As much as we all hoped (and prayed) for pimples to become a thing of the past after we left our teen years behind, those pesky blemishes can still pop up more often than we’d like. But as we’ve gotten older, we’ve gotten better at treating and soothing those spots rather than just picking at them. A particularly effective (and affordable) way to calm down inflamed pimples is sitting right under our nose, and possibly our ice cream.
Next time you get a zit, head to the freezer and grab an ice cube. I understand if you’re skeptical about something as simple as ordinary ice being able to make a difference with your blemishes. I was pretty sure it was just an old wives’ tale or another one of those Pinterest “hacks” that never really pans out when I first read about it, too.
Then I woke up to find two huge and painful pimples on my chin one morning. I fought the urge to pop them immediately and figured I might as well give the ice trick a try. I grabbed a cube and wrapped it in a paper towel, then placed that on the angry red bumps. After letting it sit there for just a few minutes, I checked the zits out again in the mirror. Although it didn’t magically make the spots disappear, they were definitely a lot smaller. Even after the slight numbing from the ice went away, the blemishes were much less painful.
Apparently that wasn’t just a lucky fluke for me. “Ice may help certain types of pimples, specifically inflammatory acne such as the larger red ones, by helping to reduce swelling, redness, and pain,” says dermatologist Maria Garshick, MD, FAAD. She also warned to only leave the ice on your face a short time. “It’s important to minimize any extra irritation on the skin when fighting breakouts, so if you are going to do it, make sure to not leave the ice on for too long.”
Again, it won’t cure the zit completely, but it is a quick (and free!) way to make breakouts way less noticeable. Ice can also make the area less sensitive to other treatments that can get rid of it entirely.
If you’re looking for something that doesn’t involve freezing your face, dermatologist Deanne Robinson, MD, FAAD, recommends over-the-counter cortisone, like Vanicream 1% Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream ($9.95, Amazon), to reduce the size of pimples. We usually only reach for that when we have itchy bug bites or rashes, but the same soothing hydrocortisone can turn a monster zit into a minor blemish.
Either way you go, there should be no harm in trying one of these methods to help put your best face forward!
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