James thanks his dubious genetics for his many frustrating skin-related ailments.
Over 80% of teenagers will experience an outbreak of pimples at some point, which means science and reason have worked overtime to devise ways to treat them as quickly as possible (the demand is certainly right up there).
In most cases, these home remedies should prove an effective, fast and simple way to manage the problem. But even if your acne proves resistant to home treatments, there are proven ways to address that too. So keep reading!
In this article, we'll be looking at:
- Home remedies for pimples
- What are pimples?
- Types of pimples
- Commercial and over-the-counter remedies
- Lifestyle tips and preventing pimples
- When to see a doctor
Home Remedies for Pimples
There are many ways to treat acne, from easy-to-make home remedy recipes to popular commercial products such as creams and professional treatment. We'll deal with them all and work our way to long-term solutions to keep them off.
Milder forms of pimples such as whiteheads and blackheads will generally respond positively to natural home remedies and other over-the-counter medications.
If, however, we're dealing with moderate or severe pimples you may need prescription-based therapy from a dermatologist.
Add salt into a container until the solution is very salty. Dip a cotton ball into the solution for a minute or so and then apply it gently to the pimple for several minutes.
Garlic contains natural antibiotic properties that can take care of zits. Rub a clove of garlic on the spot in question several times a day.
Cucumber face mask
Covering the spot in question with grated cucumber for fifteen minutes can be used to treat and prevent pimples. Add oatmeal or yogurt to improve the effect further.
Lemon and orange peel paste
Break down lemon and orange peels and mix it with water, flour, and honey to make a viscous paste that can be applied to any pimples.
5% Tea tree oil
Mix 1 tablespoon of tea tree oil to a carrier oil of your choosing and apply directly to the pimple. Make sure you test it on less sensitive skin first.
If you don't own the plant yourself, your best bet is to buy the store-bought gel and follow those instructions. Make sure it is alcohol-free before applying!
Leave the honey on for at least 30 mins!
Apple cider vinegar
Mix apple cider vinegar with water (1 part vinegar to 3 parts water) and apply to the pimple for 20 seconds.
Sugar and coconut oil scrub
Mix sugar and coconut oil in equal parts and gently rub your face for a few minutes.
What are Pimples?
Below the surface of our skin, the sebaceous glands produce an oily substance known as sebum in order to lubricate our skin and keep it moist. Sometimes the process can go into overdrive and clog the pores of our skin and cause -- you know it -- pimples.
It is important to realize that while not every treatment may work, and outbreaks can re-occur and become persistent in certain individuals, they are neither dangerous nor contagious.
Removing pimples quickly, therefore, becomes a question of aesthetics (which is still also undoubtedly important) rather than a primary health concern. In other words, there's no need to panic.
Choosing The Right Treatment
The first thing we need to do is identify the kind of acne we're dealing with.
As a general rule of thumb, milder forms of acne such as white/blackheads and milder papule or pustule formation can be treated with home remedies (listed below)
If this proves ineffective, or you're dealing with severe swelling, pain, or other inflammatory issues, there are a number of therapies to choose from. But more on this later.
Types Of Pimples
Here's a concise list of acne types. As they say, know thy enemy. There are various kinds of pimples, learn to tell them apart!
Correctly identifying the type of acne we're dealing with will help us formulate the appropriate home remedy treatment.
Non-Inflammatory Acne Types (Mild)
Non-inflammatory acne is usually less severe cases of swelling and pain (if any).
- Whiteheads - Flesh-colored and minute.
- Blackheads - Often confused with dirt.
Inflammatory Types (Moderate to Severe)
These types of acne generally carry with them additional complications such as swelling, pain, warmth, scarring, and pitting.
- Cysts - Painful and contain pus.
- Papules - Pink solid and round.
- Nodules - Akin to papules but bigger.
- Pustules - Visibly contain pus on top, red below.
Commercial Over-the-Counter Remedies
This article isn't about advocating any commercial solution over another, I may mention one or two names in passing, but my focus will be on active ingredients rather than brand names.
- Benzoyl peroxide. An anti-septic.This substance directly attacks the bacteria that cause the breakout (propionibacteria acnes).
- Proactiv®. A very popular treatment that involves three distinct steps.).
- Sulfur Based. Commercial products based on sulfur products try to catalyze the removal of dead skin, thereby freeing the clogged up pores. Not a rapid solution, but a natural one.
- Salicylic acid. Helps unclog pores. Over-the-counter potency ranges from 9.5 to 5 percent. Can cause stinging and irritation so reduce potency if needed!
- Retinoids (such as adapalene). Reduce oiliness and unclog pores.
Treatments Requiring Medical Intervention
While I am aware that this article is about natural ways to get rid of pimples, sometimes home remedies are not as effective as we'd like them to be (this is usually because of a misdiagnosis or a severe case of acne). That's when medical intervention can become necessary.
The good news is that there's nothing terrifying or overly invasive to worry about, and the treatments I'm about to list work very well in almost all cases.
- Laser Resurfacing. A laser-based treatment to remove residual scarring and pitting from previous outbreaks.
- Acupuncture. If taking medicine of any kind isn't really your thing, acupuncture has reported some success over the course of a handful of sessions.
- Antibiotics. Some people may be prescribed oral antibiotics such as Tetracycline in order to combat acne. I have some personal reservations about this -- but they are personal.
- Blue light therapy. Reduces swelling and the number of pimples by up to 70%. May lead to a number of complications your doctor will undoubtedly make you aware of.
- Chemical peels. A solution is placed on the affected skin, causing it to blister and peel. New, pimple-free skin replaces the old. Does not work for all types of acne.
Lifestyle Tips to Prevent Pimples
Correcting a number of lifestyle issues can largely prevent a reoccurrence of acne. Here are some general tips:
- Move towards balancing your diet.
- Develop a habit of not only cleaning the skin but nourishing it.
- Fight stress at its roots.
- Avoid blood-sugar fluctuations (try switching to a low glycemic index (GI) diet and see if that helps).
- Drink plenty of water.
- Consider taking a long-term supplement to prevent flare-ups (zinc and fish oil have a proven track record).
- Reduce the number of cosmetics and oily lotions you use. It can lead to a vicious cycle (I.E you'll need more and more cosmetics to clean up more and more pimples)!
- Avoid washing affected skin more than twice daily.
When to See a Dermatologist
Visiting a dermatologist isn't always feasible for a variety of reasons (dwindling finances or fear are common obstacles) But in an ideal world, it should constitute our first step because acne can easily be confused with other skin ailments such as psoriasis or rosacea and may not respond correctly to treatment.
Should your condition become more severe, medical intervention may become necessary.
- If your acne's inflammation increases (evident pus, swelling, pain, and inflammation). Failure to address these outbreaks in a timely fashion can lead to worse scarring.
- Your outbreaks coincide with something specific such as a new medication or diet.
- Your acne is not improving over time. If over-the-counter solutions don't work after a couple of months, there might be something you're overlooking.
- You are depressed about your acne. Professional help will solve the problem. Don't suffer needlessly or avoid social situations.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this article! I hope it was of use to you on your quest for acne annihilation. If you have any concerns or suggestions, please use the comment section below and I'll get back to you as swiftly as possible!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2011 James Nelmondo
Aerza on September 05, 2018:
Is it works
vibesites from United States on February 22, 2013:
Wow, great natural tips that I've never even thought of before -- I believe in garlic in particular, it has relieved me of my skin allergies but I never seen it before as a cure for pimples. Thanks! Voted up and useful, interesting. :)
bishopkmb from Maryland on February 08, 2013:
Oh my gosh. I am definitely going to have to try these! Thank you for sharing!!!
preshj from Chicago on February 08, 2013:
Great advice. My favorite has always been the toothpaste method and proactive
Nancy McClintock from Southeast USA on February 08, 2013:
Interesting. You did lots of research. Great Hub!
newusedcarssacram from Sacramento, CA, U.S.A on February 08, 2013:
Wow, this is like a one common question for teenagers around the world. Thanks for the share.
kellyanne828 on February 07, 2013:
Thanks for the tips! I have tried many drugstore products without much luck. I look forward to trying some of the more natural methods!
Sophie Newsome from New York on January 06, 2013:
Great hub. I sometimes use honey as a face mask. It seems to help kill bacteria and moisturize.
Audrey Surma from Virginia on January 03, 2013:
This is a great list of ideas for fighting acne. I like the natural remedies and the video - very interesting. Nice job!
Ash on January 01, 2013:
Awesome, going to try the salt & cucumber one soon! Having a spot free face gives me so much confidence to face the world, thanks for the article :)
Kimberly Vaughn from Midwest on November 11, 2012:
Great hub! I hate the random zits that pop up like everyone else, but I never know what to do about them. I am going to have to try these tips. Thanks!
Thelma Alberts from Germany on October 25, 2012:
Great advice. I´ll try the salt solution. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful.
Me on August 18, 2012:
It was really usefull thx
Lovelovemeloveme from Cindee's Land on August 01, 2012:
Thank u! I need this! Really good advice?
marketingbloke on July 13, 2012:
Glad I don't suffer from pimple but great advice nonetheless
Nick Hanlon from Chiang Mai on July 11, 2012:
lance them i say,lance them,,,
Alison Graham from UK on June 01, 2012:
I found the vote up buttons so came back to vote! Sorry I missed them before - thanks for a great read.
tina on April 26, 2012:
really good advice i will try it soon
Adhvur on April 17, 2012:
Lol pimples face
sakshi on April 06, 2012:
wonderful for my skin n its working
lindsy tobilla on March 20, 2012:
tnx for sharing this,,it helps a lot
joanne on March 15, 2012:
thank you so much for the article..its really good...i will try this coz i have lot of pimples too...thanks for sharing this article..
Karan on March 14, 2012:
Thanx bro. This is very useful tips for my acne. I tried sea salt method and my acne removes in only 3 days.
bmukherjii on March 13, 2012:
pimples are a great source of trouble for me..thanks for sharing this.hope all these remedies work fine for me.
kavitra from india on March 05, 2012:
sathya on March 04, 2012:
rd279224 on February 28, 2012:
nice on February 23, 2012:
seems on February 18, 2012:
i will try....
Satyam Tiwari. on February 17, 2012:
It's awesome idea.
Rachel Vega from Massachusetts on February 11, 2012:
Instead of the salt water method, I use ice. It's fast and brings down swelling like crazy. Honey is also considered an antibacterial and can bring down inflammation as well. Great hub, thanks, voted useful!
V S caprihan on February 09, 2012:
pimples means taati
anna on February 03, 2012:
thank u for this tips i'll try
sana on January 31, 2012:
i don't have much pimples, thank god.. actually it also depends on the kind of food you eat...and i usually get pimples on my chin and cheeks... sometimes it's on the nose too.. kk,thanks a lot.. i will try it and if it works then, i don't know what can be done... ;)
Ingenira on January 25, 2012:
The home remedies are useful, I am going to try some of these methods. Great article !! Voted up and tweeted.
Just what I needed before Valentine's day ! :P
Assd on January 23, 2012:
Please answer: do we use sea salt or normal salt ( for food)???
john on January 17, 2012:
so all we got to do is use all these methods at the same time to wreck a zit
Ruth R. Martin from Everywhere Online ~ Fingerlakes ~ Upstate New York on January 17, 2012:
Anyone who is blessed with naturally good skin, PLEASE be thankful! I am almost 30 and I still have acne, bad :( I have tried many things, but none of the home remedies mentioned here. I like the salt water idea and the baking soda/water mask. I will need to try them!
n on January 16, 2012:
lee,alquin jr. on January 11, 2012:
Tnx for posting your suggestions..
sizzles on January 08, 2012:
this stuff works!....Thanx man!
andrea on January 05, 2012:
i hate acne so much.....danm black heads
Jen on January 03, 2012:
thanx for the cure...hope it will work out...!!!!!
kiran on January 03, 2012:
thank u for the hub. i will try it....
ilavarasi on December 31, 2011:
i have pimples on my cheek only.say a way to get rid of it
salruq on November 23, 2011:
i will also definitely try this because of my acne problem
luke onwuka on November 21, 2011:
Murphy®¥12 on November 11, 2011:
Nice tips.........i most times feel like rippin off my face because of pimples.........hope it will work out for ME
Melissa from Canada on November 11, 2011:
Great tips and useful information. I personally use sea salt on my face and works well for me.
Aleza Freeman from Las Vegas, NV on November 11, 2011:
I need to print this and hang it on my bathroom wall! Very, very interesting and helpful advice here. Thank you!
KayBe from Scotland on November 11, 2011:
I have used orange peel before and this time il try it with honey, thanks!
slimmingcircle from slimmingcircle.com on November 09, 2011:
I have voted this hub very useful. I also wrote a hub about acne treatment but you seem to have a few more treatments than I did. Well done
tata22 from Makati City, Philippines on November 09, 2011:
uhmmm...how about the pimple scars? it takes a long time for me to get them cleared from my face.
Kimberly Quevedo from New Jersey on November 09, 2011:
Awesome hub! I had no idea of some of the home remedies. They are a great alternative to spending a lot of money on acne preventive medications and remedies!
mistifields on November 09, 2011:
Very useful hub. Thanks for the info.
AgesMGMT from New York on November 08, 2011:
the worst kind of acne is the big pimples that give you really painful zits. All other acne is just an annoyance.
drspaniel from Somewhere, where the sun shines once a year... on November 08, 2011:
Some times I develop really bad spots when I eat chocolate, which is why I very rarely ever eat it. However I think next time Mr. Spotty knocks at my door, I shall use the salt method you presented here. Thank you for this very useful information!
tulasi on November 01, 2011:
y a it really works.thanks for the tips
bangingbeauty on October 27, 2011:
Great info, a salicylic based product works wonders for me and my friends as well. Cheers!
Jennifer McLeod from Michigan on October 25, 2011:
This is a well-written hub. I like the idea of using all natural products versus chemical cleansers. Check out my hub Totally Organic Facial and Hair Treatment.
Koralee Phillips from Vancouver British Columbia Canada on October 24, 2011:
Thanks for the tips, very useful information
James Nelmondo (author) from Genova, Italy on October 24, 2011:
Thanks again guys and gals!
Juliette Kando FI Chor from Andalusia, southern Spain on October 23, 2011:
If you eat meat and junk food you'll have pimples. If you eat only "LIVING" food (nothing packaged for long shelf-life) you won't get pimples. Pimples are poison in your body that is trying to get out just remember that.
Dr Anupma Srivastava from India on October 23, 2011:
Very informative. many people suffer from this pimple problem. Your hub is really helpful for them.
Karen N from United States on October 23, 2011:
Very helpful info, I've never heard of using salt water before but have heard that salt water is healing so it does stand to reason that it would work for pimples as well.
Claudia Tello from Mexico on October 22, 2011:
I find that eating nuts has a huge pimple development effect, this is terrible because I love them!
Carolyn Sands from Hollywood Florida on October 22, 2011:
I saw pemples surgically removed from a lady's face on the doctors show this past week. She gave herself several diferent home treatments that worked for awhile, then they grew back every time. Thankfully I don't have that problem but my neice does. I intend to share your information with her. If it works, it beats surgery.
Fierce Manson from Atlanta on October 22, 2011:
I had not heard of the salt water solutions for pimple removal. A counsin of mine who use to have really bad acne started using baking soda and water she made a mask. It worked for her, and her skin is very smooth now. Thanks for sharing your remedies.
samanthamsmith from Small Town USA on October 21, 2011:
So important to know!
Vera on October 20, 2011:
It works i'v done it "VERA"
PeanutButterWine from North Vancouver, B.C. Canada on October 20, 2011:
Kay Mitchell from California on October 20, 2011:
Thanks for the great tips. I have a serious pimple popping problem that I have recently almost but all broken. BUT now I seem to be breaking out MORE! Will definitely be trying some of these out and following :) Hope you'll do the same.
springautumn from Philippines on October 20, 2011:
I like your hub :) To prevent pimples, I use a facial scrub or wash and I also seldom use cosmetics. Any St. Ives facial scrubs or washes is very effective for me. I just apply a pea size amount (Yep, just a little because I have a sensitive skin), then spreading it on my face.
arunaganesh on October 19, 2011:
plain white toothpaste is good too!!...and after removing the pimple, i guess astringent would be better on it as there will be infection!
Zoey from South England on October 17, 2011:
Useful Hub, i have always put toothpaste on a spot when i can see one coming to the surface, it dries the spot right out and gets rid of it quickly. Voted up :)
Leeba Ann Varghese from India on October 17, 2011:
haha...very useful hub,,.wen i read the salt water method,i remembered my class days,where i studied about osmosis,reverse osmosis...etc....is that the same phenomenon?........hehe
Abeer Gh from UK on October 17, 2011:
Great advice, specially the salt with some water recipe :)
Princess Pitt on October 16, 2011:
My older sister, pity...hahaha, full of pimples! .. i might suggest to her to try pro active...just perhaps...but i know that stress is the most reason why she got them...and maybe its just her natural skin ha ha.
anyway,,. great hub!...thanks for sharing...!
arunii from Delhi on October 16, 2011:
I always trust more on home remedies instead of commercial products
amy11692 on October 16, 2011:
i'll have to try some of these things next time i have a break out.
nanetteparker on October 16, 2011:
although pimples are part of the natural physical changes that the most teenagers will experience, it can be traumatic to some. and it is good you share these great tips on how to remove or treat them.
kikalina from Europe on October 16, 2011:
thanks very good advice
Haydee Anderson from Hermosa Beach on October 07, 2011:
very useful, thanks for sharing these information.
KateWest from Los Angeles, CA on September 29, 2011:
Some acne never goes away - even as an adult. Thanks!
Ralph Deeds from Birmingham, Michigan on September 29, 2011:
Pimples can be removed in an instant from photographs with Google Picasa. :-)
jessicatools from Atlanta, GA on September 26, 2011:
That is really cool. Where was this when I was in high school? Great post.
shaorannie on September 25, 2011:
thanks for the tips
jennie on September 25, 2011:
i have acne!!and when i say i have acne i mean a lot!!!
its really embarresing to walk around with a big red pimple on yoour face>Im tired of this and i want a better skin!!I dont have aloot of money to buy acne products that's why im asking for help
SportsAgencyblog from Los Angeles, California on September 24, 2011:
Thank for sharing this info, it really helps a lot. Hoping to read more of expert ideas here.
petelau75 on September 24, 2011:
Injured lamb on September 20, 2011:
Glad to read this hub of yours. I am going to ask my elder son to have them a try...thanks for the work...
James Nelmondo (author) from Genova, Italy on September 20, 2011:
Thanks for the tips and the praise mesa! :)
mesacleanpools from Mesa, Arizona on September 20, 2011:
Great article! I usually use Benzoyl peroxide, I think its from the Neutrogena brand. It usually works well but I'm definitely going to have to try the home remedies you listed.
James Nelmondo (author) from Genova, Italy on September 20, 2011:
There's always a plus side Mesa :)
mesacleanpools from Mesa, Arizona on September 20, 2011:
Nice read. Always battled acne but it's finally getting better as I age.
bjornborgboxers from The Netherlands on September 19, 2011:
Could be very useful. I'll be sure to give some of these tips a try next time one of those white headed bastard shows up :)
Rosyel Sawali from Manila, Philippines on September 16, 2011:
Nice to read such handy tips. I might give it a try one of these days ^_^
jean2011 from Canada on September 15, 2011:
Very useful tips. I have this one up and useful.
James Nelmondo (author) from Genova, Italy on September 15, 2011:
Thank you very much for your time and comment Anie!
justanie from Canada on September 15, 2011:
Very well written hub.I really liked it as I am constantly having such problem.Thanks for sharing.