Pimple Patrol

Most people have, at some point, experienced a pimple on an important day. These situations evoke panic and despair, and lead to the development of many home remedies.

Just when I think I’ve heard them all, I learn of yet another creative (read, bizarre) way to banish a spot. Toothpaste, honey, soaks and scrubs…the list is seemingly endless. Let me address a couple of the most popular and give you one home remedy that I can endorse. Remember these are all aimed at minimizing a blemish after it has already appeared, not preventing new ones. That is another topic altogether.

Toothpaste. We have all tried it, right? Why does it work? Ingredients like baking soda, alcohol or others have a drying effect on the skin. This might make the blemish appear less prominent. While I can’t deny that a visual change can be seen with the toothpaste method, a couple of warnings.. First of all, those ingredients are also drying out the surrounding skin, which is irritating. Irritation can lead to more breakouts. Backfire! Secondly, some the ingredients in toothpaste can be downright irritating to the skin, which could cause new rash altogether. Double backfire!

Lemon juice. I have been hearing a lot about this lately, especially because around here many people have lemon trees in their backyard. Can’t get a much more convenient ingredient. The citric acid in lemon juice acts as a natural exfoliant, so some reduction in the pimple size is¬†definitely possible. But it’s irritating too! And much more importantly, the juice causes your skin to be sensitive to the sun. If you have any on your skin and go into the sun you could get a blistering rash that can leave marks. Exactly! Don’t do it!

One temporary fix that I can support without hesitation is a secret ingredient called….water! ¬†Hopefully this is something you can get your hands on easily. For an angry white head you can apply a washcloth soaked in very warm water to the area for about 3-4 minutes, reapplying to keep the water warm. Follow this with a brisk cold water rinse. This works especially well if you do it before bedtime and let the pimple settle down over night. In the AM you can do a very cold water soak on the spot before applying makeup, to help decrease redness and inflammation. No risk of irritation and the only side effect is dampness. Water is wonderful…utillize its power!


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