How to Get Rid of a Pimple
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How to Get Rid of a Pimple

Quick remedies for 3 types of blemishes.

One of the plusses of aging: Getting fewer breakouts. But while you may enjoy more clear-skin days as you get older, you'll still have the occasional breakout to contend with. Happily, there are steps you can take to make these once-in-a-while blemishes easier to live with. The key is to assess your sudden bump, and take action according to its type. Here's how. (Caution: These fixes are not for the faint of heart!

If the pimple is a simple blackhead...

Begin by cleansing your face. Then apply a clay-based mask to the pimple and its surrounding area. Clay actually draws impurities out of the skin -- in this case, the plug of oil and dead skin cells that created the blackhead in the first place. Allow the mask to sit for its required time, then rinse off. Now apply a pore-cleansing strip (found in drugstores) to the pimple. Your skin should be wet so the strip sticks properly. Allow the strip to dry, and quickly peel it off. With it should come your blackhead. Ice the area for a few minutes to minimize swelling, then follow with your regular makeup routine.

If the pimple is a pustule (in other words, has come to a pus-filled head)...

To begin, soak a washcloth with hot water. The hotter you can stand it, the better its effect will be. Apply this hot washcloth to the pimple; don't press too hard, but rather hold the washcloth against the pimple. The heat will serve to draw the pus inside the pimple upward, making it easier to remove. After you've applied heat for several minutes, gently dry the area. Now wrap each index finger in a clean tissue. Using gentle pressure, lightly squeeze the pimple. Beware: There's a fine line between squeezing gently enough to remove the pus, and hard enough to draw blood (which can lead to scarring). If nothing comes out of the pimple after gentle prodding, leave it alone; you can try the same routine later.

If the pimple is a big, red, itchy, or sore bump...

You have two options: You can either see a dermatologist for an emergency zapping, or you can simply cover the pimple. The first option is the more radical. A dermatologist can inject a cortisone solution into this type of pimple, instantly shrinking it. If this isn't practical, you can try option two: Covering it with makeup. Begin with a concealer that matches your skin exactly; avoid coverup that's lighter than your skin, as it'll highlight rather than camouflage your zit. Use your finger to dab a tiny bit of concealer on the pimple. Now blend the concealer out with a concealer brush. When the pimple is sufficiently covered, top with a dusting of loose powder to help the coverup stay in place. Important: Be sure to wash off the concealer before bed -- skipping this step can actually make the pimple worse!