I haven’t mentioned The ZIIT Method on the blog recently, but it warrants occasional mention. It’s pretty amazing. This is a method you would use if you want to do absolutely everything you can to prevent a zit from forming. It includes taking zinc and an NSAID like Ibuprophen to reduce inflammation, icing the zit, and spot treating with both 2.5% benzoyl peroxide and 10% glycolic acid.
Because my skin is normally completely clear from The Acne.org Regimen, I don’t have to use this method often, but on rare occasions when I do get a zit and I have a wedding to go to or something big like that, I’ll employ The ZIIT Method. Every time I do, I’m surprised at how well it works. As long as I catch a zit early, I can blast it with The ZIIT Method and eradicate it. It’s kinda fun. Try it out and see for yourself. If you do try it, please take a minute to review it here as well. I’d welcome more feedback from you guys on The ZIIT Method.
When it comes to acne, cold beats hot.
Hot: The power of heat at this time is limited in acne care. Lasers and radio frequency devices use targeted heat to kill bacteria in the skin, which can improve acne, but only to a moderate degree and for a high cost. For these reasons, I don’t advocate for these methods, especially lasers. I am intrigued by radio frequency devices and will keep my eye on them as more research comes out, but so far I don’t see much good science when it comes to radio frequency and acne. Spot treatment devices which claim to use heat to stop a pimple from forming tend to disappoint in both their efficacy and cost as well.
Cold: Cold on the other hand, has a long standing history of helping to treat acne. According to a review article published in Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology, “Cold is…a useful treatment modality. In dermatological care, cold is often used for angioedema (under the skin swelling)…” We can see the power of ice in spot treatment. If you feel a zit forming, put a piece of ice in a Ziploc bag and hold it very gently on the spot for 5 minutes. This simple treatment can work wonders, especially when combined with proper topical treatment and anti-inflammatory agents. While less convenient, ice can also be used all over the face. If you’d like to try it, simply fill up a styrofoam cup with water and freeze it. Then peel back the styrofoam and VERY GENTLY move the ice over your entire face. This can get messy but can be fun from time to time. Just be certain to remain ultra gentle to reduce any unwanted irritation.
Cold can help, but there is no substitute for properly treating your skin. First, get on The Regimen and get cleared up. Then, feel free to use ice on occasion when you need it for spot treatment or when you just feel like adding in something for a change of pace.
- Bayata S, Turel EA. “Thermotherapy in dermatology.” Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology. 2012; 31(3): 235-40.
For those of you who have tried The ZIIT Method, you know it works as long as you catch the zit early in its lifecycle. But why does it work? Is it the Zinc, Ibuprofen, Ice, or Treatment that is doing the most?
In order of ability to stop a zit in its tracks I would rank them like this:
1. [Tied for first place] Ice and Treatment (2.5% benzoyl peroxide followed by 10% glycolic acid)
2. Ibuprofen (or other NSAID)
We know that early application of 2.5% benzoyl peroxide and 10% glycolic acid will usually stop a pimple from forming. However, ice is often overlooked for its anti-inflammatory prowess. Try and and you’ll see. Next time you feel a zit forming, even if it seems like it’s going to be a big painful one, try The ZIIT Method, and don’t forget the ice component.
A tip for how to apply ice:
Put a piece of ice in a ziploc bag:
Get yourself an eye patch from your local drugstore. They are cheap. I got this one for about $2.49.
Then hold it on the pimple for 5 minutes.
Do this twice a day along with the rest of The ZIIT Method and you will be surprised how much power you have over a menacing zit–as long as you catch it early.