Though acne can make even the most confident feel embarrassed and freakish, breakouts are incredibly normal. Literally millions of people have acne; in fact, nearly 85% of people have acne at some point in their lives, starting in puberty and sometimes lasting all the way to a person’s 50s.
Loads of treatments can be found online for clearing acne, from scrubs to homemade masks to weird juice diets to prescribed medications. But sometimes, acne sufferers don’t want the acne to go away nearly as much as they want the pain to stop. Cystic acne can be especially sore and itchy, but making the discomfort go away sometimes seems impossible.
If you have uncomfortable acne, try any or all of these tips to get a little relief:
- Don’t Touch!
With any painful sore or rash, it can be tempting to pick and itch the area with your fingers. With acne, the temptation can be particularly powerful, since with some types of acne, popping the pimple and releasing the fluid inside reduces painful pressure and inflammation. However, popping pimples will often lead to more pain down the road, especially if you have cystic acne. This type of acne cannot be popped since the buildup is too deep in the skin. Often, all that will result from picking acne is scabbing, bruising, and greater inflammation.
- Try a Hot or Cold Compress
Counter-intuitively, both a hot and a cold compress can help relieve acne pain. Pressing an ice pack to acne can reduce swelling and numb the area to temporarily relieve topical pain. A warm compress stimulates blood circulation, which can help acne heal more quickly.
- Pop an Over-the-Counter Painkiller Instead
While ibuprofen won’t help acne go away, it will help the blemishes hurt a little less as they heal. Anti-inflammatory painkillers can also reduce inflammation and redness for a little more acne relief.
- Try Some Aloe
Oftentimes, acne cleanses and medications can do more harm than good. Desperate for relief, some people end up overusing these products and drying out their skin, leading to inflammation, scabbing and itchiness. Try using fresh aloe or aloe gel from a store to balance and moisturize over-scrubbed acne. The plant is known for it’s hydrating, anti-inflammatory and healing properties, and it smells great, too.
- Don’t Touch!
Acne isn’t pretty, but those lucky few with clear skin don’t realize that the condition is also quite painful. Get over the ache and back to your day by trying these four tips for relieving acne pain.