Deep, painful pimples often appear out of nowhere. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, almost 50 million Americans suffer with some form of acne. Acne comes in many forms, including blackheads and whiteheads, the most severe type of acne is a pimple that develops deep in the skin, causing a red, swollen and painful bump. Luckily, there are many ways to treat all forms of acne!

To treat a deep, painful pimple at home, dermatologists’ recommend:

  1. Using a mild, fragrance-free cleanser, to wash your face before treating it.
  2. Apply ice to reduce pain and swelling, wrap an ice cube in a paper towel and apply it to the area for 5-10 minutes.
  3. There are products available at your local drugstore, which contain 2% benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide will help kill the bacteria that causes acne. Make sure you apply a very thin layer, as using too much can irritate your skin.
  4. Apply a warm compress once a whitehead begins to form. You can do this three to four times daily until the pimple releases pus and heals.
  5. DO NOT pop, squeeze or pick at the blemish.
  6. DO NOT apply toothpaste to the area. Toothpaste contains several ingredients that can clog your pores and irritate your skin, such as hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, alcohol and methanol.
  7. DO NOT apply homemade treatments found online. There is plenty of advice online promoting “natural” remedies for acne, however just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s good for your skin. Even if a natural ingredient is good for your skin, it could be combined with another ingredient that could be harmful.
  8. Visit a board-certified dermatologist to help treat the pimple and prevent future breakouts.