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8 Easy Ways To Care For An Infected Pimple

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By Johnny Bevers

When the follicle under your skin’s surface clogs up due to excess oil, dirt or even makeup, bacteria will also begin to buildup, which results in an infected pimple.  Infected pimples can happen anywhere on the body, including arms, neck, face, back, etc.  While they are most embarrassing on the face, not taking care of an infected pimple anywhere on the body could cause serious issues down the road.  Luckily, just by managing the infection you can help clear up your acne and reduce the number of blemishes or acne scars you get down the road.  Check out our guide for clearing up your acne through natural home remedies.  In many cases, they’re more effective than the medication prescribed by your physician.

Cleanse The Area

boy with cleansing pad trying to clear up his acne

It is important that you keep the area clean so that the infection does not get worse.  Use a mild cleanser that is especially formulated for treating acne-prone skin.  This will have less irritants that cause excessive oil build-up. Gently scrub the entire area, but extra focus should be made on the infected area of skin.  Use a washcloth to gently work the mild cleanser into the pimple.  Then, rinse away with warm water.  Pat your face dry — but never scrub it dry.  Try cleansing your skin and the affected area at least two times per day (preferably when you wake up and right before you go to bed).  Using a facial scrub a few times per week can remove the dead skin cells that are also known to clog pores.  Use a gentle scrubbing formula, however, that doesn’t irritate the skin.  When scrubbing, use your fingertips and never use a brush or sponge to scrub the affected area.  This prevents damage to your top layer of skin and will help to prevent scarring as you treat the infection.

Apply Benzoyl Peroxide

tube of benzoyl peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is especially formulated for acne prone skin and can help clear up an infected pimple.  Apply it to the infection site after each time you wash your face.  You can get this medication over-the-counter at your local drug store without a prescription.  Follow the directions on the bottle, since every manufacturer will vary.  Benzoyl helps reduce or eliminate the bacteria growing on the skin’s surface, which leads to an infected pimple.  It also reduces the fatty acid on your skin that can irritate the pores and clog them, which means it can prevent infections in the future as well.  If you have a pimple around the eye area, do not apply benzoyl peroxide.  Because it is a somewhat harsh cleanser, it can irritate the eyes and cause vision problems.  Instead, consult a dermatologist for treating an infected pimple near the eye.

Use An Antibiotic

pic of antibiotics for acne pills with text

If the infected pimple does not clear up, you may need to apply an antibiotic.  Usually they will clear up on their own as long as the area is kept clean and you apply benzoyl peroxide daily.  But, if that is not enough, an over-the-counter antibiotic cream may help.  These ointments can change the pigment of your skin,  so they should only be used when traditional cleansing does not work.  Also, the salicylic acid in most over-the-counter antibiotic ointments can irritate the skin, leaving it red with a rash.  You will need to avoid direct sun exposure while using these types of creams, because your skin is more sensitive.  Only use an antibiotic ointment if the infected pimple does not clear up after a few days of washing.  If the ointment doesn’t work, you will then need to consult a physician to ensure there is not another underlying condition causing your infection.

Practice Good Hygiene

boy picking at infected pimple

In general, infected pimples are a sign of poor hygiene.  If your face isn’t kept clean, oil and dirt will build up in the pores and lead to an infection.  By washing your face twice a day, you can reduce the chances of an infection down the road and even reduce the number of acne breakouts you have.  If you have acne prone skin, use cleansers, facial lotions and astringents that are designed to reduce oil and grime. Also, when you do have a breakout, do not pick at the acne spots — even if they look like they need it.  Picking can introduce bacteria into the open sore and lead to an infected pimple.  Infected pimples take longer to clear up than those that are not infected.  If you must touch a breakout spot on your face, wash your hands and clean under the nails thoroughly before touching your face.  Your hands are the biggest source of bacteria because they are constantly being used in a number of areas where bacteria may be lurking.  Door handles, bathrooms, and shaking other peoples hands are just a few of the prime ways that bacteria is spread.  Picking, popping and messing with infected pimples can lead to a deeper skin infection, but also leave behind acne scars.  Acne scars are permanent and often require laser treatments to remove.

Avoid Irritants

make up irritating acne pic of blush lipstick and nail polish

Some irritants can cause acne breakouts or clogged pores.  For example, makeup products can clog pores easily, leading to infections.  If you have an infected pimple, stop applying makeup to the area until it is healed.  Then, switch to a sensitive skin formula that doesn’t clog your pores.  When using sunscreen, use a variety that is gentle.  You should do everything possible to protect your skin from the sun’s radiation as radiation can cause bad conditions to worsen after a sunburn.

Try A Natural Remedy

natural avocado pimple remedy

There are numerous natural remedies that have been proven effective at clearing up acne and infected pimples.  Aloe Vera, for example, contains natural antibiotic and antiseptic properties.  It can reduce the inflammation of your pores and reduce bacteria trapped inside them.  Tea tree oil is another natural remedy for acne prone skin.  If you have sensitive skin, however, you may want to water down the tea tree oil before applying it to the affected area.  Lavender oil can also be used to help treat acne, because it has natural antiseptic properties.  Also, if you have sensitive skin, lavender oil is more soothing and causes less irritation than tea tree oil.

Consider Your Diet

diet based acne cure pic of beautiful face with fruit background

Your diet has a lot to do with your acne.  By controlling your diet, you may be able to control breakouts and avoid infected pimples in the future. Eating foods high in sugar and fat can cause more breakouts, clog your pores and lead to infections of your pimple sites.  Instead, eat a diet that is well balanced and cut out greasy foods that make your skin secrete excess sebum (the natural oils known for blocking pores).  Also, increase your water intake.  Water is necessary for healthy skin because it helps hydrate it throughout.  If you’re not drinking a lot of water, it can actually lead to clogged pores and cause infections of your acne sites too.

Consider Your Medications

Some medications can cause your pores to clog and lead to infected pimples.  These medications can also make it difficult for your infected pimple to clear up — even after treatment.  If you are taking medications that lower your body’s immune system, you may find that you get more difficult-to-treat infections.  Discuss your medications and acne breakouts with your physician to see if you can switch medications or if there is a different type of treatment for your acne.

Other Things to Consider

If you have an infected pimple that has not cleared up after a few days of “at-home” treatment, you may want to visit with a dermatologist.  Sometimes a pimple may need to be extracted or cleaned professionally. When an infection occurs deep under the skin layers, a dermatologist may need to prescribe a stronger antibiotic ointment.  Also, if you suffer from frequent breakouts, a dermatologist can assess your acne and put you on a course of treatment that will reduce breakouts.  For some patients, acne could be the result of a hormonal imbalance.  Therefore, if you suffer from frequent breakouts,  you may want to speak to a dermatologist or physician to have your hormone levels assessed.  It is important to remember that infected pimples and acne breakouts in general take time to heal.  Be patient and do not apply more medication than you are instructed to on the label or by your dermatologist.  Adding too much medication can actually worsen your clogged pores and lead to further infections.

Below is a video about ten home remedies for acne.

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