Unless you lead an almost improbably charmed life, you’ll be familiar with what having a spot or two is like,
How to get rid of spots overnight – and why you should get toothpaste away from your face
Maybe you’ve struggled with problem skin for years. Perhaps you only get the odd zit.
Unfortunately, when it comes to break-outs, these aren’t solely confined to our hormonal teenage years.
Many adults still suffer from spots.
This doesn’t mean that you’re powerless against them, however.
Spots, zits, pimples, blemishes – they’re all caused by inflammation from bacteria getting clogged in our pores.
Acne is a bit more complex, as it’s caused by a hormonal imbalance, and if you’re affected by it, you should consult your doctor.
If it’s just the odd spot (or two or three), however, then there are some things you can do to help. Follow the steps on how to get rid of spots overnight.
How to get rid of spots overnight
1. Put down the toothpaste
In fact, ignore most “DIY remedies” – these do more harm than good.
Toothpaste has evolved since this urban myth began telling us how it can dry pesky spots out.
Many brands now contain ingredients and fragrances which can irritate or dry out your skin, dermatologist Dr Doris Day tells Good Housekeeping .
The same applies to other more homespun solutions – like lemon juice (ouch), a spritz of perfume, even Windolene or vinegar.
Simply put, all of these may have more of an adverse affect on your skin. And you don’t need that, do you?
2. Resist the urge to squeeze, pick or extract yourself
Dermatologists do this all the time because they have the tools for the job.
You probably don’t.
Using your fingers to squeeze out that nasty pus puts you at the risk of infection, and may mean your skin takes longer to heal. This could lead to scarring. And that’s a lot harder to conceal than a zit.
If you do want to get a handle on self-squeezing, try a Tweezerman No Slip Tool, which has a sort of metal noose that will exorcise your blocked pores when you apply a small amount of pressure.
3. Instead, try taking some crushed aspirin
It’s not just handy when you have a headache.
Aspirin, with its anti-inflammatory properties, can be useful when your skin goes a little rogue.
This is because aspirin is a derivative of salicylic acid, and it can soothe a pulsing, red zit much in the same way it can soothe a painful headache, dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe tells Seventeen.
Take a couple before bed-time – and maybe try one of the following too….
4. Tea tree oil is your friend, too
Tea tree oil is like a skincare miracle worker. You can use it on insect bites – and even less savoury conditions, like athlete’s foot.
It’s also a known “cure” for spots and blemishes too.
There is a wealth of products containing it, but if you want to apply some in its most concentrated form, “Dilute it at first, because some people are too sensitive to use it straight up,” Dr. Bowe cautions.
Simply use some on using a cotton wool pad or cotton bud before you go to bed.
5. Hydrocortisone cream can help
Now, while cortisone injections are a thing, they’re hardly the most practical or inexpensive measure out there.
The next best thing is hydrocortisone cream.
A topical steroid, it’s used in its various forms on nappy rash and insect bites – and it can help reduce the swelling and redness of your spots too.
You may have some in your bathroom cabinet.
If not, other antiseptic creams like Sudocrem or Savlon can help make the zit less angry.
6. Go easy on the make-up
You should be washing your face as a matter of course every night anyway.
If you do wear make-up though, be extra thorough when removing it – and try to forego it for a day if possible.
If you’re not keen on this, then try to use mineral makeup on your skin rather than oil-based products, which can actually cause these break-outs in the first place.
7. Try either a warm or cold compress
Both of these work in different ways.
Or warm compress of steam bath will help bring all that grot to the surface. Then, once the spots appear, apply a treatment like tea tree oil or hydrocortisone cream.
A cold compress is good for existing pimples as it will help with the swelling, redness and soreness.
Just whatever you do, DON’T reach for the toothpaste…
To squeeze or not to squeeze
I’ll admit that I’m no skin saint. I have stood in front of the mirror on a number of occasions as a teenager with a big pimple staring right back at me. And yes, despite being advised not to, I have squeezed, picked and popped.
But is this really a crime against the skin?
The answer is yes. Squeezing and trying to pop pimples is definitely not the best solution and can actually make your skin worse.
Why you shouldn’t squeeze
A pimple is like a little bag under the skin that contains oil, bacteria and inflammation. Squeezing it can result in these contents being pushed into surrounding skin, making the problem worse. It can also lead to infection and temporary darkening of the skin in that area.
On top of this, the inflammation can become so bad that scarring is left behind when the pimple finally settles down. And scarring (unlike the pimple) can be permanent.
If you resist the urge to squeeze, pimples will usually resolve over a week or so without scarring. The “white” contents will also settle down or spontaneously pop when ready.
If large pimples require urgent treatment, a dermatologist can get rid of the contents of a pimple safely. They may also give it an injection that decreases inflammation and the pimple in a day or so.
If pimples are something you battle with even on a monthly basis, it is advisable to see a dermatologist to find out what can be done to control the flares.