Zits always seem to appear when you need them the least. It’s the day before prom, graduation, a banquet, or… worse.. your wedding! What should you do?
It’s tempting to pop them, but unless you want an even redder, more swollen, longer-lasting pimple in its place, DON’T.
Instead, here’s an effective last-minute blemish treatment that won’t make your pimple worse.
The Best Last-Minute Blemish Treatment
Dermatologists have the best tools to get rid of your pimple, STAT. Ideally, you’ve established a relationship with your dermatologist. Call them and they’ll know what to do. They’ll inject it with a steroid and it’ll be gone by the next day.
But, if you’re a new patient, it’s hard to get a last-minute appointment. So, if you know there’s a big event coming up where the condition of your skin really matters, visit the dermatologist ahead of time. If you’ve been to the dermatologist before your big day (wedding, prom, graduation, etc.), it’s much easier to get an appointment on short notice.
Some brides decide to schedule an appointment the day before their wedding just in case a pimple pops up unexpectedly. If they need it, they can go to their dermatologist. If not, they can always cancel.
If you’re worried about a zit rearing its ugly head just in time to spoil your celebration, go ahead and make the appointment. Let the office know what it’s for and that you’ll likely cancel if your skin cooperates. They’ll understand completely.
At-Home Treatment for a Last-Minute Pimple
But let’s say you’re frantic — you don’t have a relationship with your dermatologist and you can’t get in last minute.
Your best strategy is benzoyl peroxide. Put a small amount of over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide on the blemish, rub it in, and it’ll work to kill the bacteria and dry up the inflammation.
What to Do If You Really Need to Pop Your Pimple
The worst thing you can do to your surprise zit is squeeze it. When you squeeze a pimple, most of the bacteria, skin cells, and oil is pushed deeper into your skin. Then your body has no choice but to fight the inflammation — making the pimple look even worse.
But maybe you see a whitehead and think that if you squeeze it, you can get all the gunk out.
When you pinch that pimple, you will naturally push at least some the infection deeper in the skin and out the sides of the affected area.
If you have a whitehead you can’t resist popping, there is an alternative option: prick it with a sterilized pin or needle and let the puss come out on its own. Any type of squeezing will make it worse.
Do DIY Pimple Spot Treatments Really Work?
Click through a beauty board on Pinterest and you’ll see a lot of options for using pantry products like toothpaste or egg whites as a DIY pimple treatment. Are they effective? Not really.
There are two perks:
- Using these treatments can help you keep your hands off the spot.
- Something like toothpaste can even dry out your spot a little bit.
But they won’t do much to clear the blemish.
You’ll always see better results by using benzoyl peroxide. It’s antibacterial (so it kills the bacteria inside) and it’s an exfoliant (so the dead skin cells will slough off faster). Plus, it’s safe because it doesn’t get absorbed into the body. If you need quick results, benzoyl peroxide is your best at-home option.
If all else fails and the pimple remains, grab some concealer, cover up your blemish, and enjoy your big day! No pimple has the right to ruin your fun… no matter how untimely or unsightly its appearance.
Dr. R. Todd Plott is a board-certified dermatologist in Coppell, Keller, and Saginaw, TX. His specialization and professional interests include treating patients suffering with acne, identifying and solving complex skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, and identifying and treating all types of skin cancers. In his spare time, Dr. Plott enjoys cycling, traveling with his wife, and spending time with his children and new grandson.
Learn more about Dr. Plott.