How to Make a Pimple Look Smaller

June 29, 2021
Lindy Segal
By: Lindy Segal | by L'Oréal
How to Make a Pimple Look Smaller

Pimples have a way of showing up at the least convenient moments, whether you have acne-prone skinor not. The good news is there are effective products and treatments to help improve the appearance of acne at any age, from pimple patches to spot treatments. To help you out in this time of need, we called on consulting dermatologist, Dr. Robert Finney, board-certified cosmetic dermatologist at Entière Dermatology in New York City, to share his tips.  

Try a spot treatment. 

If you can’t get to the doctor (or the situation isn’t quite so dire), a targeted skincare product can help. “You can try over-the-counter options with benzoyl peroxide, sulfur alpha or beta-hydroxy-acids,” suggests Dr. Finney, who recommends the Tula Skincare Go Away Acne Spot TreatmentWe love the Vichy Normaderm S.O.S Acne Rescue Spot Corrector, too.


Stick on a blemish patch. 

The Insta-popular hydrocolloid stickers have Dr. Finney’s seal of approval. “If a pimple looks like it is ready to pop, pimple patches like ZitSticka can really help,” he says. “They have salicylic acid to help coax the pimple to the surface and the hydrocolloid dressing absorbs the contents of the pimple.”

Temporarily reduce swelling with ice. 

Free, and already in the freezer? We’re listening! “Ice causes blood vessels to constrict and inflammation to calm down,” says Dr. Finney. “This can help reduce the size and redness of a pimple. But before you get too excited, the derm warns that the “effects are not usually long lasting.”

Bonus: Avoid picking. 

We know you know, but we still have to say it. “Although it is tempting to go to war with a juicy, painful zit, trying to pop it or pick at it will only likely make things worse acutely and increase the risk that it leaves a dark mark or scar,” explains Dr. Finney. The good news, according to the derm, is there’s a solution. “For my patients that are pickers, I have had a lot of success recommending the pimple patches to remind them to keep their hands away.”

Photo: Juan Miranda 

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