We’ve all been there: It’s the night before a date, the morning of your wedding, or the hours leading up to a photoshoot, and you can feel a pimple starting to rear its ugly head.
Don’t panic! You have options, even if you don’t have access to a dermatologist. Here, we break down the best strategies for saying a speedy buh-bye to blemishes.
Catch some zzzz’s
If you’ve got an important event on the horizon, says Dr. Sandra Lee (aka Dr. Pimple Popper), don’t skimp on sleep. Stress hormones like cortisol can be a major factor in the formation of breakouts. While you’re sleeping, your body regulates these hormones and sheds dead skin cells.
Rest is also a great way to minimize stress and help you feel your best — which will show in your glow.
Apply a spot treatment
When pimples appear, spot treatments can deliver a concentrated dose of acne-fighting ingredients to help them heal faster. As soon as you feel a pimple coming, dab a spot treatment on the targeted area. This will also help you keep your hands off your face, preventing redness and inflammation from getting worse.
Here’s a roundup of Dr. Lee’s favorite spot treatments:
- For red or inflamed pimples, try SLMD Skincare BP Spot Treatment. In addition to benzoyl peroxide, which kills acne-causing bacteria, this treatment is also packed with allantoin to soothe skin and vitamin E, an extremely potent antioxidant.
- If you’re experiencing blackheads or whiteheads, reach for SLMD Skincare Salicylic Acid Spot Treatment. This pimple stopper features salicylic acid to exfoliate, witch hazel to clean bacteria, and camphor to enhance your glow.
Protect and treat pimples at the same time with SLMD Skincare Spot Check Acne Patches. These salicylic acid patches soothe irritation and absorb excess oil and pus, while providing a protective barrier to prevent potential scarring – reducing the risk of touching, picking, and popping.
Stop by your dermatologist’s office
If a pimple pops up the day before an event, your best bet is to visit your dermatologist for a corticosteroid shot. This low potency injection works like magic, making your pimple disappear within 24 hours. Your dermatologist will use a micro-needle (barely bigger than an acupuncture needle) to inject cortisone directly into the pimple. Cortisone is an anti-inflammatory that can help reduce the swelling and redness of acne breakouts. Not only will your pimple be much smaller and manageable within a day, cortisone shots also reduce the chance of scarring.
Dr. Lee’s last word
I tell patients, if you’re in a pinch, come see me for a cortisone shot — it’s extremely effective for shrinking pimples in a short period of time. But always keep an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial spot treatment in your cabinet for a quick fix.
—Dr. Sandra Lee