That said, if you’re looking at a massive pimple that seems to have grown overnight, don’t worry. You’re not alone nor do you have to let nature take its course and make it go away on its own.
We’re here to share with you how to clear up breakouts, so be sure to keep reading!
Determine If That Really Is a Zit
Zits, or pimples, are all symptoms of acne, but so are whiteheads and blackheads. Pimples are a symptom of acne, which is a skin condition that occurs due to plugged hair follicles. Dead skin cells, dirt, and oil can all clog up the follicles.
However, there are skin conditions that can look like a common zit, such as folliculitis. Rosacea, staph infections, and early skin cancer symptoms can also have acne-like formations.
That said, the first step to clear zits is to first make sure that what you have is really a pimple caused by acne. Most zits are small red bumps that feel sore to the touch. However, avoid touching them as this can lead to infected pimples.
During this stage, these bumps are still “papules”, but in a few days, they can become pustules. Pustules are papules that have already started to fill with pus.
If this is what you see on your skin (especially on the face), then what you have is really a zit.
Know the Difference Between a Common Pimple and Cystic Pimple
It’s best you know how “regular” and cystic acne differs, as remedies that work on the former may not work on the latter.
Cysts are sac-like pockets made of membranous tissues. They can form in almost any part of the body, including the skin. The “space” inside these sacs can fill up with substances, such as oil, as well as bacteria and dead or dry skin cells.
Now, keep in mind that the superficial layer of the skin alone is home to about 1,000 species of bacteria. Many of these are “bad” bacteria, which can then mix with oil, dirt, and unshed skin cells. In this case, they can form into zits on the skin surface.
However, when the cysts form in the deeper layers of the skin, they’re more likely to trigger cystic acne. This is the most severe form of acne and is also usually painful. What’s more, these sore bumps don’t go away on their own.
While anyone can suffer from acne, those who have oily skin are at a higher risk of the cystic kind. In fact, researchers found a link between sebum (skin oil) production and an increased risk of acne. Teenagers, women, and those with hormonal imbalances are also at a higher risk of cystic acne.
Get Rid of Pimple-Causing Bacteria With Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl peroxide is among the most common antibacterial agents used in acne treatment. Unlike other agents, however, it doesn’t trigger the development of bacterial resistance. This means that it remains effective against most forms of acne-causing bacteria.
In fact, benzoyl peroxide is far more effective than clindamycin in killing P. acnes. P. acnes is the main pathogen that causes acne, including the cystic kind.
Moreover, benzoyl peroxide also helps the pores get rid of dead skin cells. It also aids the skin to release, rather than trap excess sebum.
Be careful not to overuse this though, as this can lead to skin dryness. It also has a bleaching effect on fabrics, so mind your face towels.
Try an Acne Spot Treatment
For normal spots, try using an acne spot treatment that contains antibacterial components. Thanks to their antipathogenic properties, these treatments kill the bacteria that trigger inflammation. From there, they can reduce redness and ease the pain or soreness of the pimples.
Make Acne Retreat With Retinoids
Synthetic vitamin A derivatives produce acne treatments called topical retinoids. These medications, when applied on the skin, triggers a rapid exfoliation process. As a result, they keep the pores clog-free while also letting new skin to come up to the surface.
Topical retinoids, on their own, have long since shown to improve acne vulgaris. Continued use, however, is necessary for these medications to yield the best results. Moreover, they won’t treat the root cause of cystic acne, so it’s best to use them with other acne medications.
Apply Hydrocortisone Cream
Hydrocortisone cream for pimples is a mild form of corticosteroid (steroid hormones). It can help ease the redness, inflammation, and even the itchiness of zits.
If you have cystic acne, hydrocortisone can also help reduce swelling and redness. However, it’s more of a temporary solution for cystic acne and will not treat its root cause.
Go for a Cortisone Shot
For a more massive, painful zit, you may want to consider a cortisone shot. These injections use powerful corticosteroids that deliver fast-acting anti-inflammatory effects. They also provide significant relief for acne pain and redness.
However, since they use potent drugs, you should only get them from a dermatologist. This way, you can make sure that the zit flattens out with a very low risk of scarring.
Don’t Just Sleep on It: Be Sure to Treat That Massive Pimple ASAP
There you have it, your ultimate A to Z guide to battling a massive zit. What’s important is to get to and treat the root cause of your breakouts, as delayed treatment can lead to scarring. Make sure you also get in touch with a dermatologist, especially if your pimples keep coming back.
Ready for more health and beauty tips to keep your skin glowing and young-looking? Then head over to the Hair & Beauty and Wellbeing sections for more how-to guides like this!