The Trick That Can Make Your Pimple Patch Even More Effective

Although you might have thought you were out of the woods when it came to acne after high school, the occasional pimple is not unheard of once you enter adulthood. For some, acne and pimples are issues that continue well beyond the teenage years. Luckily, there is a slew of skincare products on the market today that are specifically designed to zap zits faster than ever before. Blemish patches are one of these products, and they can be extremely effective — but did you know there's more you could be doing to boost their power?

Dr. Sandra Lee, board-certified dermatologist and star of "Dr. Pimple Popper," is no stranger to treating unsightly zits. While she's a fan of pimple patches as a form of treatment, she notes that there is an extra step you can take if you need to get rid of your blemish as quickly as possible. "What's even better than leaving a pimple alone is dabbing on a spot treatment with maximum-strength acne-fighting ingredients, like salicylic acid," Dr. Lee told Well+Good. "Let it dry, and then seal in the salicylic acid with a pimple patch containing salicylic acid. Leave that on for a few hours, and then repeat it. I like this hack because it doubles up on salicylic acid, which has pore-clearing and anti-inflammatory properties."

This method is easy enough, and it may very well boost the patch's effectiveness, but what if you end up needing a backup plan?

How to get rid of a pimple quickly at home

No one wants to wake up one morning and see a pimple in the middle of their face, especially right before a big event. Whether you have a wedding to attend, a cocktail party, or a hot date, it can be stressful to have to contend with a zit. That being said, there is more that you can do beyond dabbing on salicylic acid and putting on a pimple patch.

Benzoyl peroxide is one of the most commonly recommended products for pimple treatment, and for good reason. Once it's applied to a pimple, it begins to kill the bacteria that is clogging your pores and causing inflammation. "It's inexpensive, it's been around for many years and it's very effective," dermatologist Dr. Shilpi Khetarpal explained to the Cleveland Clinic. You can typically find a benzoyl peroxide topical treatment in concentrations up to 10% over the counter. Be aware, though, that repeatedly applying it to a specific spot can dry out your skin.

Other home remedies you can try to get rid of a pimple quickly include toothpaste, which can be applied to help dry it out, and a mixture of crushed aspirin and water. This paste can be applied to the zit to reduce inflammation, but similar to salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, it can potentially dry out your skin.

Why it's best to avoid popping your pimple

As tempting as it might be to just pop your zit and get it over with, most skin experts recommend steering clear of this approach. The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) explains that by popping a pimple, you risk pushing bacteria and dead skin cells deeper into your skin, which may evoke inflammation. Additionally, there's a greater chance of scarring.

Patience is key when it comes to treating any blemish, regardless of how frustrating it can be to spot one at an inconvenient moment. Once you notice the pimple, make sure to keep it clean. If it's painful or inflamed, you can use ice to reduce the swelling. An over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide topical treatment might be your best bet as you look to eliminate the bacteria causing your acne but don't forget its potential to dry out your skin. "Although there are no overnight or immediate cures for acne, you don't have to stand by and suffer either," board-certified dermatologist Dr. Meghan Feely told the AAD. "Make sure you use noncomedogenic and oil-free cosmetics, cleansers and sunscreens, and never try to scrub away a pimple, as this can further irritate it and make it worse."

If acne is a recurring problem for you, you might want to reach out to a dermatologist. They can help you develop a long-term treatment plan and prescribe you any necessary medications to manage the situation.