Whether it's one blemish or an unexpected break out all over your face, pimple sufferers have often wondered how to get rid of acne fast. While it may not be overnight, there are definitely immediate steps you can take to help battle your unwanted blemishes. I chatted with Beverly Hills-based Dermatologist, Michael Lin, MD, who shared his expert advice for quick relief from acne.
Now is the time to let go of what you think you know about how to get rid of blemishes and zits. You can toss aside the old toothpaste trick and you can put down the titanium strength zit cream that will only lead to more skin irritation. With these simple dermatologist-screened tips for success, you can recover from an acne breakout quicker than the blink of an eye. Well, don't quote us me that, but much quicker than if you rely on your old methods of getting rid of pimples through prayer, tears, and isolation.
Whether you are struggling with twenty-something acne, you've crested the thirty-something acne frontier, or you are a first-timer acne teen, these skin care tips are the best way to get rid of blemishes quick. Here are five frequently asked questions (and solutions) when it comes to treating acne.
I'm breaking out! What should I do?
- For pustules (pimples filled with pus): Keep the area clean and apply a benzoyl peroxide spot treatment. Notice nowhere in this description does it say "pop the whitehead," tempting though it may be!
- For blackheads (oxidized sebum in pores that form dark plugs): Get the offending sebum extracted by a licensed skincare professional. Perfect excuse to go get a facial! According to Dr. Lin, a skincare regimen of 2% salicylic acid twice a day will help prevent blackheads from forming or recurring.
- For papules (red bump-like zits): Dr. Lin recommends applying a 5% benzoyl peroxide spot treatment to kill acne-causing bacteria and shrink the pimple quickly.
Regardless of which zit you encounter, the sooner you take treatment action, the better. When you have the world's largest papule or pustule that refuses to behave even with benzoyl peroxide, dermatologists may inject steroids to bring down inflammation.
Oops — I already popped my pimple. What do I do now?
Don't beat yourself up, we've all been there. Dr. Lin suggests cleansing the area gently and then patting it dry with a clean towel. You may apply bacitracin or polysporin ointment to help the area heal faster and protect it from infection. But whatever you do, don't keep messing with it!
Is there any way to magically relieve redness around a zit?
Sometimes all we want is a little relief! Now, this isn't an official endorsement, but in a pinch, the active ingredient in eye drops (naphazoline hydrochloride) helps treat redness. Dr. Lin shared that although it's not a real solution, in an emergency situation (Date! Tonight! Massive zit!) applying redness-relieving eye drops narrows the surrounding blood vessels and makes your little monster a little less noticeable.
What should I avoid when dealing with stubborn pimples?
- Dr. Lin's biggest no-no is picking or squeezing your own pimples. If done incorrectly, it can cause scarring or spread bacteria that can lead to more breakouts. Listen to me now: Walk away from the mirror.
- Another no-no is over washing or overscrubbing your face. Be gentle with already inflamed skin. Too much scrubbing or washing can strip skin of essential oils, and cause rebound over-production of oil.
When should I see a dermatologist?
If you've tried the acne remedies suggested here and nothing seems to work, you may find relief by visiting your dermatologist. Anyone with acne that is causing scarring, or acne that doesn't significantly improve within one month of using over-the-counter medications, should see a dermatologist.
These five simple solutions will have you recovering from acne episodes faster than ever. Remember, acne is common, but there are easy steps you can take to prevent it. If it's unpreventable, however, don't be afraid to treat it with Dr. Lin's simple remedies.
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