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How To Get Rid Of Pimples: Fast Treatment Methods At Home. Photo KnowInsiders

How do pimples form?

Your skin is covered in millions of tiny little wells, or pores, that sit at your hair follicles. Pores connect the surface of your skin to an underlying gland called the sebaceous gland. This gland produces an oily substance called sebum. Sebum is released continually, in small amounts, into the hair follicles and skin. Dead skin cells are also carried up with the sebum so they can be washed away.

Occasionally, the sebaceous gland produces too much sebum. The overflow of oil can clog the pore. The excess oil and dead skin cells form a plug in the gland. This pore becomes clogged with sebum, oil, and possibly bacteria. The bacteria can multiply. These bacteria can lead to an infection, swelling, and inflammation around the clogged pore. A white tip of pus will sometimes form at the top of the clogged pore. This creates a pimple.

Types of Pimples

Photo self
Photo self

Blackheads, whiteheads, and cysts are all kinds of pimples, but what makes them break out?

There are several different types of pimples, and they have different signs and symptoms:

Whiteheads: Also known as a closed comedo, these are small pimples that remain under the skin. They appear as a small, flesh-colored papule.

Blackheads: Also known as an open comedo, these are clearly visible on the surface of the skin. They are black or dark brown, due to the oxidation of melanin, the skin’s pigment.

Some people mistakenly believe they are caused by dirt, because of their color, and scrub their faces vigorously. Scrubbing does not help. It may irritate the skin and cause other problems.

Papules: These are small, solid, rounded bumps that rise from the skin. They are often pink.

Pustules: These are pimples full of pus. They are clearly visible on the surface of the skin. The base is red and the pus is on the top.

Nodules: These have a similar structure to papules, but they are larger. They can be painful and are embedded deep in the skin.

Cysts: These are clearly visible on the surface of the skin. They are filled with pus and are usually painful. Cysts commonly cause scars.

READ MORE: What is Acne: Causes, Tips and treatment at home

Fast facts on pimples

Here are some key points about pimples. More detail is in the main article.

Pimples range in severity, from blackheads to cysts.

They happen when the sebaceous glands become more active, dead skin cells clog the pores, and sometimes an infection develops.

Pimples often occur in adolescence, but they can affect people at any age.

There is not enough evidence to confirm that any particular food causes acne, but following a healthful diet may reduce the risk.

How To Remove Pimples Fast

1.Apply Ice to the Pimple

Photo HosBeg
Photo HosBeg

Here's a trick often employed by estheticians. Apply an ice cube to inflamed blemishes to help reduce redness, swelling, and pain. This is also a cool fix for those blemishes you can't yet see but can feel as a sore lump under the skin.

You never want the ice cube directly touching your skin, so first wrap it in a soft cloth. Don't ice the pimple for too long (frostbite anyone?) Ice for 20 or 30 seconds, followed by a minute or so of rest, a few times per day or just before you go out.

Why icy cold and not hot? If you're trying to hide a pimple or reduce its size, the worst thing you could do is steam it or apply a hot compress just before you go out. Heat expands, so it will make ​the pimple look larger and redder.

This is one tip that you can use for both minor blemishes and more severe inflamed pimples, like nodules and acne cysts. Icing won't make the blemish heal faster, but it can definitely ease the pain of these swollen breakouts.

2. Apply a Paste of Crushed Aspirin to the Pimple

Aspirin contains salicylic acid, which is super effective at removing excess oil and dead skin. Crush one or two aspirin tablets and mix with several drops of water to form a paste. Then dab the paste directly onto the pimple. This should reduce swelling and redness and also make the pimple less painful. Leave the paste on for 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse thoroughly with warm water.

Don’t overdry the affected area

It’s not the chemical you use; it’s the amount you use, says Neal Schultz, M.D., an NYC derm. “People think if a little salicylic or glycolic acid is good, more is better,” he says. “It gets to the point that the active ingredient irritates the skin, making it scaly and flaky and red.” To prevent irritation, try a lower concentration of the active ingredient once you’ve already broken out. Zeichner recommends checking your label for a concentration of benzoyl peroxide around 2.5%. One that really works: Paula’s Choice Clear Regular Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment.

3. Use An Over-the-Counter Acne Spot Treatment

When choosing a product off the shelf, you can narrow the choices by looking for two important ingredients found in many over-the-counter acne medications. Salicylic acid, mentioned above, is one of these. Another important ingredient to look for is benzoyl peroxide. In addition to reducing oil and removing dead skin cells, benzoyl peroxide also helps kill the bacteria that cause the pimples. While both these ingredients are safe and work in similar ways, which product you choose and how often you apply it depends on your skin’s own unique factors.

If spot treatments aren't quite helping, you may have better luck with a sulfur mask. Sulfur helps unclog pores and reduce inflammation, so it can help that swollen pimple look smaller.

Sulfur has been used as an acne treatment for many years. Today's treatments don't have the unpleasant scent of those from years past, luckily.1

You can apply the mask on just the offending pimple or over the entire face (this has the added benefit of making large pores appear smaller.) Facial masks containing sulfur can be found at the drug store, department stores, or salons.

Some products can be left on as spot overnight treatment for maximum effectiveness; others must be rinsed off after a few minutes. Make sure you follow the directions on your product, and never leave a mask on overnight unless it specifically says it's OK to do so.

4.Apply a sulfur mask

Photo AnceFree
Photo AnceFree

If spot treatments aren't quite helping, you may have better luck with a sulfur mask. Sulfur helps unclog pores and reduce inflammation, so it can help that swollen pimple look smaller.

Sulfur has been used as an acne treatment for many years. Today's treatments don't have the unpleasant scent of those from years past, luckily.

You can apply the mask on just the offending pimple or over the entire face (this has the added benefit of making large pores appear smaller. Facial masks containing sulfur can be found at the drug store, department stores, or salons.

Some products can be left on as spot overnight treatment for maximum effectiveness; others must be rinsed off after a few minutes. Make sure you follow the directions on your product, and never leave a mask on overnight unless it specifically says it's OK to do so.

5.Get A Corison Injection

For those incredibly deep, painful zits and cystic breakouts that don't want to heal, a cortisone injection may be an option for you. During this quick procedure, a diluted cortisone is injected into the blemish.3

Within just a few hours, the swelling will recede and the pain will go away. The breakout completely flattens out within 48 hours generally.

Large, deep blemishes usually don't respond well to other treatments, so if you absolutely need that breakout gone quickly a cortisone shot is your best bet. Ideally, you'll want to talk to your healthcare provider about this option before you really need one.

How to reduce pimple swelling overnight

Photo Medical News
Photo Medical News

To treat a new pimple at home, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommend:

Gently washing the skin and patting dry with a clean towel.

Wrapping ice cubes in a cloth and applying to the pimple for 5–10 minutes.

Taking a break for 10 minutes, and then applying ice again for another 5–10 minutes.

Applying a spot treatment that contains at least 2% benzoyl peroxide.

Following these steps before sleep may mean pimples look better by the morning.

Once a whitehead forms, a person can also apply a hot compress. To do this:

Soak a clean washcloth in hot water.

Apply to the pimple for 10–15 minutes.

Repeat this 3–4 times daily.

How to prevent pimple (acne) breakouts

Keep your face clean. Whether or not you have acne, it's important to wash your face twice daily to remove impurities, dead skin cells, and extra oil from your skin's surface. Washing more often than twice daily is not necessarily better; it may do more harm than good. Use warm, not hot, water and a mild facial cleanser. Using a harsh soap (like deodorant body soap) can hurt already inflamed skin and cause more irritation.

Avoid scrubbing your skin harshly with a washcloth, an exfoliating glove, or loofah (a coarse-textured sponge). Gently wash it with a very soft cloth or your hands. Always rinse well, and then dry your face with a clean towel. (Toss the towel in the laundry hamper, as dirty towels spread bacteria.) Also, use the washcloth only once.

Moisturize. Many acne products contain ingredients that dry the skin, so always use a moisturizer that minimizes dryness and skin peeling. Look for "noncomedogenic" on the label, which means it should not cause acne. There are moisturizers made for oily, dry, or combination skin.

Use makeup sparingly. During a breakout, avoid wearing foundation, powder, or blush. If you do wear makeup, wash it off at the end of the day. If possible, choose oil-free cosmetics without added dyes and chemicals. Choose makeup that is labeled as "noncomedogenic," meaning it should not cause acne. Read the ingredients list on the product label before buying.

Watch what you put on your hair. Avoid using fragrances, oils, pomades, or gels on your hair. If they get on your face, they can block your skin's pores and irritate your skin. Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner. Oily hair can add to the oil on your face, so wash your hair often, especially if you're breaking out. Got long hair? Keep it pulled away from your face.

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