You wake up feeling rested and optimistic. It’s going to be a good day—that is, until you discover the giant pimple on your cheek staring back at you in the mirror.
How could this have happened? There was no sign that anything was brewing before you went to bed.
You don’t, however, need watch helplessly as that zit derails your day before it even begins. First things first, dab on a spot treatment with 2% salicylic acid. That’ll help, but it’s going to take about a week to do its job. In the meantime, try one of the following ways to shrink the appearance of a pimple fast.
Use a hydrocortisone cream as a spot treatment.
It doesn’t need to be prescription-strength. An over-the-counter cream contains the same steroids that dermatologists inject into pimples to make them disappear. In this instance, use it as a spot treatment, and try to leave it on for around 15 minutes before rinsing it off. The longer you let it sit, the more effective it will be when you try to shrink the pimple.
Or try the same with a clay face mask.
In a pinch, it could also be used as a rinse-off spot treatment. Kaolin clay has been shown to draw impurities out of the skin.
Dab on a little Visine.
Yes, Visine. It makes bloodshot eyes less inflamed. It also has the same effect on pimples. It won’t, however, make the bump smaller. So, if taking the red out of your pimple is good enough for the time being, soak a cotton swab in a few drops, then lightly dab it on your blemish.
If waking up to a newly-formed pimple is more than an occasional occurrence for you, consider using a face wash with 2% salicylic acid. Hormonal zits, in particular, tend to crop around the mouth. A face wash should make those breakouts less frequent.
One last word to address the elephant in the room: You should go out of your way to not pop your pimple. Doing so can damage skin tissue and worsen the pimple’s appearance. However, if you can’t bear the thought of walking out of the house with it—for what it’s worth, no one else is likely to notice it—take a hot shower and then very gently press down on the surrounding skin with a cotton swab. That’ll prevent you from applying too much pressure.
For more skincare tips & tricks, visit Dr. Robert M. Paull on Instagram!