Have you ever gone to bed one night with clear skin, and woken up the next morning with a red, tender, and swollen area on your face that seems to be a blemish, but just won’t come to a head? This could be a cystic pimple, and there is much more you can do for it than just slather on concealer and pretend you were bit by a mosquito.
What is a cystic pimple?
- large, and painful painful bump deep in your skin (often covered by new skin making it difficult to get rid of)
- brought on by hormonal changes such as puberty, pregnancy, or even just monthly fluctuations in your hormone levels
In case you haven’t read it already, we have more information about cystic acne and what causes it here.
If you are unlucky enough to have developed a cystic pimple right before an important event like a wedding, graduation, or hot date, here are some ways to help shrink a cystic pimple.
Why skincare is important?
Your concealer may hide your cystic pimple, but it won’t help reduce the swelling. Taking care of your skin can help to accelerate the healing process and clear away any existing blemishes.
Step #1 - Why chemical exfoliation is good
I used to think that exfoliation didn’t matter — that the most important aspect was keeping my skin clean. However, exfoliation (e.g. our Exfoliant) helps to clear away dead skin cells that could lead to blocked pores and cystic pimples.
Pro tip: If you wear makeup, exfoliation can help it apply more smoothly and last longer.
Step #2 - Face masks aren’t just for fun
A good face mask can help give your skin a deep clean, as well as shrink and smooth out your pores. It’s also a good chance to relax and give yourself a little self-care, which is important since sometimes having spots can knock our self-confidence.
Pro tip: Relaxing can be beneficial to cystic pimples, especially if they’re brought on by stress. If you have a cystic outbreak, try some relaxation techniques like deep breathing, exercise, yoga or anything else you find calming.
Step #3 - Use an anti-bacterial treatment
Blocked pores and excess oils are the favorite foods of acne-causing bacteria. Use an anti-bacterial treatment on the affected area (e.g. our SOS Target), which helps to fight inflammation and spot-causing bacteria.
Whichever treatment you decide to use, make sure that it’s actually meant for faces. Anti-bac hand soap won’t do the trick, and has the potential to dry out your skin and make it feel tighter.
IMPORTANT TIP: No matter how tempting it may be, do not attempt to pop your cystic pimple and try to avoid touching it as much as possible. Touching your pimples could encourage the spread of bacteria, making the infection worse, and squeezing or popping the pimple can push the infection deeper into the skin or even spread it.
How to cover up a cystic pimple?
If you don’t wear makeup, then you can skip this step. Being comfortable in your own skin is the most important aspect of any acne treatment! If you do wear makeup, this will allow you a good opportunity to cover your cystic pimple.
Concealer is a type of makeup that can be used to cover blemishes, pimples, and other spots. It is great to use over cystic pimples, as it will cover the redness induced by swelling and make it less noticeable. If you have never used makeup before, here’s our tip on how to use concealer to cover up a blemish:
- Pro tip: When using concealer on a cystic pimple, it should have a thick texture to it, instead of a runnier, thinner texture. Use a precision brush to cover just the pimple and red area around it. Less is more in this case, as using a lot will only make it look worse than it really is.
After applying concealer, you can then apply the rest of your makeup as usual.
When To See a Doctor?
If you have a particularly bad outbreak of cystic acne, have suffered from cystic acne for a long time, or at-home treatments aren’t doing the trick, it may be time to book an appointment with a dermatologist. They are trained in this are and can help you get the treatment you need.
If you wake up with a cystic pimple or outbreak, don’t worry! You can use at-home treatments like exfoliation, clay face masks, and anti-bacterial treatments to help shrink cystic pimples. If your acne isn’t responding to home treatment or you have struggled with cystic acne for a long time, make an appointment with a dermatologist for further treatment.
- DO use exfoliant
- Use clay face masks
- DO do something you like to relax
- DO use an anti-bacterial treatment
- DO use a thick cover up with a precision brush (if you wear makeup)
- DON’T panic! Cystic pimples are perfectly normal
- DON’T attempt to squeeze or pop your cystic pimples
- DON’T touch your face (or at least as little as possible