Dear LovelySkin, What’s the fastest way to get rid of a blemish? -Anonymous
You wake up on the day of your big event and find a huge zit that seemed to pop up overnight. It might feel like there’s no time to take care of it, but there are a few easy steps you can take to help minimize a sudden blemish.
First things first: don’t pop that pimple! A pimple consists of oil, debris and bacteria. Left intact, the head of the pimple (called a pustule) keeps the bacteria contained to one area. Popping the pimple could force the bacteria and debris even deeper into your skin, making the blemish worse. Touching the pimple could spread new bacteria from your finger to the pimple.
Picking is also the most common cause behind acne scarring. If it’s left alone, a blemish will usually heal itself in a few days. A popped pimple can linger for weeks and lead to scarring or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
If you see a sudden blemish, bring down the inflammation with a cold compress. Covering the area with a cold, wet washcloth for a few minutes will help reduce inflammation and calm irritated skin. Don’t place an ice cube directly on the blemish as this could damage skin.
Next, apply a benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid treatment to the affected area. These active ingredients reduce bacteria on the skin’s surface and exfoliate to unclog pores. We recommend Murad Acne Spot Fast Fix, which contains 3.5% benzoyl peroxide to reduce acne-causing bacteria and minimize the severity of pimples in as little as one day. ClarityMD Acne Solution Clarifying Gel uses 1% salicylic acid to fight acne at the source while helping to balance oil production and reduce inflammation.
Then, cover the blemish with a non-comedogenic concealer. Non-comedogenic means the formula won’t clog pores or aggravate acne. We recommend Dermablend Quick Fix Concealer SPF 30 because it provides long-lasting coverage without irritating sensitive skin. Don’t forget to apply concealer with a makeup brush because touching your face could make matters worse.
If there’s enough time, make an appointment to see your dermatologist. They can give you a cortisone shot, which will calm inflammation and soreness within 24 hours. Taking time to see a professional will also minimize your risk of scarring because they can suggest a customized treatment plan for your acne.
Prevent future acne by washing with a salicylic acid cleanser like LovelySkin Salicylic Face and Body Wash, which exfoliates to unclog pores while eliminating oil and bacteria. Finish by applying LovelySkin Acne Care Gel to help treat and heal blemishes.
Do you have a question about acne? Share with us in the comments.