Acne Treatments

What to Do When You Feel a Pimple Coming

5 Steps to Stop a Pimple Forming

That dreaded moment when you just know a zit is brewing beneath your skin… What to do when you feel a pimple coming? Luckily this beginning stage is the easiest to deal with. Read on!

Woman looking in mirror becuase she feels a pimple coming on

You know the feeling. Its brewing 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 on, 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 act the better. So let’s get on with it!

The 5 Things to Do When You Feel a Pimple Coming:

Try to do all of these steps. They work together to help stop pimples from forming, or at least stop that zit from getting worse. Also, try to get onto it the minute you feel that dreadful throbbing pimple pain or see the red spot.

Here is the overview, then details for each step are below:

  1. Put ice on the pimple
  2. Increase your water intake dramatically
  3. Apply rubbing alcohol
  4. Take an anti-inflammatory
  5. Follow the night-time “pimple stopping” routine

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:

  1. Wrap an ice cube in a tissue or paper towel to prevent it sticking to skin and burning (plus this is more hygienic).
  2. Hold the ice against the pimple-forming area (you know exactly where it is—whether it’s your chin, cheek, forehead, nose—its all the same!).
  3. Ice on for 5 minutes, then off for 5 minutes.
  4. Repeat this as often as possible, at least 3 times. The more you can do it the better.

Ice works by decreasing acne 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).

Step 2: increase 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!

Water can help flush out any excess salts in the body which may contribute to inflammation and swelling (and which can be sweated onto the skins surface which can also contribute to acne).

When you want to stop or reduce a pimple from forming aim for at least 3 liters a day. 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 is further along, almost to a head, you need some additional help.

Icing it is still important. But this step is a great way to reduce the pimples life span even if it still comes to a head:

  1. Dab rubbing alcohol to the spot and allow it to dry.
  2. Be careful to avoid the surrounding skin as it can be irritating.
  3. Keep applying rubbing alcohol to the pimple, every hour is great. This helps to dry up excess oil so it won’t contribute to the pimple, and also provides anti-bacterial action.
  4. A lot of over the counter pimple treatments products contain alcohol, so you can save yourself time and money(and increase effectiveness) by simply using this simple first-aid staple as is!

Step 4: take an anti-inflammatory

This step is optional, but taking an anti-inflammatory like Advil or ibuprofen can help prevent the pimple from getting bigger. This is like taking ibuprofen to reduce a fever or swelling from a sprained ankle.

Step 5: 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.

What to do if the pimple is 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?

Squeezing a pimple while its forming

Not at this early stage.

It ‘s important to do everything you can to not pop a pimple when it is still forming, because it won’t stop forming even if you squeeze, it will just end up much worse.

If it does end up forming a white head, then wait until the inflammation it gone before squeezing. You’ll know this because the it won’t be painful anymore, and it will seem like it almost wants to be popped (like it is stretching 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? First, don’t panic. Next, follow the steps on this page to reduce the impact and stress that a forming zit on your cheek, chin, or middle of your forehead can cause.

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