How to treat a blind pimple
We've all been there - you wake up in the morning with a pulsating headache... on your face - and you've got a big work presentation that day. This can't be good.
You walk to the mirror and expect to see the worst but instead are greeted by a red, swollen lump with seemingly no sign of a head.
Unlike a pustular pimple, with a visible head, a blind blemish needs to be approached with caution.
Depending on the stage of the spot, it can be treated in two different ways but one thing is certain - DO NOT EVER PICK.
First things first, what is a blind pimple and why is it different?
Also referred to as cystic pimples, these bad boys are deep under the skin, closer to the nerves, which is why they are so painful.
Like standard spots, they are caused by a combination of hormones, bacteria, clogged pores and increased oil production - you'll often get them on your chin or jawline as this is where your oil glands are located.
The worst part? They're difficult to conceal, can leave scars and hang around for weeks, which can extend into months when not treated properly.
In fact, they're even silently lurking in your skin before you even realise!
"They generally form underneath the skin around six weeks prior to showing any physical signs," explains Keshan Gunasingh, Director of Beauty Research and Development for Johnson & Johnson.
So that pimple you wake up to in the morning - it didn't just pop up overnight.
#1 RULE: Avoid the urge to squeeze and pop
We've said it before and we'll say it again, never ever attempt to squeeze a blind pimple.
While this rule should be applied to all pimples (confession: I've been known to take matters into my own hands before), it's particularly important where blind pimples are concerned.
Prematurely squeezing will almost always results in scarring and more pain.
Stage 1: When it's just a painful red lump
If you catch your spot at this crucial stage and play your cards right, it can make all the difference.
Apply ice to the area and firmly hold over five minute increments with 10 minutes off in between. Repeat this at least three times daily.
If it's not already too late, this process will prevent the pimple from surfacing and get rid of it for good.
Stage 2: When it starts to show a head
At this stage you want to fast-forward the process, drawing it to the surface as quickly as possible - instead of the weeks it would usually take.
Right now, steam is your best friend - either follow the process above, except with a hot-as-you-can-handle compress instead of ice, or try a DIY steam:
- Thoroughly cleanse face
- Bring water to boil
- Pour into a bowl and drape a towel over your head
- Leave for 5-10 minutes
- Follow with a clay face mask for optimum results
Try: Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque or La Roche-Posay Effaclar Sebo-Controlling Mask $28.99
After hot compressing or steaming, apply a spot treatment on overnight to further accelerate the process. Look for a lotion with salicylic acid, tea tree oil, allantoin or benzoyl peroxide.
Try: Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion $29 or Ultraceuticals Ultra Clear Spot Treatment $42
Once the pimple is at a head, patience is key. While this is the ugliest stage, it's essential that you wait it out and resist the urge to squeeze. The pimple will naturally pop itself within a couple of days.
Beauty ed's note:
In the unlikely event that all of the above fails, it's time to seek professional advice. Talk to a dermatologist and they'll be able to prescribe a stronger topical cream or antibiotics to fight the monster.
What's your worst blind pimple story?