It’s tempting to squeeze the world’s biggest, reddest, angriest zit on your face.
But don’t do it. You’ll cause scarring that will last longer than the pimple itself, says Adnan Nasir, M.D., Ph.D., director of dermatology at Wake Research Associates and the dermatology advisor for Men’s Health.
Instead, Dr. Nasir recommends trying this gentle but firm approach at night: Soak a washcloth in the hottest water your faucet can generate and apply pressure to the spot for 1 minute. The moist heat should melt the oily sebum that’s plugging your pores.
Then apply 10 percent benzoyl peroxide cream, available over the counter, to kill bacteria and help dry out the site. Dr. Nasir likes PanOxyl products.
Finally, cover your pimple with a spot bandage or Band-Aid. This ensures that the benzoyl peroxide works all night.
When you wake up, your blemish will be 50 to 75 percent healed if it’s not gone altogether, says Dr. Nasir. You can repeat for several nights if necessary.