How to Create a Hot Compress for Acne Treatment and Skin Health
Tried everything to get rid of your acne? A hot compress can be used to open your pores and facilitate getting rid of dirt and excess oil that may be causing your acne. A hot compress helps to decrease inflammation and improve blood circulation to the area. Use your compress a few times a week to improve your skin.
Making a Wet Compress
Wash your hands.Always wash your hands before touching your face. You do not want to spread any germs from the things you touch (e.g. cell phone, door handles, computer keyboard) onto your face.Touching your face can lead to breakouts and spread any bacteria that may be causing your current breakout.Use an adequate amount of soap, rub your hands together, and rinse with warm water.
Wash your face.Use a mild cleanser such as Cera Ve and warm water to cleanse your skin before applying the compress. You do not want to spread any bacteria on your face when you apply the compress. Use your fingertips to gently apply the cleanser to your face. Do not scrub or exfoliate before applying the compress to avoid irritating your skin.
Prepare your washcloth.Take a small, clean washcloth and run it under warm water. You can also put warm water in a small bowl and completely saturate your towel. The water should not be too hot. You do not want to burn your face or dry out your skin. You can use a cotton ball instead of a towel if you are only applying it to a single pimple.
- You can heat your compress in the microwave as well. Place a damp towel in a Ziploc bag and microwave until it is warm.
Consider adding tea tree oil.Tea tree oil is an effective natural treatment for reducing acne breakouts.Add 6 to 12 drops of the oil to the bowl of water before dipping your towel or cotton ball. Always dilute the tea tree oil with water before applying to your face and avoid direct contact with eyes.
- Tea tree oil may irritate your skin.Test the diluted solution on your arm before applying to your face.
Apply the compress to your face.Apply the compress to your face for 10 minutes.The compress can be applied to your entire face or to a pimple only. If your compress becomes cold, reheat and apply again. You can apply the compress two or three times a day.
- Examine your face when you remove the compress. Your pores should be open and your pimples should have come to a head. If you do not notice any changes, saturate your towel or cotton ball again and reapply the compress.
Using Other Compresses
Try a green tea compress.Green tea contains polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that are helpful for your skin.Take a tea bag and steep it in hot water. Gently squeeze out any excess water and allow the bag to cool. Once the bag has cooled down, apply the bag to your pimple. Leave the bag on for 15 minutes and rinse your face with water when you are done.
- You can also put green tea bags under your eyes to decrease puffiness or relieve tired eyes.
Apply an ice compress.If you feel a pimple coming or your pimple is painful, use an ice compress instead of heat. Icing can reduce swelling, inflammation, redness, and pain.Wrap some ice in a thin washcloth and apply to your pimple. Leave it on for one minute and then wait five minutes. Reapply for another minute if you need to.
- You can also apply an ice compress after a warm compress if your pimple does not come to a head.
- You can apply ice directly to your skin, just not for very long.
- A cold compress can also be used to relieve bug bites. Apply the compress for 15 minutes a few times a day.
- If you have dry, itchy skin, apply the compress to the irritated areas.
Use aromatherapy.Smelling rosemary or lavender essential oil for 5 minutes has been shown to reduce stress.Applying peppermint oil to your skin can be used to relieve tension headaches. Put 5 to 10 drops of the oil in 1 to 2 cups of water. Then saturate a washcloth in the mixture. Wring out the washcloth and then apply to your body.
Treating your Face After the Compress
Rinse your face with cool water.After applying a warm compress to your face, wash your face with anti-acne cleanser or simply with mild cleanser and then splash your face with some cool water to close your pores. This will also help to calm down any inflammation from the heat.
Apply a topical acne treatment.Once the pimple has come to a head, apply a spot treatment to your pimple. Products containing salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or sulfur can be applied to the pimple after the compress. These ingredients are effective over-the-counter treatments for acne.Because the compress has opened your pores, the medicine may be more easily absorbed by your skin.
Do not pop your pimple.Picking, popping, or squeezing your acne increases your risk of scarring and blemishes that can take longer to clear up.You can apply gently pressure to both sides of your pimple using cotton swabs. If anything is ready to come out, it will. Never squeeze your pimple or use your fingers.
See a dermatologist.If your compress does not work and your acne does not improve, see a dermatologist. Some acne cannot be controlled with over-the-counter treatments alone. Your doctor can prescribe you more effective drugs that are not available over-the-counter.A dermatologist can help you control your acne, prevent future breakouts, and reduce scarring and dark spots.
- Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any medications that you are prescribed. Also let your doctor know about the treatments you have been using at home.
Consider using concealer.If your pimple has not gone down after you applied the compress and a topical acne medication, you can use makeup to make it less noticeable until it heals. Look for non-comedogenic cosmetics that offer light coverage. Heavy foundations and concealers will not allow your skin to breathe and can make your acne worse. There are several concealers available OTC that contain anti-acne and anti-blemish medication.
- Mineral makeup that does not contain bismuth oxychloride and dimethicone is recommended.
QuestionIf you have a pimple on your nose what do you do?
Family Nurse PractitionerFamily Nurse PractitionerExpert AnswerI recommend applying acne medication to the affected area. Ensure you do not squeeze your pimples. Additionally, a hot compress can be used to open your pores and facilitate getting rid of dirt and excess oil that may be causing your acne.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I get rid of acne scars?
Family Nurse PractitionerFamily Nurse PractitionerExpert AnswerYou can start of with retinol cream for about 3 to 4 weeks to help with skin cell turn over and healing. If that does not help, you can have a few series of chemical peels in the dermatologist’s office. If that does not improve your scars laser treatment would be my next recommendation. Laser treatment can vary from mild to invasive depending on the severity of your scars.Thanks!
QuestionWhich compress should you use for a sebaceous pimple?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerPutting ice in a ziplock bag and laying it on a pimple could help take down the flare and redness.Thanks!
- Heat will draw a pimple out. If you want your pimple to go down, use a cold compress.
- Stop using a compress or any other treatment if you experience irritation, dryness, redness, or pain.
- If you use this too frequently your skin may become damaged by the heat. Stick to 2-3 times per week.
- Do not add any products you may be allergic to to your compress.
- Make sure to combine any essential oil in a carrier oil (which may include any veg oil) before placing in the water. Without blending into a veg oil first, there will be undiluted, potent droplets of pure oil that can and will irritate skin. Essential oils are not soluble in water. This is imperative.
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