Pimples are a common problem that people of all ages can face. When someone has an outbreak, they may want to know how to get rid of their pimples quickly.
While a person may not completely remove pimples in one day, he can make significant progress in reducing blemishes and reducing redness.
Treatments to get rid of pimples fast
A person should not touch, squeeze, or “pop” a pimple. Doing so can spread acne-causing bacteria, risking pimple infection and acne scars. Instead, try these methods to get rid of pimples fast:
- Wash the affected area with a mild cleanser. Dry the area with a clean towel.
- Apply a spot treatment that can dry out the pimple. Examples of spot treatments include tea tree oil, benzoyl peroxide, or salicylic acid.
- Apply to the pimple and surrounding area, with clean hands, to target pore and oil buildup underneath.
- If a person does not have any spot treatment available, they can try home remedies. Examples of these include crushing an aspirin and mixing it into a paste with a small amount of water. Applying calamine lotion can also help dry the injury.
- Consider specialized treatments or masks that you apply directly to the pimple.
- Examples include clay masks for acne blemishes, or acne “spots.”
- Acne spots are patches that cover blemishes and contain drying solutions, such as tea tree oil or salicylic acid.
- While a person waits for the pimple to disappear completely, they can apply a medicated concealer or a cosmetic drying lotion. These contain ingredients, like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, to further treat the stain while it heals.
Treatment of pimples on the body
Pimples on the chest and back are highly treatable, but may require a different approach than facials, due to variations in the skin. Some potential treatments include:
- Use a body wash that contains benzoyl peroxide. The Academy of Dermatology recommends leaving the body wash on the chest or back for 2 to 5 minutes before rinsing off. If a person has sensitive skin, you can use a 5.3% benzoyl peroxide solution.
- People with very oily skin can use as much as a 10% solution.
Apply a 0.1% adapalene gel to any skin lesion area. A person can buy this gel without a prescription. If someone has difficulty reaching their back to apply the gel, they can purchase a device to apply the medication.
- Change clothes immediately after exercise to reduce sweat and oil buildup. If a person is unable to shower immediately after exercising, it may help to wipe the skin with a cleaning cloth or flannel.
- Refrain from pinching or scratching the pimples. Picking your pimples can make them worse and increase your risk of more serious symptoms.
- Wear oil-free sunscreens when in the sun. Manufacturers sometimes label oil-free products as non-comedogenic. Using these can help prevent oil build-up under the skin.
- Always use oil-free and fragrance-free lotions. Avoiding oils and fragrances on acne-prone areas of the body can reduce the likelihood of breakouts on the body.
- As with pimples on the face, acne spots on the rest of the body can take time to completely disappear. If a person does not see results in 6 to 8 weeks, they can consult a dermatologist.
Particularly large or deep pimples can damage the skin and lead to scarring. These acne scars can appear as low or raised areas of the skin that will generally become more noticeable as people age and begin to lose collagen fibers in the skin.
While there are treatments available for pimple scars, preventing them in the first place is the ideal approach. This involves taking care of the skin not only when a person has an outbreak, but also afterwards. The steps include:
- Refrain from squeezing, popping, or picking a stain. These approaches can damage the skin, increasing the risks of scarring.
- Maintain a consistent skin care routine that includes face washing, exfoliating, and applying acne treatments such as retinoids, tea tree oil, or azelaic acid.
- Refrain from scrubbing the skin excessively or exfoliating too much. This can cause a person’s skin to produce too much oil, leading to more blemishes and higher risks for more acne.
- If a person cannot control their breakouts with home and over-the-counter skin care products, they can talk to their dermatologist about prescription options.
While the pimple and the occasional breakout can happen to anyone, there are steps a person can take to prevent them whenever possible. The steps involve a consistent skincare routine to maintain skin balance and avoid excess oil. Here are ways to help prevent pimples:
- Cleanse the skin twice a day with a mild cleanser and warm, but not hot, water.
- Applying a topical agent daily that helps prevent blemishes, usually by reducing oil and improving the renewal rate of skin cells. Examples of topical treatments include retinol, adapalene gel, tea tree oil, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or azelaic acid.
- Apply an oil-free, fragrance-free moisturizer to skin, if necessary.
- Refrain from using highly scented or oily products if a person is prone to acne.
- Change sheets and pillowcases at least twice a week to reduce the build-up of dead skin cells, bacteria, and oil that can cause breakouts.
- Using fragrance-free detergents to wash clothes and bedding whenever possible can reduce the incidence of new outbreaks.
- Sometimes if a person develops moderate to severe acne, they will require prescription treatments. These can include antibiotics to reduce acne-causing bacteria or tretinoin, which is a prescription retinoid.