According to NYC dermatologist Dr. Neal Schultz, host of DermTV.com, “painful spots and hard bumps that lurk under the skin and seemingly never come to a head are called cysts or blind pimples.”
In medical terms, they are a pimple or a closed comedone.
A cyst under the skin is a comedo lesion like a regular pimple, but the pores are heavily clogged and tight without projecting a head outside the skin.
Inflammation in the deeper layers of the skin makes the closed comedo very painful.
Like normal pimples, bacteria, excessive sebum, and clogged dead skin cells may cause blind pimples. But they remain deep below the skin’s surface, reaching up to the subcutaneous (fatty) layer.
According to Dr. Schults, “the acne-causing bacteria make an enzyme by splitting the triglycerides in sebum and turning them into free fatty acids. These are very irritating chemicals that cause a lot of inflammation, resulting in rapid pus accumulation in the cyst.”
These hidden bumps can painfully lurk under the skin for weeks – even months.
A closed comedone usually occurs behind the ear, on the chin, on the nose, or elsewhere on the face.
The only visible symptom of this type of pimple is the reddish or pinkish patch on the surface of the skin.
You should never pop a blind pimple or acne under the skin as it may cause permanent scars, pain, or an infection.
Ways To Get Rid Of A Blind Pimple
If you are wondering how to get rid of blind pimples under the skin, several treatment options can give you satisfactory results.
They are highly sensitive, even to a gentle touch, as they are located deep under or closer to the skin’s surface and close to the nerves.
Do not pop or squeeze the closed comedo, as this can worsen the issue with severe inflammation and bacterial infection. By popping it, you risk the infected pimples developing into aggravated conditions of furunculosis and carunculous.
Treatment for closed comedones is necessary for getting fast relief from severe inflammation accompanied by pain, swelling, and reddish/pinkish patches on the skin.
Lucky for you, you can choose from several effective home treatments for blind pimples.
Before using any treatment, clean the pimple-affected area, hands, and face to prevent the spread of a new infection.
If you are using a treatment for the first time, it is a good idea to do an allergy test to assess your skin’s sensitivity to the treatment.
For managing this common skin condition, here are 12 effective therapies:
1. Prescription medicines
A qualified dermatologist must handle problems with severe and recurring blind pimples.
A few prescription-strength topical and oral medicines work effectively for managing acne issues.
Before using any topical medicines, it is best to cleanse the affected area of the skin with a gentle cleanser and dry the skin properly.
Commonly used oral pills for acne are isotretinoin, estrogen pills (low-dose birth control pills), spironolactone, clindamycin, doxycycline, erythromycin, tetracycline, and other antibiotics.
However, the most preferred prescription-strength medicines for acne are ointments and lotions to be used topically. Here are the most commonly used topical treatments for acne:
Aczone (Dapsone): Effective in fighting acne-causing bacteria and clearing clogged pores. The use of it may irritate and produce red rashes on sensitive skin.
Retinoid: Creams containing retinoids help unclog clogged pores and prevent bacterial infection. You can apply it to the affected area once a day as an overnight cream.
Topical antibiotics: Most topical antibiotic treatment for acne is combined with benzoyl peroxide to improve the receptivity of the antibiotics. The most popularly used topical creams for acne are Benzaclin, Duac, and Benzamycin.
2. Over-the-counter products
Most people prefer to use over-the-counter products to treat acne because of their ease of use. The proven chemicals in them work faster than traditional medicines.
However, their long-term use can leave harmful side effects on the skin.
Here are some of the commonly used OTC products for treating topical acne:
Salicylic acid: It prevents the skin pores from getting plugged; it can produce mild irritation on sensitive skin.
Benzoyl peroxide: It is very effective in eliminating acne-causing bacteria. It helps unblock the clogged pores by removing excess oil and dead skin cells trapped in them. This product may cause burning and itchy feelings on sensitive skin.
Sulfur: Useful for clearing clogged pores and eliminating the bacteria that have infected them. It has a bad odor and dries up the skin.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids: Helps remove dead skin cells that clog the skin pores, fight infection, and remove inflammation.
3. Cold and hot compress
Hydrotherapy (cold or hot compress) is an effective treatment for managing inflammation and pain.
A cold compress with an ice bag effectively suppresses the potential inflammation from blind pimples. It should be done when the acne infection is just starting so that inflammation doesn’t happen.
If you have a severe and badly inflamed closed comedo, you can perform the hot compress to draw out the puss and suppress the spread of infection.
You can use a clean washcloth soaked in warm water to make the hot compress. Just apply the warm compress for a few minutes; repeat it four times a day.
For ice therapy or a cold compress, apply the ice pack or ice cubes wrapped in a clean towel to the affected skin area for a few minutes. Do not do the cold compress for more than 6 minutes at a time.
4. Exfoliate the skin
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), acne patients can use a gentle exfoliating agent to remove the dead skin cells deposited in their epidermis. Exfoliation will help unclog the skin pores and prevent them from getting clogged again.
You can perform the exfoliation daily or every other day if you have normal or oily skin. Persons with dry or very sensitive skin should limit the exfoliation treatments to 1 or 2 times a week.
If you use chemical exfoliating agents like hydroxy acids, choose only a reputed brand with a proven safety and reliability track record.
5. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifoliate) contains powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which help in healing acne fast. This oil is also beneficial for plugging clogged pores.
Several studies have found that the tea tree oil component called terpinene-4-oil is a powerful antimicrobial agent beneficial for managing acne.
Dilute 5 drops of tea tree oil in 10 drops of olive oil and apply the oil to the blind pimple. Use this oil three times daily; it’s best to use it after cleansing or exfoliating.
6. Apple and honey mask
The malic acid contained in apples helps make the skin rejuvenated and firm.
Honey contains antimicrobial properties that can resist the bacteria that cause infection.
Blend an apple (including the skin) into a pulp and then add all-natural honey to it; make the mixture of apple and honey into a paste-like consistency.
You can apply this paste to the affected skin area and allow it to stay on the skin for 10 minutes. Then rinse it off with clean water. Repeat this treatment twice a day till the pimple is fully healed.
7. Aloe vera gel
Aloe vera gel is the best natural remedy for treating most skin ailments. This works well for treating all types of acne, including blind pimples.
One of the studies found that aloe vera gel combined with tretinoin was more effective than tretinoin alone for treating acne.
You can make a fresh Aloe Vera leaf and rub the sliced ends of the leaf on the pimple; let the new gel cover up the affected area.
You can also squeeze out the juice from the leaves or buy a ready-to-use Aloe Vera gel from the shops.
After 20 minutes of applying the gel, you can rinse the area with warm water.
8. Epsom salt
Epsom salt is made with magnesium sulfate.
Many studies have reported the effectiveness of magnesium sulfate in reducing inflammation, purging toxins, removing dead skin, killing bacteria, and moisturizing the skin.
Add two teaspoons of Epsom salt to one-half cup (4 ounces) of water and let the salt dissolve.
Apply the Epsom salt solution to the pimples with the help of a cotton ball. After 10 minutes, you can rinse the salt application off the skin using lukewarm water.
Repeat the treatment three times a day till the acne is fully gone.
9. Lemon juice
The citric acid in lemon is a natural astringent with antibacterial properties. Applying lemon juice to the affected area helps to contain the bacterial infection and the resulting inflammation.
Lemon juice is also useful for preventing skin acne scar formation as it has whitening properties.
In a bowl, squeeze the juice of a fresh lemon; soak a cotton ball in the juice and apply it to the closed comedone. After 15 minutes, you can wipe and clean the area with a clean, wet towel or rinse it with water.
Repeat the treatment three times a day until the pimple has disappeared.
10. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is effective for managing acne problems on your skin.
Acetic acid, found in ACV, is a strong antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agent that can fight bacteria that cause acne.
Cleaning the skin with ACV can help draw toxins out of the skin and plug the clogged pores that cause pimples.
You can dilute the apple cider vinegar with filtered or distilled water and apply the diluted ACV to the pimple-affected area. Rinse off the application after 10 minutes.
Repeat the ACV treatment for acne twice daily until you are free of pimples and bumps on the skin.
Toothpaste is one of the most popularly used remedies against pimples.
The mint content in toothpaste assists in drying and cooling down inflammation and removes the red rashes and pain caused by a pimple.
However, toothpaste that contains an excess amount of fluoride can cause irritation and a burning sensation on the skin. If you want to try toothpaste for pimples, you should use the ones that do not contain fluoride or other chemical substances.
You can apply a small amount of toothpaste on the pimple and leave it overnight. In the morning, rinse the area with cold water. If you are lucky, the pimple will have shrunk, and the swelling will be gone by morning.
Fresh and pure cow or goat milk is very effective for plugging clogged pores.
Milk contains alpha-hydroxy acids, which help remove the keratinized layer of skin and open up the skin pores.
You can soak a cotton ball in fresh milk and use it to apply the milk to the pimple. After 10 minutes, you can rinse the treated area with warm water.
Repeat the milk remedy for pimples twice a day.
How To Prevent Blind Pimples
Zits, spots, pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, etc. Call them what you will, but all forms of acne are awkward skin problems that most people will have to deal with at some point in their lives.
Note that you should never squeeze a blind pimple as this will cause pain and make the conditions worse.
With a little bit of daily care and attention given to maintaining healthy skin, you can prevent the occurrence of blind pimples and all other forms of acne.
Here are some preventive steps to keep the pimples at bay.
1. Practice good skin hygiene
The root cause of the majority of acne problems that people experience is poor skin hygiene.
Keeping your skin clean and hydrated is the best thing you can do to prevent the occurrence of acne.
If you have recurring bouts of cystic acne eruptions, you must do deep pore cleansing of facial skin twice or thrice a week. This will help remove the dirt, bacteria, and oil that clog the pores and cause bacterial infection.
Never touch your face or acne-prone areas of the skin without properly washing your hands. Unwashed hands introduce new bacteria and add dirt to the skin’s pores.
Wash your face with lukewarm water and gentle cleansers that are non-abrasive and do not contain alcohol.
2. Reduce stress and anxiety
Too much stress and anxiety can badly flare up the acne problem.
Cells producing sebum have stress hormone receptors that can directly impact sebum production.
Blind pimples may disappear if you become stress-free.
There are several psychological and physical methods to eliminate stress and anxiety.
You can try the autogenic relaxation method for stress relief, which involves repeating calming words or phrases in your mind.
Breathing exercises and yoga exercises are excellent for relieving stress. You can also use the progressive muscle relaxation exercises practiced in yoga to relieve tension and stress.
Sleeping for 7-8 hours can make you feel relaxed and take your mind away from things that stress you.
Engaging in hobbies, exercises, sports, entertainment, and leisure can alleviate stress.
Several meditation techniques can make you calm and composed, so you are free from stress.
3. Eat a healthy, balanced diet
High-glycemic foods are considered to be bad for acne. These foods break down quickly in the body, triggering an insulin spike and raising blood sugar levels. A sudden rise in the sugar level triggers hormonal fluctuation and inflammation, which cause acne.
Too many fatty or oily foods can make it harder for the body to make and maintain sebum.
Eat more whole grains, vegetables, fruits, fish, and lean meat. Avoid eating too much sugar, junk food, fast food, processed foods, and carbonated drinks.
Some studies have shown links between acne and foods containing high levels of refined sugar, dairy, or fat.
Your diet must contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to give skin a more radiant, healthy, and youthful glow with perfect immunity to resist microbial infections.
Consume foods rich in skin vitamins A, E, C, K, and B complex, as well as nutrients such as selenium, copper, zinc, alpha-lipoic acid, DMAE antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, and essential fatty acids (EFAs).
4. Hydration and moisturizing
To make your skin healthy and resist the occurrence of acne, it must be well-hydrated and moisturized.
You should drink at least 8 glasses of water daily for good metabolism and to remove toxins from your body.
If you have dry skin, it must be treated with moisturizing cream or lotion to keep it hydrated and supple.
5. Get enough sleep and exercise
It would be best to sleep at least 7 hours a day to remain physically and mentally healthy.
Good sleep enables you to reduce stress and tension. While you sleep, the skin cells repair and regenerate.
A healthy body and skin require 30 minutes of daily physical exercise. Physical activities improve blood circulation and rejuvenate your skin. The skin also releases toxins via sweating, opening up the skin’s pores.
Having a refreshing and skin-cleansing wash after you exercise and sweat is important.
The Final Thought
Finally, you can see that many of the medications used for regular pimples (blackheads or whiteheads) can also be used to treat blind pimples on your face, chin, nose, and ear.
There is no need for you to visit a dermatologist to get the closed comedone treated unless you have a chronic pimple issue.
Simple home remedies like a cold compress, a hot compress, or just applying toothpaste.
Avoid squeezing or poking the closed comedone, as it can worsen inflammation, increase the size of the bump inside the skin, and leave deep scars on your skin.
As soon as you get a cystic acne problem, you can start using anti-inflammatory and antibacterial topical antibiotics.
You can also try other effective home remedies like exfoliation, Epsom salt, ACV, aloe vera gel, or tea tree oil to relieve ingrown pimples.
If you have many blind pimples often occurring, then you must see a doctor.
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