5 Things to Do When You Spot a New Pimple

I get these random outbreaks. What is the best way to handle this?

We’d all love to always be acne free. But…that would probably require a magic wand for all of us.  And we don’t all have Dr. Pimple Popper at our command.  🙂

Please remember that staph infections and other skin diseases can masquerade as acne, so if you’re getting worse, call your doctor.

Five Things to Do When You Spot a New Pimple

  1. Don’t Pick and Don’t Squeeze. Let’s be real. The temptation is strong right? But unless that pus is right on the surface, chances are you’ll just traumatize yourself, and push the inflammation deeper into the skin where it may cause scarring, and take longer to heal.
  2. Spot Treat.   Yes… you’re already doing all the things on a daily basis that you can to avoid getting breakouts.  But if you do get a spot or two, try spot treating with Benzoyl Peroxide or get a Salicylic Acid stick.  You can use them even 3-4 times a day for a few days, as long as you don’t get irritated.  There are many different brands at the drugstore.  Just remember that Benzoyl Peroxide can stain clothing and pillow cases.
  3. Call your Dermatologist for a “cyst injection”.   If you have a history of scarring with breakouts, or this is a really, big deep one, consider getting it injected. You know the ones…they hurt, and you know it isn’t going away for weeks. Most Derms have a way to work patients in within a day or two to inject cysts and help prevent scars.
  4. Hot Packs and Hydrocortisone. Don’t burn yourself, but a short 5 min hot pack 2-3 times a day for 1-2 days may help bring the inflammation to the surface to resolve faster. Also using drugstore Hydrocortisone 1% for just a day or two is safe. Again, if you’re getting worse, not better, stop and call your doctor.
  5. Sterile Technique.  Okay…let’s say you’ve tried and you just can’t resist trying to pop this. At least use sterile technique.  I like the form of alcohol that comes in small dropper bottles called Swimmer’s Ear (drugstore).  It’s easy to travel with too. Sterilize your skin with it, sterilize a tiny needle with it, then make a tiny incision over the top of the visible pus.  To squeeze, wash your hands and put a Kleenex over your fingers so you don’t transfer bacteria. If it’s not going away, or getting worse, call your doctor.

Hope this helps,

Dr. Brandith

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