You know the feeling. It brews deep within your skin…
It can come on really quickly, you may wake up with it or all of a sudden just feel it!
The good news is that when you feel a pimple coming, there ARE steps you can take to stop it – or at the very least reduce its impact.
But – you don’t have much time: the sooner you can act the better. So let’s get on with it!
What To Do When You Feel A Pimple Coming:
Try to do all of these steps – they work together to help stop pimples from forming.
If you can’t – perhaps because you notice that dreaded throb/pain/whatever at work or in the middle of the night, don’t worry. Just do what you can with what you have!
Anything that can help reduce the impact of a zit / pimple / cyst is worth it.
Step 1: Before Anything Else: ICE IT
Icing your skin when you feel a pimple forming is the single best thing you can do to prevent it from coming to the surface in the first place. As soon as you feel it, do this:
- Wrap an ice cube in a tissue or paper towel to prevent it sticking to skin and burning (plus it’s more hygienic)
- Hold it against the brewing area (you know exactly where it is – whether it’s your chin, cheek, forehead, nose – its all the same!)
- Ice on for 5 minutes, then off for 5 minutes
- Repeat this as often as possible, at least 3 times. The more you can do it the better
Ice works by decreasing inflammation. It is the same when you sprain your ankle or bruise your skin.
If you can reduce the inflammation you can reduce the pimple (or cyst).
After this step, go on to the next!
Step 2: Up Your Water Intake Dramatically
You might feel like this won’t do much, but it can be surprising how a dramatic increase in water can help your skin!
This can flush out any excess salts in the body which may contribute to inflammation and swelling (and can be sweated out onto the skins surface which can also contribute to acne).
Aim for at least 3 liters a day when you want to stop a pimple from forming.
You might also be surprised at how well this can reduce redness of your skin, improve suppleness, and just make you feel better.
Step 3: Use Rubbing Alcohol
If your pimple further along – almost to a head?
Ice is still important. But this step is a great way to reduce the pimples life span when it likely is still going to make it to the surface and form a head (unfortunately).
- Dab rubbing alcohol to the spot and allow it to dry
- Be careful to avoid the surrounding skin as it can be irritating
- Keep applying it – every hour is great. This helps to dry up excess oil so it won’t contribute to the pimple more, and is also anti bacterial.
- A lot of over the counter pimple treatments products contain alcohol, so you can save yourself time and money – and often increase effectiveness – by simply using this first aid staple as is!
Step 4: The Night Time Pimple Stopping Routine
Before you go to bed, apply some clay mask over the pimple. Leave it on overnight as a “pimple patch”.
This will help reduce inflammation further. Use one with other acne fighters like salicylic acid and camphor for extra benefits (see our Clearing Clay Mask here).
Is It Already Red and Inflamed Looking?
Sometimes as soon as you feel a pimple forming, you will also see it. Even if it doesn’t have a head yet, it can be obvious.
Follow the steps above to reduce it, and the tip below will help reduce the immediate redness:
- Whitening eye drops do work to reduce pimple redness! Apply a few drops to a cotton ball and apply to the pimple. Make sure you get enough on there to make a difference. This is great in emergencies.
When Is The Right Time To Squeeze A Pimple?
Not at this early stage.
It is really important to do everything you can to not pop a pimple when it is still forming. It will just continue to form and often end up much worse.
If it does end up forming a white head, then wait until the inflammation it gone before squeezing.
You will usually know if it is the right time – the pain will be gone and it will almost be asking to be popped! (Like it is stretching out of the skin).
You can then gently use a clean, sterilized, thin needle to break the surface of skin only.
Often the pus will just come out, and may just need a slight squeeze to help it all come out.
See this page for important details on popping a pimple the right way.
So what to do when you feel a pimple forming?? Don’t panic 🙂
There are steps you can take to reduce the impact and stress that a forming zit on your cheek, or chin, or middle of your forehead can cause. Good luck!