Home Remedies to Bring a Pimple to a Head

Mid adult woman wiping her face with a cotton pad
A woman using a cotton pad to wipe her face in front of a bathroom mirror. (Image: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

Sometimes the tried and true methods for eliminating acne don't work on particularly stubborn zits. Aside from over-the-counter applications, you might try home remedies using things you can find in your kitchen. Once you bring pimples to a head, it's hard to resist popping them. If you feel you must squeeze them, do so gently and carefully to avoid making matters worse. While home remedies work in some cases, if you have a severe case of acne, see your dermatologist who can prescribe topical or oral medications.

Compresses

A variety of warm compresses can ease acne inflammation. Tim Shwayder, M.D., a pediatric dermatologist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, says to dip a washcloth in warm water, wring it out and place it to your zits for 20 minutes twice a day. Website Bella Sugar offers another compress solution: Apply a warm black tea bag to pimples.

According to the website, the tannins in black tea help reduce inflammation and bring zits to the surface. An apple cider vinegar or tea tree oil compress might also coax a blind pimple – flesh-colored and without a head – to the surface. Brown University says that like benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil attacks bacteria and eases oil production. However, it has less severe effects on the skin. The Daily Glow website says that to try these compresses, soak a cotton pad in vinegar or tea tree oil and apply it to the area for a few minutes.

Topical Applications

To shrink the size of pimples and bring them to a head, Bella Sugar says to dab hydrocortisone and even honey on zits and then cover them with a bandage. However, the Medicine Plus website says to avoid prolonged hydrocortisone use on the face, and keep it out of your eyes.

Grandma's Home Remedies website says to apply lemon juice to reduce the size and inflammation. This website also recommends pounding orange peels and soaking them in water, applying the water to your pimples. You might also spread grated cucumber on your face for 15 to 20 minutes.

Popping a Zit

Before popping pimples, wash your face and hands to avoid further infecting your skin. "Seventeen" magazine's website says to then sterilize a needle by running it through a flame. Lightly prick your pimple with the needle and, holding clean tissue, gently apply pressure to your zit to squeeze out the pus. Stop when pus or blood comes out.

Preventing Breakouts

Preventing future outbreaks is a matter of taking special care. Stephen Webster, M.D., a dermatologist in Lacrosse, Wisconsin, says to avoid abrasive scrubs and instead wash your skin twice a day with an antibacterial soap. Remember to thoroughly rinse your face afterward and keep oily hair off your face. Also, avoid touching your face, and use oil-free cosmetics and hair care products. Men who shave must take care to avoid nicking their pimples.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.