How to get rid of under-the-skin pimples

From bestreviews.com
By
Sydney Poe
BestReviews

To avoid damaging your skin, never try to pop an under-the-skin pimple.

Can you get rid of under-the-skin pimples?

Under-the-skin pimples, or blind pimples, have to be one of the most frustrating categories of acne. Because there is no head at first — and sometimes there never is — you can’t treat them the way you would traditional pimples that appear on the skin’s surface. If left untreated, these pimples can form sunken, atrophic acne scars on the face. Keep reading to find out exactly what under-the-skin pimples are, what causes them and how to properly treat them.

What are under-the-skin pimples?

Under-the-skin pimples exist underneath the epidermis — the top layer of the skin. You can feel them, but they don’t appear on the skin’s surface like traditional acne, because they have not come to a head. Instead, they sit below the skin’s surface. These types of pimples can feel painful to the touch.

What causes under-the-skin pimples?

Pimples that are under the skin happen when your body produces excess oil. When this oil gets trapped under the skin, painful cysts can grow. For women, these pimples tend to appear around their menstrual cycles because of the surge of hormones they experience at this time.

Why do under-the-skin pimples hurt?

Under-the-skin pimples can hurt as your body attempts to heal itself by pushing the oil and/or bacteria out through the epidermis. As your body naturally tries to push that out, you may feel redness, swelling, inflammation or sensitivity in that area.

How long will pimples that are under the skin last?

Without treatment, blind pimples typically disappear after a few weeks. But sometimes, it takes a month for them to fully fade though they may leave behind a dark spot or an atrophic, crater-like scar on the face. With treatment, blind pimples can go away anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the severity of the pimple.

What skincare ingredients help treat under-the-skin pimples?

Exfoliating Acids: Exfoliating acids are a gentle and effective method for removing dead skin cells off the surface layer of the skin. The most popular types of exfoliating acids are alpha hydroxy acids, like lactic or glycolic acid, and beta hydroxy acids, like salicylic acid.

Retinoids (vitamin A): Retinoids promote cell-turnover rate, encouraging your skin to shed old or dead skin cells and replace them with new, healthy ones. Retinoids are available over-the-counter and in prescription strength.

Benzoyl peroxide: Benzoyl peroxide has antibacterial properties that fights acne causing bacteria. Benzoyl peroxide Is available in both over-the-counter and prescription strength.

Sulfur: Sulfur has antimicrobial properties that make it an effective acne treatment. It is safe in moderation but should not be used to treat acne for more than 8 weeks at a time or while pregnant.

What is the best treatment for under-the-skin pimples?

Resist the urge to pop them

While it’s tempting to pop a pimple just to get rid of it, it’s never recommended. Specifically for under-the-skin pimples, which tend to be deep and cystic, bringing the pimple to a head may release some fluid above the skin. But the majority will be pushed down from just underneath the epidermis to further layers of the skin, causing damage along the way.

Apply ice/warm compress

If the pimple has not come to a head, lightly ice it for 10 minutes twice a day. If it comes to a head, apply a clean, warm washcloth a few times a day in 15-minute intervals. 

Acne patches

The two main types of acne patches are hydrocolloid and microdart patches. Hydrocolloid patches absorb excess oil and fluids surrounding a pimple, while micro dark patches use a microneedling technology to ensure that the product is able to penetrate the epidermis and goes more deeply into the skin. For this reason, microdart patches tend to work best for under-the-skin pimples. The ZitSticka KILLA Kit is more expensive, but incredibly effective for treating under-the-skin pimples and helping to reduce damage and inflammation that occurs when they do eventually emerge on the surface layer of the skin. 

Spot treatments

Spot treatments are used to apply highly concentrated active ingredients directly to problem areas or breakouts. The First Aid Beauty FAB Pharma BHA Acne Spot Treatment uses glycolic acid and salicylic acid to resurface skin while aloe and oatmeal soothe skin. Alternatively, Paula’s Choice CLEAR Regular Strength Skin Clearing Treatment, 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide works to reduce oil and bacteria around breakouts.

Masks

Acne masks work to unclog pores and treat breakouts by drawing out oil and water through the epidermis. They can be quite drying, so it’s important to only use them on spots that are exceptionally oily and/or active breakouts. Do not use them on a pimple that has already burst or an inflamed area. There are a few types of acne masks to choose from, including rinse-off masks, peel-off masks and acne sheet masks. We recommend the Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Masks Acne Treatment Mask, which contains 10% sulfur, and the purifying ingredients kaolin and bentonite clay. It soothes skin, while purging excess oils.

Cleansers

When dealing with under-the-skin pimples, it’s best to cleanse the face with a cleanser specifically formulated to deep clean and remove impurities on the surface layer of the skin. We recommend the EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser for its ability to balance and protect the skin without causing irritation or inflammation.

How do you prevent under-the-skin pimples?

Avoid over cleansing because it too frequently can cause inflammation or irritation. Avoid physical exfoliants, like scrubs, as this can exacerbate the aggravation. Look for skincare products that won’t clog pores, labelled with phrases like “non-comedogenic” and “oil-free.” Wash any fabrics that regularly touch the face because bacteria and dead skin cells can build up on these surfaces. 

Sydney Poe is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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