Updated 10/12/16. It’s challenging to prevent blemishes from forming but you do have control over what happens when it finally appears. I’m often asked “How do I get rid of a blemish fast?” Read my five expert tips for getting a zit to go away quickly, while minimizing a stubborn red scar.
1. Your body will do everything it can to heal a blemish fast. The human body is truly amazing. The expression “time heals all wounds” is true when it comes to our minds, bodies and skin. For example, when a smoker finally decides to quit smoking, the lungs can actually start to heal themselves from the damage associated with nicotine. When you accidentally cut yourself, the skin quickly stimulates repair processes to help close and heal the wound. When it comes to blemishes, when one appears, your skin will do everything it can to get it to heal and go away fast—even if you do not treat it with a topical acne spot treatment. (Note: The tooth is the only part of the human body that can’t repair itself.) …
2. When you get a red, painful blemish, ONE of two things will happen:
The infection inside the blemish will work its way up to the surface of the skin resulting in a whitehead. If your skin could talk, it would say, “There is an infection and I want it out. The way I’ll take care of this is to excrete the infection through the skin’s surface.” This type of blemish is called a pustule.
The infection will NOT come up to the surface. It will stay deep within the skin until the body eventually re-absorbs it. If your skin could talk, it would say, “I’m just going to hang out down here for a bit. Don’t worry, I’ll go away on my own but I’m going to be kind of an annoying bump for a while.” This type of blemish is called a cyst.
3. To get it to go away quickly, choose and use your spot treatments wisely.
FOR PUSTULAR BLEMISHES: The best course of action is to NOT act the minute you feel it coming on by using a overly drying spot treatment, instead, apply an anti-inflammatory acne treatment like Anti Cyst Treatment or simply leave it alone and wait a day or two for the infection to appear on the surface. Waiting will allow you to effectively control the blemish without damaging and drying out the skin. Once the whitehead is truly visible, gently squeeze out the infection with your fingers wrapped in tissue and then once it’s removed, apply a spot-drying treatment, like Night Time Spot Lotion, which will work its way into the opening of the skin and dry things up from within. If you apply a drying treatment before the whitehead is on the surface, it will simply dry out the surface of the skin keeping the infection trapped underneath for longer which ultimately will make the blemish last longer and cause more damage to the skin. However, at any stage of the breakout, it’s a good idea to try to keep the blemish calm and bacteria minimized so Daytime Blemish Gel is a great one to use under makeup.
FOR CYSTIC BLEMISHES: Mostly occurring in the chin and jaw areas, it is important to remember that cysts are like submarines; they are meant to stay under the skin. No matter what method you employ, cysts will never rise to the surface of the skin. This means no picking! (See the No Picking Twisty Toy) Your best bet is to treat the cyst with Renée Rouleau Anti-Cyst Treatment, which will help dissolve the infection from within while also preventing future cysts.
4. Picking at a blemish only makes things worse.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know I am a recovered “picker.” In the past, whenever a blemish would appear on my face, I couldn’t resist picking at it in hopes it would go away faster. Both absent mindedly and intentionally, I picked at my skin and what I ended up with was oozing, scabbing marks that would remain red for months. Being an esthetician only made things worse because that is how I justified the act. I told myself that I was licensed and knew what I was doing. So why did it just seem like I was making things worse? Read: Are You Guilty Of Picking At Your Skin?
When a blemish appears, it is embarrassing. The whole point of picking it is that you don’t want anyone to see it, so you are trying to get rid of it. However, you must ask yourself this: What is more noticeable, a closed bump or an oozing, bleeding scab? A bump is smooth, can be camouflaged with makeup and is only glaring in certain lights. A scab, on the other hand, is a rough surface that doesn’t take well to makeup and becomes impossible to hide during the healing process and for a long time after. What I thought was helping me was actually detrimental for my looks. Not only that, but picking is rough on the skin. Need more reasons to sit on your hands?
-It is Unsanitary: An open wound is open to infection .
-It is Unattractive: Scabbing is a drawn-out process filled with dried flakes.
-It is Damaging: Take it as a sign that pitting sounds suspiciously close to picking.
If you must squeeze, only do so when the whitehead is truly visible.
5. After a blemish is healed, wearing sunscreen will help the scar fade more rapidly.
A post-breakout scar is dark in color because the inflammation from the blemish triggers the skin to produce pigment cells. The solution to get it to fade as quickly as possible is to use a skin lightening, exfoliating and anti-inflammatory product like Post-Breakout Fading Gel. This powerful treatment will significantly help acne scars fade faster.
Did you know wearing sunscreen helps expedite the healing and fading process? If the affected skin is exposed to daylight, the UV rays stimulate the melanin cells – even if it’s cloudy outside – making the scar darker and redder in color and visible longer. For acne-prone skin, it’s very important to find a sunscreen formula that doesn’t clog the pores or encourage acne and breakouts. Check out our best-selling Daily Protection SPF 30.
Bottom line: Be smart when it comes to caring for your blemishes. Think before you treat and your blemish will be gone in no time. The choice is yours.
Need expert advice from a licensed esthetician? Schedule a virtual consultation to get customized advice in person, over the phone or online via Skype or FaceTime.
For more expert advice check out the blog. Also sign up for our skin tip e-newsletter, follow Renée Rouleau on Twitter and Instagram and join the discussion on our Facebook page. You’ll be your own skin care expert in no time. Get the #ReneeRouleauGlow!