How To Get Rid of Pimples Fast

Breakout 911: 5 Tips to Start Healing That Zit

Don't you wish you could get rid of pimples that always seem to pop up at the most inopportune times (like just before a big date, important job interview or your wedding day)? You need to get rid of pimples, and fast! Try these quick fixes to help rapidly banish that breakout.

1
Spot-treat it.

How to get rid of pimples fast
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Over-the-counter spot treatments deliver a generous amount of acne-fighting ingredients directly to the blemish.  The most effective with contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Experiment to find which works best for you.

Some spot treatments are made to be left on overnight. Others are incorporated into a makeup concealer or are tinted to hide the blemish while it heals.

If you'd rather go the all-natural route, try dabbing on a drop of tea tree essential oil a few times a day. Some sources claim tea tree oil is as effective as 5% benzoyl peroxide.

You'll be tempted to over-apply that spot treatment. Don't! You'll wind up with flaky, irritated skin you can't disguise with makeup. Always follow the usage directions precisely.

Remember, spot treatments work best on minor blemishes.

2
Mask it.

Sulfur masks can help get rid of pimples fast.
Photo: Sean Justice / Getty Images

If spot treatments aren't quite helping, you may have better luck with a sulfur mask. Sulfur helps unclog pores and reduce inflammation, and has been used as an acne treatment for many, many years. Today's treatments don't have the unpleasant scent of those from years past.

You can find inexpensive masks containing sulfur at your local drug store or more pricey products at posh department stores or salons.

Some products can be left on a spot overnight 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.

3
Ice it.

Ice can reduce swelling of pimples.
Photo: Jerome Tisne / Getty Images

Here's a tip I learned from my favorite esthetician: apply an ice cube to inflamed blemishes.

The cold temperature will help reduce redness and swelling, making the blemish look better. This is also a cool trick for those blemishes you can't yet see, but you feel starting under the skin.

You never want the ice cube directly touching your skin, so first wrap it in a soft cloth, and 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 cold and not heat? If you're trying to hide a pimple, the worst thing you could do is steam it (or apply a hot compress) just before you go out. Heat can make the pimple look larger and more red.

4
Inject it.

Cortisone injections can help get rid of big pimples.
Photo: Chris Sattlberger / Getty Images

For those incredibly deep, painful nodules and cystic breakouts, your best option is to call your dermatologist for a cortisone injection.

During this quick procedure, a dilute cortisone is injected into the blemish. Within just a few hours, the swelling with recede (and the pain will go away too).  As the breakout flattens out, it is more easily camouflaged with makeup.

These deep blemishes don't respond well to other treatments, so if you really need that breakout to be gone quickly, a cortisone shot may be your best bet. Ideally, you'll want to talk to your doctor about this option before you really need one.

5
Stop breakouts before they start.

Get rid of pimples for good by using a topical acne treatment.
Image: BSIP / UIG / Getty Images

These tips are helpful for treating individual pimples, but if you're constantly battling acne the ultimate goal is to stop pimples from forming in the first place. For this, you'll need to use a good acne medication daily.

Over-the-counter products can work for mild acne.  But if your acne is more inflamed, stubborn, and especially if you have severe acne or nodular breakouts, you'll need a prescription medication. 

Don't hesitate to give your dermatologist a call!

Next steps:

Watch the video: Top Quick Treatments for Pimples

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