Pimples can be irritating. Your face is all nice and fresh; then, one pimple pops up out of nowhere. It is especially annoying if it happens when you have a presentation, an interview, a date etc. You can fight pimples in some ways; using a hot compress has been practiced for a while.
Putting a hot towel on a pimple works to some extent. But it is not a permanent solution, nor an instant solution. Applying warmth to pimples expands the pimple cavity and draws the contents of the pimple outside. However, you shouldn’t only stick to hot towels; the cold application also helps treat pimples.
In this blog post, I will explore the concept of using hot towels on pimples and what the science says about this method. I will also shed some light on home remedies for pimples.
How Does A Hot Towel Help Reduce Pimples?
When you apply heat to your skin, the pores naturally relax and dilate. Thus, it loosens the contents of your pores, attracting extra oil and grime to the surface. This way6, you can get rid of pimples temporarily and quickly.
As you can understand, this is not a permanent solution to treating pimples. You can also apply cold to the pimples. Ice helps reduce the inflammation caused by pimples, redness, swelling etc. However, sometimes I used ice on my pimples, which didn’t work. I was surprised but discovered that ice only helps reduce inflammatory-type pimples. Non-inflammatory pimples such as blackheads aren’t bothered by ice.
One important thing you should know is that neither ice nor cold is enough alone to treat pimples. Treating pimples is a multidisciplinary approach. Home remedies paired with medications and a good diet can help reduce pimples.
How To Create A Hot Compress To Treat Pimples
A hot compress can reduce pimples magically. It’s very easy to make a hot compress. Some small things make a hot compress more effective. Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can make a hot compress to treat pimples:
Step 1: Get Some Hot Water
Alright, so let’s get started! You’ll need a container to hold hot water without breaking or melting. A bowl or your sink should work fine. Turn on the faucet and let the water warm up, or if you prefer to use hot water from the kettle, go ahead and start boiling it up.
Once your water is nice and hot but not boiling, carefully pour 2 cups of water in the container. Then, wait for the water to cool off before using it for whatever you need it for. Letting the water cool is important so you don’t burn yourself.
Step 2: You Can Add Some Essential Oil Like Lavender
Essential oils are special because they have antimicrobial properties (which is amazing!), and their great smell can help you feel more relaxed.
All you need to do is add two or three drops of tea tree oil or lavender oil (or even both) to the warm water container before applying the compress.
Step 3: Soak A Cotton Washcloth In The Water
Take a cotton washcloth and make sure it’s thoroughly wet with water. In case you don’t have a cotton washcloth ready at hand, a small towel or a microfiber cloth will work just fine. But avoid paper towels! They can easily break apart and get stuck to your skin. Before applying, squeeze excess water from the cloth.
Step 4: Apply The Warm Compress To Your Face
Applying the warm compress on the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes will help reduce inflammation and speed up the healing process. I keep the compress in one position the whole time to constantly get moisture and heat to the pimple. Doing this regularly should help you to see some great improvements, just like mine.
Use a warm compress 3-4 times a day for acne. The warmth from the compress helps to remove trapped oil and germs from your skin, promoting clearer and healthier-looking skin. For best results, always use a fresh, clean cloth and water every time.
Also Read Should You Wash Towels In Hot Water?
How Can You Treat Pimples At Home?
If you suddenly have a large, ugly-looking pimple on your face, don’t fret. I’ve got some excellent home remedies for pimples that I always follow and work for me very well. Here are some ways you can fight pimples at home:
A Cold Application Can Help A Lot
You can apply ice to soothe an irritated and painful pimple. I usually grab some ice from the freezer, wrap it around with my handkerchief and gently press it onto the affected area. Usually, about 4 minutes is enough. You can also crush the ice slightly.
I use a meat mallet from my kitchen, and it works great. If the ice melts too quickly, place it in a plastic bag, then wrap it in fabric. It prevents heat radiation from the ice and keeps the ice solid longer. I repeated this process quite a few times in the day, and it worked to my satisfaction.
You Can Also Use Crushed Aspirin
Salicylic acid is a key ingredient in aspirin. It is a powerful exfoliating agent and can effectively eliminate dead skin cells from your face. You can make a paste and apply it to the pimples.
There isn’t a fixed ratio; I take one aspirin pill, crush it and add a few drops of water, just enough to make a paste-like consistency. Then apply the most aggressive pimples on my face and keep them for around 15 minutes. Then I wash my face with clean lukewarm water completely. This simple yet effective remedy will leave your skin feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
OTC Acne Medicine Works Well
OTC drugs work quite well for pimples. If you are in the store to pick a medicine or two for pimples, look for two key ingredients; salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. I already told you in the above section that salicylic acid helps reduce oil and remove dead skin cells. When benzoyl peroxide joins force with salicylic acid, the bacteria-killing efficiency of medicines increases significantly.
Another thing you should keep in mind is that both these active ingredients have some drying effect. If you put too much on your face, it will dry out and irritate your skin. Only use medicines that contain no more than 2% salicylic acid. Also, when applying benzoyl peroxide on your face, limit exposure to the sun. Thanks to a pharmacist friend of mine, I could avoid all these.
Maintain Facial Care Like A Face Mask
Face care is of utmost importance to fight pimples. Pimples and any anomaly on your face can also easily be mitigated by properly caring for your face. The market is flooded with different face masks, each with unique benefits.
Choosing the right type of face mask can be very confusing. The good thing is that some face masks are specifically designed to combat pimples. These masks usually contain salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, and another little-known yet highly effective component; sulfur. If you have sensitive skin, sulfur may be better than salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
If you suddenly have large, inflamed pimples and need to get rid of them fast, over-the-counter remedies are not likely to work. In such cases, you can use cortisone injection. This simple procedure involves the injection of cortisone directly into the cyst using a fine needle. Cortisone injections reduce swelling, help to reduce inflammation and promote healing. I suggest that you visit a qualified dermatologist to complete the procedure. But after some practice, you can do it yourself easily.
What Causes Pimples?
We all have faced pimples during our adolescence, but we hardly know the reasons behind them. There are numerous causes behind pimples. Let’s take a look:
The Sebaceous Glands And Pimples
Our bodies have sebaceous glands that release this waxy substance called sebum. It’s like a moisturizer for our skin and hair. These glands are all over your body (except your palms and the soles of your feet). But your face and scalp have a higher concentration of them.
As sebum is produced, new skin cells always form while the old outer layers of skin are shed. Sometimes though, the pores can get blocked up by dead skin cells. It happens more often when you’re going through puberty because your glands are producing more sebum. I remember when I was going through puberty, every day was a nightmare because of these irritating pimples.
When dead skin cells and sebum block a pore, bacteria we don’t want grow. One bad bacteria is called Propionibacterium acnes, or “P. acnes” for short. It’s associated with acne and usually hangs out on our skin without problems. But, when things are just right, P. acnes can multiply like crazy and create pimples and skin irritation.
P. acnes feeds on sebum, and when it does, it creates chemicals that make our immune system go into high gear. It leads to inflammation and more pimples. It’s important to know that although pimples look like they are an infectious disease, you can’t catch them from someone else because they’re not contagious.
This yeast, Pityrosporum, can grow in hair follicles and create small, painful pimples that look like acne. This condition is commonly found on the upper chest, shoulders, and upper back but can also appear on the face. Most people have some of this yeast on their skin, but when it grows too much, it can cause problems.
Acne breakouts are sometimes linked to higher testosterone levels and other androgen hormones. Even though these hormones are more common in guys, girls have them too in lower amounts. When testosterone levels go up, it can make sebaceous glands more active, so your pores can get clogged up more easily. It can lead to a higher likelihood of getting pimples.
It’s super important to ensure you’re getting enough vitamins A, D, and E if you want to keep your skin healthy and prevent acne. Certain studies show that switching to a low glycemic index (GI) diet can help decrease your blood insulin and androgen levels. It means that the risk of developing pimples can also decrease.
Do’s And Don’ts When You Have A Pimple
When you have pimples, it’s normal to become very puzzled because there is only one thing on your mind; how do you get rid of them fast? So you are highly likely to do something that you shouldn’t. Here are some dos and don’ts when you have pimples:
- Choose Nonoily Hair Products
- Moisturize Daily
- Choose a Mild Cleanser
- Use lukewarm water
- Keep your face clean
- look for any of these four active ingredients; Benzoyl peroxide, Salicylic acid, Adapalene, and retinol.
- Don’t limit yourself to OTC medicines only
- Don’t sleep with makeup
- Don’t pop pimples
- Don’t expose yourself to the sun for too long
- Don’t exfoliate excessively
How Can You Prevent Pimples?
Prevention is always better than cure. You can get rid of pimples after they happen, but preventing them in the first place is even better. Here are some ways to reduce pimples popping up on your face frequently:
Keep Your Skin Clean
Wash your face gently every day. It helps to eliminate any dirt, oil, or makeup that may have built up on your skin.
But it’s important to be gentle and choose the right cleaner to avoid irritation. A mild, non-abrasive cleanser is your best bet, as it won’t strip your skin of its natural oils.
Choose The Right Skincare
For a gentler approach to skincare, I always opt for products labeled “alcohol-free.” Astringents, toners, and exfoliants can be harsh on the skin, and you don’t want that. Instead, go for a gentle, mild skincare item that won’t cause irritation.
If you have oily hair, it could contribute to those annoying pimples on your forehead. That’s why washing your hair more often than usual is a good idea to keep that oil in check. And try to keep your hair away from your face as much as possible.
Keep Your Hands Off
It’s common to touch your face throughout the day without even realizing it, but doing so can worsen your acne. You might be tempted to pick, pop, or squeeze your pimples. Still, avoiding these impulses is important as they can slow down the healing process and even lead to scarring and hyperpigmentation.
Stay Out Of The Sun And Tanning Beds
Excessive tanning can harm your skin, including increased acne and a heightened risk of skin cancer. Moreover, certain acne treatments can make your skin more susceptible to the harmful effects of UV radiation from the sun and tanning beds. Therefore, it’s essential to protect your skin by minimizing your exposure to tanning and using appropriate skincare products.
If you are still scratching your head, the following questions and answers will help you clear some of your confusion:
Does Heat Make Pimples Easier To Pop?
The application of heat expands the pore and loosens the contents inside. Proper heat application automatically draws out the contents of a pimple. It also makes popping pimples easier. But word of caution, don’t pop your pimples. Keep your hands off pimples at all costs.
Does Ice Remove Pimples?
Ice helps fight pimples. It reduces swelling and redness caused by pimples. However, you should know that only inflammatory pimples can be treated with ice. Cold doesn’t help in the case of non-inflammatory spots.
Is Heat Or Ice Better For Acne Cysts?
Both heat and cold can repel pimples to some extent. Exclusive application of only heat or cold will only do a little. Treating spots is a multidisciplinary approach; you should adopt all the necessary things to eliminate pimples.
Putting a hot towel on a pimple may offer temporary relief by opening up pores and reducing inflammation. However, it is not a guaranteed solution and may only work for some. Maintaining a consistent skincare routine and seeking medical advice if your acne persists or worsens is also important. Additionally, avoiding touching or picking at your pimples can help prevent further irritation and potential scarring.
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