You may not be able to see it, but you can feel it—an under-the-skin pimple, or cyst, has taken up residence on your face. It’s painful, frustrating, and pretty stressful since you can never be so sure just how big it’s going to get. But catch it early enough and there are steps you can take to get rid of the sore blemish as quickly as possible.

Things You'll Need

As soon as you feel it coming in, apply a hot compress to it. Hold a soft, clean cloth soaked in warm water over the area for about three to four minutes, re-soaking the cloth with more warm water halfway through. This helps open pores and draw the pimple and oils to the skin’s surface.

Saturate a cotton ball with an astringent that contains salicylic acid, then apply the cotton ball to skin immediately after removing the compress. This helps clear and dry up any dirt or oil that’s been drawn to the surface. Continue doing these two steps twice a day until the pimple surfaces and forms a whitehead.

Every day and night, wash your face with a gentle cleanser and warm water, then apply a mild exfoliator over the pimple in very gentle circles. This diminishes any excess oil or dead cells that may worsen the blemish.

Once that bad boy turns into a whitehead, take two pieces of tissue and wrap one around each index finger. Gently press your index fingers together around the pimple and squeeze. It should be ready to pop, and once it does, take another cotton ball with astringent and dab it onto the area to dry it up. If it doesn’t pop after a few gentle squeezes then wait and continue with the previous steps until the pimple is ready; it may take only another day or two.


  • The best way to treat pimples, over or under your skin, is to prevent them, which can be done by washing your face every day and generally having a good skin care regimen. Talk to your dermatologist about what your individual skin type needs to stay clear.
  • Never try to pop a pimple that’s still under the skin, as this can lead to more pain, spreading of the pimple under your skin, and redness in the area.