Whilst a big red pimple that has come to a head on your face looks (and feels) embarrassing, it is often not nearly as painful as a pimple under the skin which may not be as visible but you will certainly know it is there!
If you want to know how best to treat a spot like this, it may not surprise you to hear that most dermatologists don’t recommend that you should try and pop any pimple that does not have a head on it. This type of pimple is often called a blind pimple and you will find more advice on treating these in our article effective blind pimple treatment.
Scroll down the page to find a treatment product we recommend to use at the first sign of one of these spots developing and a home remedy that could soothe the pain and help your pimple to disappear overnight!
In the meantime though these subcutaneous pimples (that is the name dermatologists give to a pimple under the skin), will be even more of a problem if you treat them incorrectly. Don’t try to pop them or try to squeeze them to see if you can remove the contents. If you attempt to do this on a spot that has not come to a head and is just visible from the outside as an inflamed bump in the skin, you will do more damage and possibly could end up with a lasting reminder of the pesky zit because you could get a scar that might not be easy to get rid of.
How To Relieve Discomfort From Underskin Pimples.
Relieving the Pain: Subcutaneous pimples are so painful that often taking an oral painkiller is a good first step. Paracetamol and Ibruprofen both have anti-inflammatory properties that may help to relieve the discomfort. If you don’t like to take painkillers or are allergic to these, you could also try applying ice to help relieve the inflammation and soothe the pain. If you have some crushed ice, wrap this in a clean face cloth and apply for ten minutes or so. Reapply as needed. You could also use some frozen peas in a cloth if you wish!
Treating the Problem: To treat the pimple itself, begin by making a warm compress that will gently draw the contents of the spot towards the surface. This can be done easily with a face cloth wrung out in hot water and held against the affected area. Repeat this process several times, re-heating and replacing the face cloth each time it cools down.
Try Epsom Salts: If you have some Epsom salts, you can make this hot face cloth treatment even more effective as the Epsom salts really do help to take away the pain and the redness and more importantly help to bring an under skin pimple to a head.
Used Tea Bags Are Brilliant: A great way to follow the face cloth treatment explained above is to use an ordinary tea bag. Prepare the tea bag as if you were making a cup of tea. Pour boiling water onto it, leave it for a few minutes, then lift it out to cool enough to be comfortably placed onto your skin. Be careful not to burn yourself, it should be just comfortably hot, not painful in any way. Ordinary tea bags work fine as they contain tannic acid which kills the bacteria and so helps to heal the spot.
Benzoyl Peroxide Cream is Best: If you can get the pimple to come to a head, then you can treat it with a good acne preparation designed specifically to dry out spots. This is likely to be a preparation containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. For preference, I would choose a benzoyl peroxide product on pimples with a head, as it not only kills bacteria but it also promotes new cell growth and so the healing process seems to be faster. If you prefer to use all-natural remedies, I highly recommend tea tree oil which can be dabbed onto the affected area.
Aspirin can relieve the pain of a pimple under the skin
One of the most popular and most effective remedies for the relief of under skin acne is to use aspirin. However, if you are allergic to aspirin, do not try this. If you are able to take aspirin safely, use this method for pimple treatment:
- Crush a couple of the uncoated type of aspirin tablets – the easiest way to do this is is to put one in the bowl of a spoon and place another spoon on top – squeezing the spoon bowls together will effectively crush the tablet without it making a mess.
- Mix the crushed aspirins either with a little warm water or a small amount of ‘runny’ honey to make a paste you can apply to your skin. Personally I prefer to mix with honey as not only does honey have amazing healing properties of its own, it also helps the treatment to stick in place.
- Once you have made your paste, apply it to the affected area with a clean make-up brush or cotton bud. Treat only the area affected, don’t spread it all over your face.
- You should leave this on your skin for about fifteen to twenty minutes before rinsing off.
Take a look at our article Best Overnight Pimple Treatment Home Remedies, which provides more information on using aspirin as a skin treatment.
How To Prevent Future Problems With Under Skin Acne Pimples
Once you have managed to treat the spot or spots you have, it would be a good idea to look at why you got them in the first place as avoiding future breakouts is certainly easier than treating them.
Check your skincare routine. Make sure you always use gently products on your skin and that you cleanse, tone and moisturize morning and night and take special care to ensure that every last trace of makeup is removed before you go to bed.
Catching a spot early may prevent a problem developing
Garnier Skin Naturals Pure Active Pimple Relief Roll-on
If you can prevent an under-skin spot from developing, you might save yourself a lot of discomfort. That is why we recommend this Skin Naturals Pure Active Pimple Relief Roll-on. It is a neat and discrete roller-ball pen shaped applicator which is great for popping in your purse so that you can apply the cooling relief on an underskin pimple as soon as you feel it beginning. This could stop it in its tracks! Reapply once or twice each day and the pimple should either disappear completely or be much less angry looking and inflamed than it would otherwise be.
This is an inexpensive product so it’s a great idea to keep one in the bathroom and one in your purse so you can benefit from the 2% Salicylic Acid formulation and the healing extract of blueberry anytime, wherever you are!
Whilst you have a spot like this, you will want to try to disguise it as much as possible. If you wear makeup or don’t mind using a concealer product, read a review of our recommended product – go here. If you don’t wear makeup or don’t want to use a concealer on your skin, you can find some more tips on reducing the redness that makes it feel like you have a beacon on your face if you go here
Exfoliating Will Help Prevent Painful Pimples Under The Skin Developing
Try to exfoliate your skin twice a week, maybe even every other day if you suffer with breakouts a lot. Exfoliating helps to prevent pores from becoming clogged with dead skin cells by removing them before they become a problem. If you can keep your pores clear of this dead skin debris which mixes with sebum and forms the food that acne bacteria feed on, you will have done a lot to help keep your skin clear of spots.
What To Do If Your Subcutaneous Pimples Are Really Deep
If your under skin problems lie deep beneath the surface and none of the methods outlined above bring relief, you may need to talk to a Dermatologist. You may not want to take this step initially, but you will be glad that you did because she will be able to recommend an effective treatment and will be able to treat the pain and swelling – possibly with an injection of a substance called cortisone which will have you feeling and looking a lot better in just a day or two.
If you have a painful whitehead however, popping it may be the best option – provided you have clean hands and use sterile gauze to reduce the risk of infection.
If you have a pimple deep under the skin on the other hand, this option is a definite no-no. Never squeeze or try to “pop” one that is still deep inside your skin.
These blemishes with no heads are known as subcutaneous pimples (or blind pimples) and interfering with them will only cause more damage and risk permanent scarring. For more helpful information, check out our post on effective blind pimple treatment.
To find a great product for concealing this type of spot, go here
To find tips on reducing the redness of a spot, go here
The Right Way To Pop A Pimple
Fortunately, there are some methods you can try to relieve the discomfort and minimize the appearance of a pimple under skin. You can start the process by placing a warm compress on top of the pimple to drain it, then dry it with an over the counter cleansing solution that contains an acne-fighting ingredient such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
You could also try sticking a small piece of tape over it before you go to bed to help draw out the fluid and infection. Carefully remove the tape the following morning. You may need to experiment with a few different over the counter treatments until you find the one that works best on your complexion. Everybody’s skin is different and all skin-types can suffer from pimples (not just oily teen skin, as is the common belief).
Always follow the exact directions provided with the treatment, and don’t be tempted to apply it with a heavy hand, as this may cause more harm than good. Of course if you want to avoid strong over the counter treatments, there are plenty of natural remedies you can try. Dab a little tea tree oil on the pimple under skin a few times a day. Many people consider tea tree oil to be just as effective as benzoyl peroxide.
After an initial examination and advice, she may recommend a cortisone injection. In most cases, swelling has noticeably reduced after a day or two.
If you decide to wait for pimple under skin to form a head, or are treating it with a topical solution but are still experiencing pain, try a simple method to relieve your discomfort.
Run a clean washcloth under very cold water and place it over your face. Relax for 15-20 minutes and let the cooling sensation soothe your complexion.
Aspirin can relieve the pain of a pimple under the skin
Another effective topical pain relief treatment involves making an aspirin mask. Crush a couple of uncoated aspirin tablets and mix them with warm water or honey. Apply the mask to your face and relax for 15-20 minutes. Aspirin is also one of the recommended remedies in our article Best Overnight Pimple Treatment Home Remedies.
Remember that patience is key when dealing with a pimple under skin. In conjunction with your chosen treatment, help your complexion in the long term by following a regular, gentle cleansing routine, always making sure you remove all traces of make up before going to bed.