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What to do with a cyst/pimple/zit

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This question comes up so frequently.

Here's what to do when you've messed with a pimple and it looks horribly swollen, red and painful now.

Keep in mind that the treatment may also prevent an incipient cyst from getting worse.

The treatment may also help prevent Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) or red marks.

You can repeat these techniques for as many days as you like. Do not give up too early, try the icing and bandaid/ointment for at least a week before assuming it won't work.

Detailed explanation and rationale:

Ice how-to:

Wrap an ice cube in a thin cloth towel or paper towel so the ice doesn't directly touch your skin or just stick it in a plastic baggie. Some recommend freezing a bunch of water-filled little paper Dixie cups in the freezer. The thin paper cups make it convenient to hold and apply ice to the lesions. That's a great idea from Laura, the esthetician that Willow569 goes to.

Hold the ice to the lesion for one minute or so on, five minutes or so off. Repeat as often as necessary throughout the first 24 hours, but not to the point that your skin turns pale or feels uncomfortable. The ice will reduce the swelling and the pain and the redness. The ice may also limit the development of post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation, PIH, or ‘red marks’.

You could also just glide an ice cube gently over your whole face, not holding it in one spot for too long. This technique will help decrease inflammation over the entire surface of your face. This is also a good technique for use after cleansing and prior to applying your active, medicated topical.

Anti-Inflammatory how-to:

Ibuprofen and naproxen sodium are anti-inflammatories. Inflammation is redness, swelling, pain. One or the other medication will help reduce the inflammation of any type of infection and may also help with pain. Use only as directed on the package, pick one or the other, and don’t use for longer than directed. Of course, don't use one if you're allergic to it! Depending on where you live there may be other anti-inflammatories available as well; ask your pharmacist or chemist what you can take as an anti-inflammatory. Over the counter medications for arthritis are generally effective.

If your doctor has ordered an antibiotic due to the inflamed lesion(s), continue to take the antibiotic as ordered. You may still take an anti-inflammatory for pain and swelling. The antibiotic is for the infection (bacteria) and the anti-inflammatory is for the pain, redness, and swelling.

Topical antibiotic cream/ointment and band aid/plaster how-to:

(Polysporin, Neosporin, Bacitracin, etc. I use Polysporin more often. Some may be allergic to Neosporin, sometimes Bacitracin, less rarely to Polysporin)

Apply a dab of antibiotic cream/ointment to a small band aid (this prevents contamination of the tube provided the bandaid is sterile and you've not touched the pad part with your fingers or anything else).

Put the band aid/plaster on the lesion. Leave on overnight. This is the part of the step that helps prevent PIH; the petrolatum jelly in most antibiotic ointments/creams is what provides the soothing relief that irritated, inflamed skin needs. You CAN use plain petrolatum jelly. It is not comedogenic. The bandaid also helps keep you from picking so you can use it during the day if you're going to be at home or not much in public, unless of course your self-esteem is high enough so that you can go in public with bandaids/plasters all over your face.

The antibiotic cream/ointment may help prevent indented scarring.

There you go. Good luck! biggrin.gif

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Great! and you added it to your sig, so now whenever someone asks this you can just kindly direct them to your sig.

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That's the idea. :D Saves a lot of time and writing. ;)

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Thanks for doing this, Wynne. Once again, you prove what a valuable resource to the org you are! <3

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Wynne for mod status! tongue.gif

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What kind of antibiotic cream/ointment do you recommend? Is BP fine?

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thank u wynne! i was just at my derms office yest. n the esthetitian told me the same thing! but was a lil confused.... i kno how to now.

=)

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exactly what i do exept i use acne machine too(quicker and works better than ice).

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thanks for the tip!

i'm using bp which is supposed kill acne bacteria. so, would it still be helpful to add an antibiotic cream on top of bp?

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thanks for the tip!

i'm using bp which is supposed kill acne bacteria. so, would it still be helpful to add an antibiotic cream on top of bp?

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thanks for the tip!

i'm using bp which is supposed kill acne bacteria. so, would it still be helpful to add an antibiotic cream on top of bp?

Yes, particularly if the pimple is open. I've found that the antibiotic cream provides a protective barrier and also seems to help prevent scarring. I always scarred from every single pimple I ever had, even extracted blackheads would leave an enlarged pore behind. Now that I'm moisturizing with vaseline (that component is in some antibiotic ointments), and occasionally spot treated with Polysporin, I have not had one new scar in four months. That is unheard of for me. :)

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...it makes sense that an antibiotic cream would be helpful on open pimples. but i'm wondering whether it would make much difference on closed pimples when used in conjuction with bp...since bp is an acne antibacterial agent.

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...it makes sense that an antibiotic cream would be helpful on open pimples. but i'm wondering whether it would make much difference on closed pimples when used in conjuction with bp...since bp is an acne antibacterial agent.

The BP should be sufficient on a closed pimple, but the antibiotic cream may soften the skin some more and let the cyst go away more easily. That's just a guess on my part though! I find that moisturizing my skin helps it a lot. Even though I'm oily...

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wat sort of anti-inflammatory drug would be suitable?

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Wow, I did all that before even seeing this mesage. That's exactly what I did when I had a cyst right on my cheek by my nose and eye! And it worked. I'm glad to see that I did the right things.

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Reaping this thread up to ask a question thats been bugging me a while, sorry!

The advice here really helps, but does it 'kill' (for lack of a better word) cysts? I'm taking ibuprofen quite often though obviously not above the recommended dosage and starting to ice. I'm also on antibiotics.

Without accutane is this a good method for dealing with cysts? I'm using a BP regimen and have been for a while, had no problems with cysts until the last two weeks and they seem really difficult to get rid of with this regimen and this advice alone.

Appreciate the thread btw! :)

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I have had this method completely shrink up a few cysts. The cysts got killed. ;)

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I have had this method completely shrink up a few cysts. The cysts got killed. ;)

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Hi rosemarie! I'm glad it's been helpful. Your signature is TERRIFIC!!!! Something for everyone to keep in mind and practice.

"Always behave like a duck -- keep calm and unruffled on the surface but paddle like the devil underneath."
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i think im going to cry...

i stuffed up. i have a big cyst on my right since monday and i iced it on tuesday night and put BP on it. then for some reason, on wednesday night i had a rush of thought... i decided to get a needle and try squeeze the cyst.

now my whole right hand side is red... i FUCKCKCK up... AND.. i dun think i even got it all out.. its still a bump there...

sometimes if just wanna roll up and sleep forever... :(

i dont know wat to do...

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Hi guys I have some questions:

Why can't we directly put the ice cube to the cyst?

I have a cyst now which is still underneath the skin. I'm going to ice this thing as soon as I can get an appointment to the doctor to inject cortisone on it to finally end it. Do you guys think the cortisone shot is still best? I just hope the needle can get deep inside the skin and reach the cyst underneath.

Thanks

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You can put the ice cube directly on the cyst, but that can also lead to skin injury. It's just safer overall to buffer your skin from direct contact with ice.

Cortisone shots get mixed reviews. Some people find that the shots shrink up their cysts. Others develop an indented scar from the injection itself. Some of those who develop an indented scar have the scar fade away over time.

Richmond: Stop squeezing and picking. You'll just spread infection that way. Ice your skin properly, clean gently, and sit on your hands when you have an urge to pick. Try to avoid using hot water when washing as that just increases inflammation. Warm and cool water are much better for the skin. :)

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