placing a small piece of regular scotch tape over the pimple can also be helpful in drying out a zit. Using an exfoliating face wash can also help reduce the redness and dry out the pimple (just make sure the product is non-comedogenic). Rubbing alcohol can also quickly dry out a zit, however, it is not very wise to use frequently as it can dry out your skin and cause wrinkles in the long run. An alternative to alcohol is witch hazel, which often works just as well, yet is much better for your skin.
In addition, cold, cooked oatmeal is also advised to treat pimples; simply apply to the affected area and leave on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing. Egg whites are also helpful in ridding one’s face of pimples; apply a small amount onto the pimple, allow to dry, and rinse with warm water. Another method that does not involve drying out your face is to apply aloe vera twice a day directly to the pimple. Vinegar is also helpful when applied directly to pimple, allowed to dry, and not rinsed off.
Finally, if you are a woman, go without makeup for a while, as this will help skin refresh itself and heal the blemish. Also, don’t skip your daily moisturizer (a common mistake) as dry skin can promote acne just as easily as oily skin. And of course, be sure to follow the rules listed earlier to prevent other breakouts. Should a blemish arise, however, do not panic, everyone gets them and it’s probably not nearly as noticeable as you think!