Dr. Lawrence Jaeger of New York is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions and is board certified in dermatology and dermatological surgery.
Don’t you wish you could get rid of pimples that always seem to pop up at the most inopportune times (like just before a big date, important job interview, or your wedding day)? You need to get rid of pimples and fast! Try these quick fixes to help rapidly banish that breakout. Acne Breakout 911
Hands Off Approach.
1. Don’t Pop Pimples.
First and foremost—don’t ever try to pop a deep pimple. Don’t poke it with a needle. Don’t squeeze it.
Squeezing, poking, prodding, or otherwise messing around with the blemish makes the healing time longer. It can make that big pimple bigger, and much worse.
Trying to pop this type of pimple can seriously damage your skin and cause scarring. As much as you might like to, don’t try to drain this pimple yourself.
2. Use an Acne Treatment Medication
If you use topical acne treatments, continue to do so. You can even dab on a bit more on the monster pimple to help it heal more quickly.
Don’t confuse a dab with a big blob, though.
Using too much medication too often will dry out and irritate the skin instead.
Full disclosure here: spot treating works best for pustules (pimples with a white head). It really won’t do much for those deep nodules or cysts.
If you break out regularly but don’t typically use an acne treatment, now is a good time to start.
If you’d rather go the all-natural route, try dabbing on a drop of tea tree essential oil a few times a day. Some sources claim tea tree oil is as effective as 5 percent benzoyl peroxide.
You’ll be tempted to over-apply that spot treatment. Don’t! You’ll wind up with flaky, irritated skin you can’t disguise with makeup. Always follow the usage directions precisely.
Remember, spot treatments only work best on minor blemishes.
3. Break Out the Warm Compresses
You can encourage the pimple to come to a head on its own by using a warm compress. Make one by soaking a washcloth in really warm water. Apply to the pimple for 20 minutes or so, a couple of times a day. You might have to do this for several days.
With any luck, the warm compress will help the pimple to drain on its own. Remember, though, don’t squeeze at the pimple even if it comes to a head. Let it drain naturally.
Seek Professional Skin Care.
4. Visit Your Dermatologist for Incision and Drainage
When at-home treatments aren’t helping, especially if you’ve had that blemish for more than a few weeks, it’s time to call in the pros. Those deep cystic breakouts sometimes need to be lanced and drained by a medical professional.
The dermatologist will make a small incision in the skin and carefully drain the debris from the blemish. It’s a bit uncomfortable, but not as bad as it sounds.
And once done, your skin can actually start to heal.
It’s important that you only let a physician do this! Your esthetician can’t (and legally, shouldn’t) lance a deep blemish. And this is definitely not a DIY job.
Advanced Skin Care Treatments.
5. Try a Cortisone Injection
Another pro treatment for big pimples is an intralesional cortisone injection.
A tiny needle is used to inject a dilute steroid into the blemish. Within just a few days, the pimple shrinks and disappears.
Again, this procedure must be done by a dermatologist, but it’s a super fast way to heal those monster zits.
6. Make Sure It’s Really a Pimple
Any acne-like bump that appears on your skin and just won’t heal warrants a trip to the doctor. This is especially true if the bump is extremely large, inflamed, or painful, or if the pimple pops up in a place you typically wouldn’t expect to find acne (your underarm, for example, or the back of your knee).
If you aren’t 100% certain it’s an acne breakout, please make an appointment with your dermatologist.