The urge to pop a pimple is real, so congratulations on resisting it so far. But here’s a disturbing fact: It’s very rare for a pimple to slip lightly into that dark night.
“The truth is, it’s not going to get better anytime soon,” Robert Brodell, MD, tenured professor and chair of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, tells SELF. Spoiler: That sucker might still be there in the morning.
It turns out that the best “treatment” for pimples is to proactively prevent them. “There are many older women’s stories and remedies, but the best way to get rid of acne fast is to always maintain a good skin care routine,” said Suzanne Friedler, MD, research fellow at the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) and Mount Sinai Medical in New York. The center’s clinical instructor told SELF.
That said, you obviously can’t go back in time in time to perfect your skincare routine to prevent the breakouts you fear now. So, consider these dermatologist-approved tips on how to get rid of pimples (and what you absolutely shouldn’t do). These remedies won’t work right away, but they will definitely help acne breakouts to be less noticeable as they heal.
First of all, it is important to have a basic understanding of what causes acne and how it develops.
Let’s dive into the details. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), acne is a common skin condition when your pores become clogged and inflamed, usually due to excess oil, dead skin cells, acne-causing bacteria, as well as dirt, makeup, and caused by impurities such as pollution. ).
This can lead to different types of acne, including papules, which are small bumps with pus in the center (also called pustules) or no pus (also called papules) ); whiteheads, which are clogged pores that look white or flesh-colored; blackheads, which are clogged pores that are open and exposed to air, causing the sticky material inside to oxidize and appear black; and cysts and nodules, which are those under the skin A large, painful lump.
There are many things that can cause breakouts, and when you learn about almost all of them, you can rest assured that it has nothing to do with “dirty” skin. Hormonal changes are often the driving force behind acne in teens and adults. Specifically, androgens — sex hormones that play a key role in reproductive health — are boosted during puberty. According to the Mayo Clinic, hormonal fluctuations also occur throughout the menstrual cycle, which may coincide with the timing of your breakouts. Stress, pore-clogging products, certain foods, certain health conditions, and your genes can also trigger or make you more prone to developing more severe acne if you’re already prone to breakouts.
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How to get rid of pimples fast (or at least make them less visible)
We cannot stress this enough: Don’t pop your pimples! “Most people’s pimples are either just a red bump or a pustule. When you squeeze them, something may appear, and it may be deeper,” explains Dr. Broad, noting that you can get Poke and stimulate to make your acne worse. While it feels satisfying at the moment, you will only delay healing and increase the risk of scarring. Instead of letting your pimple pop, consider letting the bump run its course—especially if it’s only one or two small bumps.
Another popular “remedy” to avoid? Save the toothpaste for your teeth. “Toothpaste just irritates your skin and can cause dark spots in the area,” says Dr. Friedler.
The best acne-fighting ingredients for you depend on the root cause of your breakouts, as well as your skin type. “The key is to be gentle,” Dr. Friedler said. If you’re too aggressive with the treatment, it can lead to more irritation and even hyperpigmentation, especially if you have a darker complexion or have particularly sensitive skin. “If you stimulate the pimple more, you’ll end up with a dark spot,” she says. With that in mind, here are the best acne ingredients and remedies to try when you need some quick acne fighting power.
For a really bad lump, your best bet is a cortisone injection.
“The quickest way [to get rid of acne] is to see a dermatologist and get a cortisone shot,” says Dr. Friedell. In most cases, the steroid injection is delivered directly into the lesion and reduces inflammation, swelling and pain in rough pimples within 24 hours, she said.