There’s nothing worse than being faced with an angry spot, they’re a nuisance that seemingly appear overnight but take ages to get rid of.
They can cause scarring, inflammation, look horrible and can cause some of us to hide away. Our first reaction is to be rid of them, instantly, whatever way possible.
Instead of giving into the temptation and popping it, take a look at what kind you have and how to get rid of it for good.
Methods for getting rid of spots
1. Honey and cinnamon
Honey is great for getting rid of spots. It has a natural antibiotic and pulls out dirt from open pores. Mix a tablespoon of honey with 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon and use your fingers to dab it on to dry skin. Rub it in a circular motion for three minutes and wash off with warm water.
2. Egg-white mask
Egg-whites tighten pores and pull out any clogged dirt. Remove yolks from two eggs and spread it into a thin layer on your face.
Give it two minutes to dry, then add the remaining whites in a second layer. Give it 10-15minutes to dry, or until the egg-white is smooth to the touch. Use warm water to rinse off your face.
3. Make a clay mask
You can buy cosmetic clay in powder form. It dries out the skin and removes any residues on the skin.
Mix a tablespoon of powdered clay with apple cider vinegar to make a paste, and spread it over your face.
Leave for 10-15minutes until it is dry and wash off with warm water.
4. Oatmeal and yoghurt
Yoghurt has lactic acid and oatmeal calms the skin – both create a blackhead fixing mixture.
Mix three tablespoons yoghurt, two tablespoons oats and a few drops of lemon juice and olive oil.
Mix between your fingers and dab onto the affected area.
Set for 10 minutes and rise with warm water.
5. Turmeric and mint juice
Use the kitchen stores and clean out dirty pores.
Brew a mint tea and allow it to cool. Add two tablespoons of the mixture with a tablespoon of turmeric powder.
Apply to the face and leave for 10 minutes, rinse off with warm water.
Blackheads and whiteheads
What causes blackheads
Sebaceous glands are glands in your skin that secrete an oily or waxy matter, called sebum.
Sebum is there to waterproof your skin and lubricate it, but it can build up with bacteria and dead skin cells to clog up your pores causing bumps under the skin.
If the pore stays open after being plugged with dirt and sebum it looks black.
If the pore is closed after being filled up with the impurities it becomes white.
- Never pop or pick at them as this adds more dirt and bacteria.
- You should also avoid using abrasive exfoliants as it can irritate the skin. Try using oatmeal as a gentle exfoliant if you have sensitive skin.
- Make sure you wash your pillowcase too as these retain the dead skin cells and excess oil from your face. Wash them at least once a week.
- As well as the usual pharmacy products there are some home remedies you can try.
Papules and pustules
What causes papules and pustules
Sometimes clogged pores become so irritated their walls break causing large spots to appear. These are called papules and pustules.
Papules are hard when you touch them, and if you have several in one place it can feel as if the skin is like sandpaper. They often appear in clusters.
Pustules are yellowish and have fluid in them – similar to a blister. The pus comes from the breakdown of inflammatory cells that the body produces to fight infection.
How to treat them
- It’s best to use a product on them, most have the same ingredients – Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. It works by killing the bacteria inside the face pores.
- Home remedies can work too, here are a few suggestions:
- Cabbage and olive oil – Crush cabbage leaves and mix with olive oil to apply to the skin.
- Aloe Vera – use juice on the affected area.
- Tomatoes – apply the pulp of ripe tomatoes on your face, leave for an hour.
Nodules and cysts
When pores are clogged they swell, and infection spreads in the skin. Nodules are hard and quite painful, while cysts are soft and contain pus.
How to treat them
The best thing is to check with the doctor if you regularly get nodules as treating them yourself can lead to scarring.
As a last resort – how to pop it the right way
- Firstly, never ever squeeze it.
- Squeezing destroys all the healthy tissue. Instead use a needle cleaned with alcohol.
- Place the needle parallel to the skin and then pierce the spot from one side to another – like you would a skewer in a kebab.
- Then you rip upwards.
For a more detailed look, check out our article on the best way to pop a spot.
Spots on the bum?
Even the most shameless of patients would probably have difficulty discussing the matter of bum pimples with their GP.
But dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto says that “spots affecting the buttocks are quite common”. According to Mahto, they occur just as often on men as they do on women and these pimples can pop up anywhere you have hair follicles.
Find out more on our dedicated article for if you have spots on your bum.