by Kristen Dold
click to view article on GQ.com
This is America, dammit—you shouldn’t just have to live with a gaping zit. With your clear skin and sanity in mind, we consulted New York City Dermatologist Whitney Bowe for answers.
You’ve Got a Few Hours:
You’ve never seen a celebrity in film or on the red carpet with a flaming red pimple and here’s why: dermatologists have a cortisone shot that they can inject into the perpetrator, causing it to flatten and disappear within a few hours. (Some acne prone celebs will keep their skin doc on set at the ready). If it’s your wedding day and you woke up with a crater on your nose, get the shot.
You’ve Got a Whole Day:
The second fastest way to get rid of a zit is by dabbing on an OTC cortisone cream, which will take down the inflammation and redness. Be delicate here–smearing it all over your face could result in more acne. You just want to dab a tiny bit directly on top of the zit, and wipe away any excess. (Holding an ice cube up against skin is another way to bring down inflammation in a pinch.)
You’ve Got a Day or Two:
Benzoyl Peroxide (the active ingredient in most acne spot treatments) kills off bacteria and will quickly dry the sucker out. Look for a treatment with anywhere from 2.5% to 10% Benzoyl Peroxide, like Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10, Maximum Strength.
The Proper Way to Pop:
Bowe says popping is never a good idea (most the time you’re just pushing bacteria deeper into skin, or even aggravating it enough to scar), but since you’re obviously going to do it anyway, do it right. Dab the area with rubbing alcohol to sterilize skin, and use two Q-tips to push the sides of the zit together. If it doesn’t pop quickly under light pressure, leave it alone.
Covering It Up:
Pat (don’t rub) a non-comedogenic concealer (try Physicians Formula Conceal RX Physicians Strength Concealer) over the pimple, layering a little bit at a time.