Updated 3/28/19. It’s not always possible to prevent blemishes from forming, but you do have control over what happens after they appear. I’m often asked, “How do I get rid of a blemish fast?” Here are my expert tips for getting a zit to go away fast while minimizing that stubborn, red scar.
Know That Your Body Will do Everything it Can to Heal a Blemish Fast
The human body is truly amazing in this way. 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. (Fun Fact: The tooth is the only part of the human body that can’t repair itself.)
When you get a blemish, your skin will do everything it can to get rid of it fast and to heal itself—even if you do not treat it with a topical acne spot treatment.
Determine Whether You Have a Pustule or a Cyst
When you get a red, painful blemish, it will turn into one of two things: a pustule or a cyst. Knowing what type of blemish you’re dealing with is crucial because it will determine how you treat it. Treating a blemish incorrectly can result in a longer blemish cycle as well as lasting damage to the skin, like pigmentation or scarring. To get either type of blemish to go away quickly, choose and use your spot treatments wisely.
If you have a pustule, 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. Just hang tight. I’m coming up so get out of my way.”
How to get rid of a pustule
For pustular blemishes, resists the urge to act the minute you feel it coming on by using a harsh spot treatment. Instead, start by applying a non-drying, anti-inflammatory acne spot treatment like Anti Bump Solution, 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 up the remaining infection within the pore lining. 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.
If you have a cyst, 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 while. Don’t worry, I’ll go away on my own but I’m going to be kind of an annoying bump for a while. Don’t try to make me come up and out.”
How to get rid of a cyst
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 symptoms of the cyst with Anti Bump Solution, which will help dissolve the infection from within while also preventing future cysts.
Picking at a Blemish Only Makes it 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 this post: 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 to 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.
After a Blemish is Healed, Wear Sunscreen to Help Quickly Fade Scarring
A post-breakout scar is dark in color because the inflammation from the blemish triggers the skin to produce pigment cells. The solution to getting 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. This is the sunscreen that I recommend for my clients who have acne-prone skin.
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.
Based on all my extensive knowledge for how to best handle a blemish, I created this Zit Care Kit which has four specialized blemish products as well as my special tools that you need to heal every type of blemish FAST with the least amount of injury to the skin. Every blemish has a life cycle and it’s so important that you treat it with the right type of product at the right time. It’s a must for anyone who gets breakouts because it works in sync with the skin’s natural healing processes. It’s important to work WITH Mother Nature, not against her and this kit helps to do just that. Definitely, check it out. Well worth every penny. Trust me.
Are your breakouts mainly appearing on the chin and jawline area? Read this.
Celebrity Esthetician & Skincare Expert
As an esthetician trained in cosmetic chemistry, Renée Rouleau has spent 30 years researching skin, educating her audience, and building an award-winning line of products. Trusted by celebrities, editors, bloggers, and skincare obsessives around the globe, her vast real-world knowledge and constant research are why Marie Claire calls her “the most passionate skin practitioner we know.”