Sunday, September 5, 2010

How to deal with a pimple

Okay, so there are a million and one websites that tell you how to get rid of pimples and only a few have got it right. I've been dealing with acne for 14 years and I've learned a thing or two along the way, so here's my best zit advice:

The first debate: to pop or not to pop. Generally try not to just pop for the sake of popping. Try a good spot treatment. I know a lot say benzoyl peroxide, but I don't like it because it bleaches my sheets. I go for a salicylic acid treatment in an alcohol-based gel form, more about that in a bit. The moment you see a pimple, put some treatment on it. Some zits can be cured this way. But when they don't, it's time to pop.

Now, you can't pop just any old zit, you need try your best to stop it, but if it grows anyway, don't pop it unless it comes to a head. You know what I'm talking about, when you're zit is about to burst anyway and all the white stuff has come to the top. It's a big red volcano with a white puss-filled top. It's gross and you don't want to be walking around like that all day.

Before you wash your face, either in the morning or at night, wash your hands thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap. We want to keep everything as clean as possible. If you're doing this at night you might want to swipe your face over with toner to remove any make-up around the zit, and to just give your face a once over. I know most places will tell you to wash your face first, but I like to pop first so I wash the zit out, too.

As soon as everything is clean go to town. Stretch your skin a bit before you squeeze in. This will ensure you get under the junk and you don't just push it back into your skin, making the problem worse. Stop the second blood or a clear slightly yellow-orange fluid comes out. No more puss will come out once this starts happening. Now wash your face with a good cleanser. I really like Clinique 3-step, but use your favorite, as long as you get that squeeky clean feeling.

Now put on your spot treatment. This is why I like the alcohol-based gel type, it kills the germs as it treats it. Don't mess around with bacteria and zits, you could end up with an infection like perioral dermatitis, which is not fun. (It's red flakey patches around your mouth, not even your mother will want to kiss you!) Let the spot treatment do it's thing for a bit.

Put some neosporin-type treatment on top of the pimple gel. This will not only help kill bacteria, but it will also speed the healing process and protect the area. I know petroleum jelly (the base for anti-biotic ointment) seems like it would cause zits, but it doesn't really soak into the skin, and it's kind of the opposite of the oil on your face.

Repeat the steps with the gel and the ointment until your scab has healed. I know it sucks to have a scab on your face but DON'T pick it. It will just take that much longer to heal. If it happens to come off when you're washing your face, fill the hole (there will be a hole) with anti-biotic ointment and let it sit for as long as possible.

If you're doing this in the morning, I suggest trying to put some time between treatment and moisturizer. Maybe have breakfast or feed your cats in the mean time. The more time the stuff sits on your skin uninterrupted, the better it will work.

But what if you don't want to wait for your zit to come to a head? What if you KNOW that it will, but you just can't wait. What if it kind of hurts and you can't stand it anymore. Time for a needle.

Again, make sure everything is clean. Rubbing alcohol is your best friend. Repeat all steps up to the point of popping. When you're ready to pop, stretch your skin so you see the highest point of the zit. That's where you want to put the needle. Pop a hole in the middle at the point with a sterilized needle and withdraw. Squeeze any white gunk out, but again stop when you see blood or ooze. Repeat the washing and healing steps as above. These might take a little longer to heal, as you popped them before they were ready.

If your acne fails to get better over time, please see a doctor. They can give you medicine that you can't find over the counter.

1 comment:

  1. Pimples are skin problems faced by almost everyone. It is one of the major embarrassments in social parties, colleges, offices or in many other social gatherings. Pimples can occur on face, back and chest. Pimples or acne is one of the most frequent, chronic and common skin diseases. It occurs due to the disturbance in hormones or at the time of puberty.