This article suggests the best methods for minimizing the appearance of a blemish overnight in preparation for a big event. All insight was collected from Dr. Nancy Satur, MD, who reviews not only the best practices to zap a pimple overnight but also addresses common methods with which to exercise caution or to avoid. We hope you find it helpful!
Don’t let a pimple stand in the way of your big day… learn how to heal a pimple overnight!
So you wake up the day before the wedding to discover that that pesky little thing called stress (and perhaps late night junk food stress-eating!) has caused a spot to form on your supposed-to-be-wedding-day-flawless face! What do you do about it? Dr. Nancy Satur MD shares her tips for quickly healing a pimple… even if you only have a day!
Your best bet:
- Hydrocolloid Bandages: You can cover the acne lesion with a hydrocolloid dressing overnight (or for 24-48 hours) to help draw out the contents of the zit and speed its healing.
- Wearing a hydrocolloid bandage can help prevent you from touching or picking at your zits, thus reducing the likelihood of scarring.
- Note that hydrocolloid bandages are often sold as blister bandages and can be found in drugstores. Just make sure that it also says “hydrocolloid” at least somewhere on the box.
- For a little more info, you can check out Curology’s guide to big zits.
To reduce redness and swelling:
- Cold Compress: Cold compresses may help decrease inflammation for early “under the skin” inflamed spots. Wrap an ice cube in a clean, thin, soft cloth, place it in a Ziploc bag, or use a chilled green tea bag, and press gently on the inflamed spot or cyst for about 20 seconds until the skin feels a bit numb. Rest, then repeat for about 5 minutes.
- Hot compress: I would advise using a green tea bag (taken out of the hot water and squeezed a bit to get rid of excess water) to gently hold onto the blemish. Repeat once the bag has cooled for about 5 minutes total. Keep in mind that it’s a myth that heat can “bring a pimple to a head” faster. Avoid burning your skin; it should be very warm, but not so warm that it feels uncomfortable to hold against your skin.
Use with caution:
- Tea Tree oil: Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, and because it also acts as an antifungal, antibacterial, and astringent agent, tea tree oil can be helpful in treating a pimple. However, 100% tea tree oil solution is very irritating and should be diluted. As a spot treatment, dilute 1 part tea tree oil with 3 parts oil of your choice, such as sunflower, castor, jojoba or hemp oil—just not coconut oil, as coconut oil can clog pores and lead to breakout.
- Hydrocortisone cream: Topical steroids can help acne—in the short run. Over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone, which is a low-potency topical steroid, can reduce inflammation, thus reducing the redness and size of active acne blemishes. However, using topical steroids can backfire as your skin can become “addicted” to the steroids, and a “withdrawal” reaction of red, burning skin or worse acne breakouts can occur. Using topical steroids can “feed” the acne cycle, in which case going “cold turkey” may be necessary, since acne will never completely clear up while topical steroids are used.
- Crushed Aspirin: If you are trying to heal a pimple asap I do not recommend use of topical NSAIDs such as a crushed aspirin tablet or Advil liquid gel from capsules as a spot treatment—the concentration could be very irritating to the skin, and make your blemish more obvious.
The most important thing is to actively nip acne breakouts in the bud, so prevention is key. We advise our patients to apply their custom Curology creams daily. Curology offers expert online dermatology care and custom skincare formulas with powerful active ingredients that target your unique skin concerns, whether it be acne, anti-aging, blackheads, or more. When you treat preventatively, over time, you’ll have fewer and fewer blemishes that need covering up! A few sneaky lifestyle changes you can make to reduce breakouts include:
- Reducing sugar, simple carbohydrate (high glycemic-index) foods and dairy consumption.
- Checking all your skincare and beauty products on CosDNA.com to avoid ones with pore-clogging potential and avoiding use of products with acne scores of 3’s, 4’s, or 5’s.
- Reducing the excessive length and hot temperatures of your showers as heat causes vasodilation, or enlargement of the capillaries, making exposed areas appear even more red and irritated, thereby aggravating acne.
We hope these tips are helpful to you if you end up with a last-minute spot! Visit Curology to get your custom skincare mix!
Editor’s note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more pandemic wedding resources here.