How Do You Stop A Pimple When You Feel It Coming?

We’ve all been there – that annoying tingle on your skin, the dreaded sensation that signals the imminent arrival of a pimple. But fear not, for there are ways to nip it in the bud and prevent it from fully forming. In this article, we’ll explore some simple yet effective strategies to stop a pimple in its tracks when you first feel it coming. Say goodbye to those pesky breakouts and hello to clear, glowing skin!

Understanding Pimples

What are pimples?

Pimples, also known as acne, are a common skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. They are characterized by red, inflamed bumps on the skin, often filled with pus. Pimples can appear anywhere on the body, but they are most commonly found on the face, chest, shoulders, and back.

Causes of pimples

Pimples can be caused by a variety of factors. One of the main culprits is the overproduction of oil by the sebaceous glands in the skin. This excess oil, combined with dead skin cells, can clog the pores and contribute to the development of pimples. Hormonal changes, particularly during puberty, pregnancy, or menstruation, can also activate the sebaceous glands and lead to acne breakouts. Other factors that can contribute to the development of pimples include poor hygiene, certain medications, and a diet high in sugary and processed foods.

Types of pimples

There are different types of pimples, each with its own characteristics and severity. The most common types include whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts. Whiteheads occur when the pores are clogged with oil and dead skin cells, but they remain closed at the surface of the skin. Blackheads, on the other hand, are open pores that have been clogged and oxidized, resulting in their dark appearance. Papules are small, red, raised bumps that can be painful to the touch, while pustules are similar in appearance but contain pus. Nodules are larger, deeper inflamed bumps, and cysts are the most severe form of acne, characterized by deep, painful, and pus-filled lesions.

Recognizing the Early Signs

Symptoms of an impending pimple

Recognizing the early signs of a pimple can help you take preventive measures to minimize its impact. Some common symptoms include a slight bump or sensitivity in a particular area, redness or inflammation, and a small white or yellowish spot at the center. In some cases, you may feel a mild throbbing sensation or experience tenderness when touched.

Preventing pimples before they form

While it may not be possible to completely prevent pimples, there are steps you can take to minimize their occurrence. One of the key preventive measures is to maintain good hygiene by regularly washing your face with a gentle cleanser. This helps to remove excess oil and dirt from the skin, preventing them from clogging the pores. Additionally, avoiding touching your face with dirty hands, keeping hair off the forehead, and regularly washing pillowcases and other surfaces that come into contact with your skin can help reduce the likelihood of pimples.

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Taking Immediate Action

Wash your face

When you feel a pimple coming on, one of the first things you should do is wash your face with a gentle cleanser. Use warm water and a mild soap or facial cleanser to remove dirt, excess oil, and bacteria from the skin. Avoid scrubbing too harshly as this can irritate the skin and potentially worsen the pimple. Instead, gently massage the cleanser onto your face in circular motions, focusing on the affected area.

Apply a topical treatment

After washing your face, applying a topical treatment can help reduce inflammation and promote healing. Look for products containing ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or tea tree oil, which have been shown to be effective in combating pimples. These treatments work by unclogging pores, reducing oil production, and killing bacteria. Apply the product directly to the pimple or affected area, following the instructions on the packaging.

Use ice or cold compress

Using ice or a cold compress can help reduce the swelling and redness associated with a pimple. Wrap an ice cube or a cold compress in a clean cloth and gently apply it to the pimple for a few minutes. The cold temperature constricts the blood vessels, reducing inflammation and making the pimple less noticeable.

Avoid touching or picking at the pimple

While it may be tempting to touch or pick at a pimple, doing so can worsen the inflammation and lead to scarring. Picking at a pimple can introduce more bacteria to the area and increase the likelihood of infection. It’s best to leave the pimple alone and let it heal naturally. If you need to cover it up, use a non-comedogenic concealer that won’t clog pores.

Home Remedies to Prevent Pimples

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is a natural remedy that has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it an effective treatment for pimples. Its antibacterial properties help kill the acne-causing bacteria, while its anti-inflammatory effects reduce redness and swelling. To use tea tree oil, dilute a few drops with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, and apply it to the pimple using a cotton swab. Leave it on for a few hours or overnight before rinsing off.

Honey and cinnamon mask

A honey and cinnamon mask can help reduce the inflammation and redness associated with pimples. Honey has antimicrobial properties that can help kill bacteria, while cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe the skin. Mix equal parts honey and cinnamon to create a paste, then apply it to the affected area. Leave the mask on for around 10-15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can be used as a natural toner to help balance the pH of the skin and reduce the risk of bacterial growth. Its antibacterial properties can also help clear away bacteria that may contribute to the development of pimples. Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water, then apply it to the skin using a cotton ball. Leave it on for a few minutes, then rinse off with warm water.

Aloe vera gel

Aloe vera gel is known for its soothing and healing properties, and it can help reduce inflammation and redness caused by pimples. Apply a small amount of pure aloe vera gel directly to the pimple and leave it on for as long as possible. If you have an aloe vera plant, you can also break off a leaf and extract the gel from it.

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Lifestyle Changes for Pimple Prevention

Keep your face clean

Keeping your face clean is essential for preventing pimples. Wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser to remove dirt, oil, and bacteria. Avoid using harsh scrubs or harsh products that can irritate the skin and strip away its natural oils. After washing, pat your face dry with a clean towel instead of rubbing it vigorously.

Maintain a healthy diet

A healthy diet plays a crucial role in maintaining clear skin. Avoid consuming excessive amounts of sugary and processed foods, as these can increase inflammation and contribute to acne breakouts. Instead, focus on eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Drinking plenty of water can also help flush out toxins and keep your skin hydrated.

Hydrate adequately

Proper hydration is essential for maintaining healthy skin. Drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day to keep your skin moisturized from the inside out. Dehydration can lead to dry skin, which can trigger the production of excess oil and potentially contribute to the formation of pimples.

Manage stress levels

Stress can worsen acne breakouts, so it’s important to find healthy ways to manage stress levels. Engage in activities that help you relax and unwind, such as yoga, meditation, or exercise. Getting regular exercise not only helps reduce stress but also improves blood circulation, which can benefit your skin.

Get enough sleep

Adequate sleep is crucial for overall skin health. Lack of sleep can disrupt hormone levels and increase inflammation, both of which can contribute to the development of pimples. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to allow your body to repair and regenerate.

Avoid excessive sun exposure

While sunlight can have some positive effects on acne-prone skin, excessive sun exposure can actually worsen pimples and lead to dark spots or scarring. When spending time outdoors, remember to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

Do not share makeup or skincare products

Sharing makeup or skincare products can introduce bacteria and other contaminants to your skin, which can contribute to the development of pimples. Avoid sharing makeup brushes, sponges, or other tools, and refrain from borrowing skincare products from others. Instead, use your own products and wash your brushes regularly to maintain hygiene.

Over-the-Counter Products

Benzoyl peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is a popular over-the-counter acne treatment that is commonly used to treat mild to moderate acne. It works by targeting the bacteria that cause acne and reducing inflammation. Benzoyl peroxide is available in various forms, such as cleansers, lotions, and gels. Start with a lower strength (2.5% or 5%) and gradually increase if necessary, as higher strengths may cause dryness or irritation.

Salicylic acid

Salicylic acid is another common ingredient found in many acne treatments. It helps to exfoliate the skin and unclog pores, preventing the formation of pimples. Salicylic acid is especially effective for treating whiteheads and blackheads. It is available in various forms, including cleansers, toners, and spot treatments. Start with a lower strength and increase if needed, while monitoring for any signs of skin irritation.

Sulfur-based products

Sulfur has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for acne due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Sulfur-based products work by reducing oiliness and removing dead skin cells, helping to prevent the development of pimples. They are available in the form of masks, cleansers, and spot treatments.

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Retinoids are derived from vitamin A and are commonly used to treat acne. They work by unclogging pores, reducing inflammation, and promoting cell turnover. Retinoids are available in prescription-strength formulations, such as tretinoin, adapalene, and tazarotene, as well as over-the-counter versions, such as retinol. It is important to note that retinoids can cause skin sensitivity and may require a period of adjustment.

Spot treatments

Spot treatments are designed to target individual pimples and reduce their size and redness. These products often contain ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or sulfur. Apply a small amount directly to the pimple, following the instructions on the packaging. Spot treatments should be used sparingly and only on active pimples.

When to Seek Professional Help

Persistent or severe acne

If you have tried various over-the-counter treatments and home remedies without success, or if your acne is persistent or severe, it may be time to seek professional help. A dermatologist can assess your skin condition and recommend the most suitable treatment options, which may include prescription medications, topical creams, or procedures such as chemical peels or laser therapy.

Cystic acne

Cystic acne is a severe form of acne characterized by large, deep, painful cysts that can lead to scarring. If you have cystic acne, it is recommended to consult a dermatologist for appropriate treatment options. Cystic acne often requires oral medications, such as antibiotics or isotretinoin, to effectively manage the condition.

Underlying medical conditions

In some cases, pimples may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. If you experience persistent or recurrent acne despite following a regular skincare routine, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional. Certain medical conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or hormonal imbalances, can contribute to the development of acne and may require specific treatments.

Precautions and Best Practices

Patch test new products

Before applying any new skincare or acne products on your face, it is important to perform a patch test on a small area of your skin. This helps to identify any potential allergic reactions or sensitivities. Apply a small amount of the product to a clean area, such as the inner forearm, and wait for 24-48 hours to observe for any adverse reactions.

Follow product instructions

When using any acne treatment or skincare product, it is essential to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Use the product as directed, whether it is a cleanser, spot treatment, or medication. Applying more than recommended or using it too frequently can irritate the skin and may not produce better results.

Avoid overdoing treatments

While it may be tempting to try multiple treatments or use them more frequently to get rid of pimples quickly, it is important to avoid overdoing it. Overusing acne products can lead to dryness, redness, and irritation, which may further worsen the condition. Stick to recommended usage guidelines and give your skin time to adjust to the treatment.

Be patient

Managing and treating pimples takes time and consistency. It is important to be patient and give your chosen treatment method enough time to work. Most acne treatments require several weeks or even months before noticeable improvements occur. Avoid switching treatments too frequently, as this can disrupt the healing process and make it more difficult to determine what is working for you.

Protect your skin

Protecting your skin from sun damage is crucial when dealing with pimples. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and apply it generously to all exposed areas of skin. Sunscreen helps prevent dark spots and hyperpigmentation caused by acne and also reduces the risk of scarring. Additionally, wearing a hat or seeking shade can provide extra protection for your face.


Preventing and managing pimples requires a combination of good skincare habits, lifestyle changes, and appropriate treatment methods. While it may not be possible to completely eliminate pimples, following the tips outlined in this article can help minimize their occurrence and reduce their impact. Remember to keep your face clean, maintain a healthy diet, manage stress levels, and get enough sleep. Experiment with different preventive measures, home remedies, and over-the-counter products to find what works best for you. With consistency and patience, you can improve the appearance of your skin and achieve a clearer complexion.