Disclaimer: The content in this article is intended for general information and guidance purposes only.
Having clear, blemish-free skin is a goal for many. Unfortunately, breakouts are an inevitable nuisance that most of us have to deal with. From hormonal acne to surprise pimples that seem to appear overnight, blemishes can be frustrating.
When a breakout strikes, you probably want the blemish gone ASAP. While patience is necessary for clear skin long-term, there are ways to speed up the blemish-removal process. This comprehensive guide covers simple at-home methods to professional treatments that can remove blemishes quickly.
What Causes Blemishes?
Before diving into how to get rid of blemishes quickly, it’s helpful to understand why they happen in the first place. Acne blemishes form when excess oil and dead skin cells clog your pores. Bacteria, swelling, and inflammation lead to whiteheads, blackheads, pustules, and red, painful bumps emerging on the skin.
Hormones, genetics, stress, medication side effects, and monthly menstrual cycles can trigger blemish flare-ups. Food sensitivities, harsh skincare products, and picking/popping pimples make breakouts worse.
While you can’t always prevent surprise pimples, having a solid skincare routine tailored to your skin type reduces blemish occurrences over time.
At-Home Methods to Remove Blemishes Fast
When you notice a new blemish brewing under the skin or an already formed pimple, you probably want it gone stat. Trying out some of these simple at-home methods can help speed up the blemish-removal process.
Cleanse and Moisturize
Cleansing clogged pores prevents more gunk from getting trapped inside. Use a gentle cleanser morning and night to clear away excess oil, makeup, dirt, and debris without over-drying the skin. Follow with a lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizer suitable for acne-prone complexions.
Use Acne Spot Treatments
Leave the toothpaste in the bathroom—it’s too harsh and drying for the skin. Over-the-counter acne spot treatments usually contain acne-fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or sulfur to unclog pores fast.
Look for spot treatments with under 2% salicylic acid. Let the product fully absorb into the skin before layering on additional skincare or makeup. Using acne spot treatments prevents blemishes from getting bigger and speeds up healing time.
Try a Hydrocolloid Patch
For popped or opened blemishes, hydrocolloid patches help drain fluid and speed healing by protecting the area from bacteria. They also reduce redness and swelling.
Simply stick a hydrocolloid patch over an open blemish at night or under makeup. The next morning, remove to reveal less visible irritation in the affected area.
Apply a Warm Compress
A warm, moist compress softens skin to help bring pus to the surface of swollen blemishes faster. Dip a clean washcloth in warm water, wring out excess moisture, and hold against affected areas for about 10 minutes. Do this a few times per day to encourage drainage.
Use Tea Tree Oil
Thanks to its antimicrobial compounds, tea tree oil tackles bacteria linked to blemishes while reducing inflammation. Using a cotton swab, lightly dab diluted tea tree essential oil onto pimples after cleansing the skin. Be aware that tea tree oil can cause reactions for those with sensitive skin.
Take a Supplement
Ingesting supplements orally and/or applying them topically assists the blemish removal process from the inside out. Look for natural supplements containing inflammation-fighting ingredients like:
- Zinc: Controls excess oil production
- Vitamin C: Brightens post-acne marks
- Vitamin E: Hydrates skin while healing damage
- Turmeric: Reduces swelling and redness
- Probiotics: Balance skin microbiome
Follow supplement dosage instructions carefully and be patient—it can take 6-8 weeks to see results. Check with your dermatologist before trying new supplements, especially if you have underlying health conditions or take medications.
When to See a Dermatologist
DIY home remedies work well for occasional minor breakouts. However, if at-home blemish removal methods fail to clear your skin within a few weeks, that signals it’s time to make a dermatologist appointment.
A board-certified dermatologist can determine what triggers your breakouts through testing. Based on exam findings, they will create a customized treatment plan that may include:
Oral and topical prescription medications like Retin-A, antibiotics, birth control pills, Spironolactone, and more can effectively prevent and treat acne breakouts.
Your dermatologist can safely extract stubborn blackheads and congested pores using sterile tools. Extractions remove blemishes instantly under professional guidance.
Chemical Peels and Facials
In-office chemical peel treatments containing glycolic, salicylic, or TCA acids remove dead skin cells, clear pores, and make way for clearer skin. Some also utilize gentle extractions or special lights.
Getting a series of chemical peels and specialized facials suited to your skin type will keep existing blemishes in check while preventing new ones.
During this in-office procedure, the dermatologist uses a pen-like device with tiny sterile needles to create controlled micro-injuries that spur collagen growth and cell turnover. The boost in healing reduces acne scars and prevents additional breakouts.
Laser and Light Therapies
Lasers that emit focused wavelengths of light target overactive oil glands linked to acne. They also tackle bacteria overgrowth and inflammation simmering under the skin’s surface.
Professional light and laser therapies like IPL photo facials also fade post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from old blemishes. A few sessions lead to remarkably clearer, more even-toned skin with fewer breakouts.
The Best At-Home and Professional Options to Remove Blemishes Fast
Now that you know what causes blemishes and why they keep popping up, you can start trying out some solutions. Give the at-home tips a few weeks to work before calling your dermatologist if breakouts continue. In-office procedures work fast when DIY methods fail to remove blemishes.
Some trial and error is expected to discover which remedies work best for your unique skin. Find an acne-busting routine that fits into your lifestyle so you can maintain the clear complexion you deserve long-term. With patience and consistency, you’ll be blemish-free before you know it!
Still, have some questions about banishing breakouts? Check out answers to the most frequently asked questions about getting rid of blemishes below.
How can I get rid of a blemish overnight?
Applying a hydrocolloid patch, dabbing on acne spot treatment containing benzoyl peroxide, or using a warm compress before bed can help shrink blemishes while you sleep. Resist the temptation to pick—this delays healing!
Do face masks help get rid of blemishes?
It depends on the type of face mask. Clay masks soak up excess oil while sulfur and charcoal masks draw out impurities from congested pores. Hydrating gel masks soothe inflammation. Use face masks suited to oily, acne-prone skin 2-3x per week to prevent blemishes.
How long does it take for a blemish to heal?
With proper skincare, most minor blemishes heal within 3-7 days. Deep cystic acne lingers under the skin for weeks to months. See a dermatologist right away if large blemishes don’t surface or heal after 2 weeks of home treatment. Prescription meds speed up healing.
What ingredients should I look for to fade blemishes?
Acne spot treatments and scar creams/gels with vitamin C, niacinamide, vitamin E, azelaic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, retinoids, and licorice root extract help blemishes and marks fade faster.
Can I remove blemishes permanently?
While having completely clear, blemish-free skin forever sounds nice, it’s unrealistic. However, curbing breakouts long-term is possible. Finding an effective acne-fighting skincare routine tailored to your skin type and avoiding triggers helps keep blemishes away for good.
The Bottom Line
Applying at-home spot treatments, using acne-fighting skincare, taking oral supplements, and seeing a dermatologist for stubborn blemishes help you remove breakouts quickly. Be patient, and consistent with treatment, and avoid triggers to maintain clear skin long after blemishes disappear.
Humayun Islam is a passionate medical writer and health enthusiast. His goal is to take complex medical information and present it in a way that is accessible and engaging to a broad audience.
When he is not writing, Humayun enjoys spending time with his family, being outdoors, and reading nonfiction books. He is constantly learning about new medical advancements and public health initiatives so he can provide readers with the most up-to-date information. Humayun joined the Quick Medico team in 2023 and is excited to share his medical knowledge and writing expertise. He hopes his articles will educate readers on a wide range of health topics and empower them to make informed decisions about their well-being.