Isn’t it infuriating? You have clear skin for weeks, but the night before your big day, a gargantuan pimple arises like a menace and threatens to ruin your life.
Stress and hormones often contribute, but the situation still feels unjust. Worse yet, most products that claim to work don’t. So, what does work?
The good news: you have options. See the emergency pimple-blasting tips below.
Emergency Pimple Tips
1. Pop it the right way.
First, know this: Never pop a blind pimple, or one that hasn’t come to a head. Otherwise, you could scar your skin or make the pimple larger, says the American Academy of Dermatology Association.
But you don’t have to tackle the gargantuan pimple alone; see your dermatologist if you can.
However, if you can’t resist, steam your face first to bring the pimple to a head.
To begin, soak a washcloth in warm (not boiling) water and apply it to the pimple for a few minutes. Continue soaking the washcloth for 20 minutes. However, cystic pimples—those large, deep ones—might not come to a head. So, see your dermatologist for an extraction if that’s what you’re dealing with.
For more tips, see this video by Dr. Pimple Popper.
2. See your dermatologist for an extraction.
For large cystic pimples, see your dermatologist for a “drainage and extraction,” says dermatologist Dr. McKinley Grant. This procedure relieves pain and speeds healing without scarring, she says.
3. Get a cortisone injection.
Another option? Get a cortisone injection at your dermatologist’s office to zap a pimple fast. Cortisone shots zap pimples faster than any other method and will shrink, and usually eliminate, pimples within 48 hours, sometimes sooner. Also, some urgent care facilities offer cortisone shots, so see what’s available where you live.
4. Apply sulfur.
In the meantime, try this sulfur masque and spot treatment to dry up a pimple fast.
Peter Thomas Roth, Therapeutic Sulfur Acne Treatment Masque, $52
Safe for normal, oily, and combination skin types, Therapeutic Sulfur Masque fights acne with 10% sulfur, kaolin clay, and aloe vera.
This product doubles as a masque and a spot treatment to dry up a pimple fast. Apply where needed for 10 to 20 minutes.
Next time you’re facing a pimple crisis, get a cortisone shot for a quick fix. But never pop a blind pimple on your own or you risk scarring. If you must pop the pimple, steam your face to bring the pimple to a head. Then, apply sulfur to speed healing time. Also, see Dr. Pimple Popper’s video for tips.