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If you’ve ever had what’s called a blind pimple, you know how painful, frustrating and huge they can be. Not to mention what a pain in the ass they are to get rid of. Pimples under the skin seemingly last forever and when they finally do go away, you’re usually left with an acne scar to remind you of that super annoying pimple. Under the skin pimples, or blind pimples, are a form of acne called cystic acne. Cystic acne forms under the skin’s surface and never come to a head. Which means the usual acne-fighting products won’t work on these suckers. So keep on reading to find out how to get rid of pimples under the skin.
What Is A Blind Pimple Under The Skin?
A hard pimple, blind pimple, cyst or cystic acne or nodule all refer to pimples that form under the skin. Blind pimples do not have a “head” like regular pimples and simply form under the skin. Hard pimples are typically larger than regular pimples and are almost always painful.
A blind pimple is a type of inflammatory acne, meaning that there is a lot of inflammation in the skin from that pimple. Because of the inflammation, the blind pimple will be sore to the touch, may look or feel swollen and may be red.
When blind pimples form, your immune system will take over and try to help heal the pimple. Lots of immune cells will flock to the pimple, leading to lots of inflammation and swelling. So that’s why the hard pimple can be painful, swollen and red.
Blind pimples almost never come to a head, so you cannot pop them like a traditional pimple. Pimples under the skin can be pretty difficult to treat and if you have a lot of them, sometimes a visit to the dermatologist is best. If you have sever cystic acne, you’ll definitely need some intervention from a doctor to get it under control. However, if you randomly get blind pimples every now and then, here are ways to get rid of pimples under the skin.
Pimples under the skin usually start with inflammation and swelling making them painful to the touch. Once the inflammation subsides, you’ll be left with a pimple turned into a hard lump under skin which can lead to a pimple under the skin for months.
Why Do Pimples Form Under The Skin?
Wondering how does acne form under the skin? Hard pimples develop under the skin just like regular acne. Pimples develop when skin cells, dirt, oil and bacteria become trapped in a pore. The bacteria will multiply inside the clogged pore, which can lead to infection and skin inflammation as your body tries to fight it.
Do Pimples Under The Skin Go Away?
If you’ve ever had a pimple under the skin, they seemingly last literally forever. I once had a blind pimple for about 6 months and that was with some of these treatments! Blind pimples will go away eventually, but it can take several weeks to several months. With the right treatments, you can get blind pimples to go away in a few days to a few weeks.
How To Get Rid of Pimples Under Skin Fast
When you have a pimple under skin for months, you become desperate to get it off your face immediately. You might wonder how to make a pimple come to a head immediately. Unfortunately, there’s no quick solution to getting rid of cystic acne. However, there are things you can do to speed up the healing process and get rid of blind pimples quicker.
How To Actually Treat Blind Pimples
Treating acne under the skin takes special products and techniques. Since the pimple is so deep under the skin, typical acne treatments won’t do a thing, so say goodbye to your beloved acne face wash, toner or salicylic spot treatment, cause you’ll have to pull out the big guns to make a dent in these cystic pimples under the skin. Here’s how to treat pimples underneath the skin, the right way.
1. Ice, Ice Baby
Believe it or not, ice is my secret weapon and favorite under the skin acne treatment. How does it work? Ice helps to reduce inflammation and swelling, which helps with the pain and size of that cystic pimple. Simply wrap a piece of ice in a napkin and apply it to the pimple for about 10 minutes.
You can use ice on hard or blind pimples as often as needed to help bring down the inflammation and swelling, just be sure to always wrap the ice in a paper towel to prevent ice burn and don’t ice for more than 10 minutes at a time. Be sure to take breaks between icing sessions as well! The last thing you want is a frost-bitten pimple!
2. Use The Right Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients
When it comes to treating pimples under the skin, anti-inflammatory ingredients can certainly help, just don’t expect any miracles here. Since blind pimples are so deep under the skin, topical treatments can only do so much. However, they can certainly help speed up the healing process and help you get rid of that blind pimple as quickly as possible. Here are the best ingredients to treat blind pimples under the skin:
Benzoyl Peroxide is one of the best anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial topical treatments for acne under the skin. Not only can it help speed up the healing of a blind pimple, but it can also help to prevent more pimples under the skin from forming. Only apply it once or twice a day, no more. The last thing you want is a cystic pimple that’s dried out, flaky and even more angry.
Sulfur is another shining star in the world of hard pimples under the skin. It’s powerful, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. And when I mean powerful, it’s dang powerful. Try out a 10% sulfur spot treatment and dab it on the pimple once or twice a day. Sulfur is one of my favorite ingredients for acne under the skin! It quickly helps take down inflammation and speeds up healing time dramatically.
Hydrocortisone cream is my secret weapon for hard pimples that just don’t seem to respond to BP or sulfur. A small dab of 1% hydrocortisone cream once or twice a day will help with swelling and inflammation and speed up healing. Be careful with this though and do not apply it more than 2x a day or for longer than 2 weeks! Just use it to get rid of the initially swelling and inflammation.
3. Use A Retinoid
A retinoid is the best prevention for pimples underneath the skin. A retinoid will speed up cell turnover, which means dead skin cells won’t get trapped in your pores and lead to acne. Plus, it will also help to fade any acne scars that are left over from cystic pimples.
I highly recommend using a prescription strength retinoid for any kind of cystic acne or blind pimple. They are much stronger than OTC retinols and will therefore be much more effective. And when it comes to treating hard pimples, you need the strongest options available. If you don’t have access to a dermatologist, check out Curology, Apostrophe and Nurx which offer affordable prescriptions and online dermatology acne treatment.
Here are my top retinol picks for getting rid of under the skin pimples.
4. Don’t Touch It
When you notice a blind pimple forming, you immediately go into panic mode and just want to get rid of it right then and there. Which, if you’re anything like me means to try and pop it. That’ll take care of it right?? Wrong!
Trying to pop a blind pimple or touching it too much will only aggravate it more and lead to more inflammation and swelling. That means that you’ll be left with a dark or even indented acne scar and the pimple itself will take longer to go away. I know it’s difficult, but just try to keep your hands off and avoid touching it unless you’re applying a spot treatment.
5. Try A Hydrocolloid Bandage
Zit stickers, also known as hydrocolloid bandages are all the rage right now and although they won’t do a ton for pimples under the skin, they can help keep bacteria away and stop you from picking at the pimple. They’re pretty invisible, so they can even hide the redness from the pimple itself.
6. Get A Cortisone Shot
If you’re wondering how to get rid of a pimple under the skin as fast as possible, your answer is a cortisone injection. No, it’s not the easiest or cheapest option, but it freakin’ works. And quickly. If you have a big event and need to get rid of a cystic pimple under the skin, a cortisone shot is your best bet.
You can get a cortisone shot at any dermatologist office and some med spas offer them as well. However, dermatology offices are not always easy to get into and cortisone shots aren’t exactly cheap. But if you’re desperate or have an extremely angry blind pimple on your hands, it’s a great option.
Cortisone injections can be anywhere from $50 to over $150, plus your co-pay to the dermatologist. They’re not typically covered by insurance but you can call up your office and ask.
The cortisone shot goes directly into the blind pimple and starts working immediately to bring down swelling and inflammation. And that blind pimple under the skin that you thought would last 3 months? It’ll be gone in a matter of days.
7. Get Help From A Professional
If you find yourself regularly breaking out with pimples under the skin, you should really see a doctor to get things under control. When left untreated, cystic and nodular acne can lead to severe icepick scarring and hyperpigmentation which are both extremely hard to get rid of.
There are strong prescription meds out there that can help control blind acne and get your skin cleared up. When I was dealing with cystic acne, I went to my dermatologist and I’m so glad I did.
How To Get Rid Of Pimples Under The Skin FAQ
Still have questions about how to get rid of pimples under skin? Here are commonly asked questions about blind pimples, hard pimples and how to get rid of them quickly.
Do Blind Pimples Come To A Head?
Blind pimples typically never come to a head. If you’re lucky, it just might. There’s not much you can do to bring a blind pimple to a head, unfortunately. They usually stay under the skin and will come to a head on its own if you’re lucky. However, you could try a hot compress to help bring the pimple to a head, but there are no guarantees it will.
How To Get Rid Of A Blind Pimple Fast?
The fastest way to get rid of a blind pimple is a cortisone shot. Other than that, there’s not much you can do to get rid of a blind pimple quickly. The other suggestions I mention above will only help speed up the healing process, but even with those it can still take a couple weeks to get rid of the hard pimple.
Does Ice Help Under The Skin Pimples?
In my opinion, ice is one of the best options for under the skin pimples! Part of what makes blind pimples so bad is the swelling and inflammation. Ice helps bring those down so the pimple is smaller, no longer painful and the healing process can start! Plus, the sooner you get rid of the inflammation, the better the chances you won’t be left with an acne scar.
How To Pop A Pimple Under The Skin?
You don’t. You can’t pop a pimple without a head and trying to pop it will only make things worse. Much worse. If you try and pop a pimple underneath the skin, you will only make it even more angry, cause more inflammation and swelling and slow down the healing process. Keep your hands off and only pop if there’s a head on the pimple.
Will A Blind Pimple Go Away By Itself?
A blind pimple will go away by itself, even if you don’t do a thing to it. But it could take several months to get rid of completely. When you get a blind pimple under the skin, it’s best to start treating it right away to shorten the lifespan. The sooner you get rid of the pimple, the better!
How To Get Rid of Pimples Underneath The Skin: The Bottom Line
There’s no easy or magic solution to get rid of acne underneath the skin. Cystic acne is a frustrating skin condition that can be very difficult to treat, but with the right products and techniques, you can speed up the lifespan of blind pimples under the skin.
The bottom line on how to get rid of pimples under the skin is to stop touching it, don’t pick at it and use the right targeted treatments to help speed up the healing. If you’re wanting to get rid of a blind pimple under the skin as quickly as possible, then head straight to your dermatologist for a cortisone injection.
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