How to Get Rid of Pimples: 7 Fast and Effective Ways


  • There is always a proper way to get rid of a pimple. One must know the dos and don'ts before getting rid of a pimple.
  • Follow a proper cleansing regimen.
  • Specific home remedies are also quite proven and effective.
  • Avoid harsh physical exfoliants.
  • Opt for gentle chemical exfoliants.
  • For stubborn pimples, opt for various novel treatments with the dermatologists.

True to Murphy’s law, pimples do turn up at the wrong time, like when you wake up in the morning for an important meeting and find a bright red acne staring back at you. You don't have time to wait for it to heal on its own, and you just want it to vanish into thin air immediately.

Well, you may quickly do a Google search for quick-fix remedies for pimples. However, by doing so, you may end up getting it worse due to the hurry.

There is always a proper way to treat a pimple. Read below to know the dos and don'ts of it.

Do’s and Don'ts of Getting Rid of a Pimple

#1. Do the Cleansing Regimen

Skin naturally sheds dead cells by way of a process called desquamation. In the case of those with pimples, this process does not work as effectively as it should.

The dead skin cells keep lingering around longer than usual which, in turn, plugs the pores, resulting in comedones. Most of the pimples begin as comedones. Hence, a regular cleansing process is the first rule for getting rid of a pimple.

One can opt for a variety of cleansing regimen from below:

Basic Cleansers

Clean your face twice a day with mild cleansing liquid or soap. This process will help minimize the irritation and also keep the skin clean and clear.

A 2015 study stated that a mild facial cleanser with sodium laureth carboxylate and alkyl carboxylates helps manage moderate acne[1]. For those who wish to go vegan, various vegan-based and natural cleansers are available online.

Exfoliating Cleansers

Whether your pimple is mild or severe, regular exfoliation will help keep the skin smooth and minimize breakouts by de-clogging the pores. One can use various scrubs and exfoliants that contain salicylic acid in a mild concentration.

These help in gently shedding the uppermost layer of the skin and thereby open up the pores. Another option would be to go for exfoliants that contain ingredients like alpha-hydroxy acids, lactic, tartaric, and glycolic acids. OTC glycolic peels are quite famous for at-home remedies. Salicylic acid peels are more robust and can be done in skin spas.

Antibacterial Cleansers

One of the popular over-the-counter antibacterial cleansers is that of benzoyl peroxide. However, benzoyl peroxide may irritate some skin types and hence should be tried carefully. Use it on a small area of the skin first, and see how your skin reacts to it.

Also, benzoyl peroxide can bleach your fabrics if it comes into contact with them. So, make sure your clothes, carpets, towels, etc. are out of its reach. Antibacterial cleansers are available in various forms like lotions, gels, and creams. So, opt for the one that best suits your lifestyle.


A dermatologist can prescribe more potent topical retinoids for stubborn pimples. Retin-A (tretinoin) is one such option that has been in use for many years. Various newer prescription retinoids are also available in the market like adapalene (Differin) and tazarotene (Tazorac).

While these topical medications are beneficial for unclogging pores, there may be side effects like irritation and a slight increase in sensitivity to the sun. Hence, proper sun protection is required when using them.

Various combination applications containing retinoid and adapalene, together with the antibacterial ingredient benzoyl peroxide, are also available. However, one must consult a dermatologist before using such potent retinoids.

#2. Avoid Harsh Physical Exfoliants

Physical exfoliants like hard scrubs and cleansing pads manually remove the dirt and dead skin cells. While physical exfoliants can help the skin feel soft and smooth, they often aren't the best choice for getting rid of hard pimples, especially if your skin is acne-prone.

Physical exfoliants aggravate a pimple due to the friction involved. So, those with inflammatory acne should stay away from physical exfoliants, unless otherwise advised by a dermatologist.

#3. Icing on the Zit

Reach for that ice pack if your pimple is swollen and painful. This will help to alleviate the pain and minimize inflammation temporarily.

The procedure can be repeated as often as required.

#4. Try an Aspirin Paste

Aspirin helps to calm down your angry zits quickly. Aspirin contains salicylic acid, which is an intense acne-fighter. Make a paste of aspirin (crush the tablet and mix it with a few drops of water) and apply it directly onto the pimple.

This aspirin paste helps to reduce pain, swelling, and redness. It also helps to unclog your pores and dry them quickly. Many derms recommend this as a home remedy.

#5. Don’t Pop your Pimple

This is one standard advice that everyone gets. Plucking pimples can cause trauma to the skin which, in turn, leads to inflammation and can result in a scar.

One can try acne patches to remove pimples.

#6. Try to Minimize Excess Oil

The sebaceous glands in our body are responsible for producing sebum to keep the skin supple and healthy. However, too much sebum can lead to oily skin and clogged pores, resulting in pimples. Managing oily skin requires a special skincare regimen. By minimizing the excess oil on the face, one can try to reduce or eliminate pimples.

The best way to achieve this is to wash the face regularly and use a proper toner. Astringent toners tend to dry out the skin.

A study conducted in 2014 [2] found that natural astringents like witch hazel helped in soothing for the skin. Witch hazel is loaded with tannin, a compound that has anti-inflammatory properties, and many people with oily skin prefer witch hazel as their only toner. Check out some popular witch hazel toners.

One can also use masks that contain sulfur to withdraw excess oil.

Antibacterial pads that contain the ingredient benzoyl peroxide have the additional benefits of removing excess oil.

#7. Visit a Doctor

For stubborn pimples that still refuse to go away, various treatment options are available with the dermatologists. Some of them include cortisone injections, oral medications, isotretinoin, etc.

There are also treatments using lights that can be used in conjunction with photosensitizing dyes. However, it is not evident if they can offer long-lasting relief. Laser treatments are another option.


The most practical way to get rid of a pimple is a regular self-care routine.

One can follow the above dos and don'ts to find one that works best for them and stick to it.

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