It can also be warm and sore to the touch. There may also be more redness when a pimple becomes infected. An infected pimple is also going to be more painful and inflamed. It also won't always clear up with over-the-counter (OTC), anti-acne face washes since the bacterial infection runs deeper into the skin.
What does an infected pimple look like? Because of the infection, the pimple swells up and appears more prominent than usual. It can appear red, and inflamed, have pus and be painful to touch.
For moderate to severe acne, you may need oral antibiotics to reduce bacteria. Usually the first choice for treating acne is a tetracycline (minocycline, doxycycline) or a macrolide (erythromycin, azithromycin).
Neosporin does not kill the most common acne-causing bacteria, so it won't typically be effective at fighting pimples or cystic acne. Because it has many moisturizing, skin-healing oils in its ingredients, Neosporin may temporarily tame irritation and also heal areas of damaged, broken skin.
Left alone, a blemish will heal itself in 3 to 7 days. Popped improperly, it can linger for weeks or lead to scarring.
There's no evidence that hydrogen peroxide can safely and effectively cure acne. In reality, hydrogen peroxide may actually increase scarring on the skin by interfering with the wound-healing process. It can also cause skin irritation and burns if used at too high of a concentration.
Tea Tree oil, warm compresses, honey, Aloe Vera, Vaseline, Neosporin and baking soda all work wonders in help to heal pimple scabs. Tea Tree oil is used because of its antiseptic properties. It will prevent bacterial infections on cuts, wounds and scabs on the skin. Put a small amount of the oil on a cotton ball.
Cystic acne is a type of inflammatory acne that causes painful, pus-filled pimples to form deep under the skin. Acne occurs when oil and dead skin cells clog skin pores. With cystic acne, bacteria also gets into the pores, causing swelling or inflammation. Cystic acne is the most severe type of acne.
Witch hazel is best for people with oily, acne-prone skin. Its astringent and pore-tightening properties help fight the inflammation and overproduction of oil associated with acne. It can also help clear clogged pores – a primary cause of acne breakouts.
What should you do? The rumor mill might have you believing that dabbing some regular old toothpaste on your zit will help it clear up overnight. But, while it's true that several ingredients found in toothpaste are drying to skin and might help shrink your pimple, this home remedy for breakouts isn't worth the risk.
Don't use rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on wounds or to control oily skin or acne breakouts. They're not effective and they can damage your skin, making the problem worse. Just use soap and water to clean a wound, and for acne, use an over-the-counter product with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
They're great for wounds and for blisters. For acne lesions, the bandages can be applied directly on pimples and help decrease inflammation, redness and irritation, and they can absorb drainage from active acne blemishes.
The way you treat the pimple after popping matters, too. Arthur said you should apply some over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream, which will help reduce inflammation. After that, a dab of Vaseline will help keep the now-open wound from scabbing over.
Pockmarks, which are also called pick marks or acne scars, are blemishes with a concave shape that can look like holes or indentations in the skin. They occur when the deeper layers of the skin become damaged. As these deeper layers heal, extra collagen is produced.
Use polysporin or an antibiotic cream
It makes them heal faster, and takes the swelling out quickly.
Nodules are a type of hard pimple that can be large and painful. They form when an infected skin pore or follicle is located deep below the skin surface. Cysts are found deep below the skin when a pus-filled membrane forms around the infection. They are likely to scar.
Dr. Zeichner recommends applying an antibiotic ointment like bacitracin to a popped pimple if it is open or raw to prevent development of an infection. After a pimple goes away, it can take several weeks for the skin to fully heal.
You shouldn't shave when the skin is irritated or infected. You should avoid hydrogen peroxide — it is too harsh.
Never squeeze a blind pimple
Trying to pop a blind pimple can result in permanent scars, a more-noticeable pimple, the pimple becoming more painful, or an infection. Squeezing the blind pimple also risks pushing the contents of the pimple — a blend of oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria — deeper into the skin.
Witch hazel is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when small doses are taken by mouth. In some people, witch hazel might cause stomach upset when taken by mouth. Large doses might cause liver problems. Witch hazel contains a cancer-causing chemical (safrole), but in amounts that are too small to be of concern.
Since hydrogen peroxide is chemical based, it is unsafe for our skin. Therefore, the extract from witch hazel is a better substitute since it is plant based; thus safe.