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Pimples underneath the skin, also referred to as cystic acne or acne boils, are common during the teenage years. These unpleasant and painful bumps often emerge on facial skin, but can also appear on your chest, arms, shoulders and back. Squeezing the puss out of pimples that are below the skin's surface can worsen the infection and result in more pain. To drain the pimples, you must first bring them to the skin's surface.

Remove all traces of makeup from your face with an oil-free makeup remover and wash your face with a mild facial cleanser. If you are often plagued with acne, use a facial wash for acne-prone skin. Look for common anti-acne ingredients, such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, on the product label. Avoid rubbing your skin dry. Instead, pat it dry.

Wet a washcloth with warm water and squeeze the excess liquid from the cloth. Make the water as warm as your skin can handle -- the warmer, the better. Place the washcloth over your acne cyst. Relax and leave the washcloth on your skin for at least 15 minutes. If the washcloth cools down quickly, hold it under warm water again and put it back on the bump. Use a heat pack as an alternative. The heat application promotes blood circulation and brings white blood cells and antibodies to the area to combat the infection.

Observe the acne cyst. Touch the area with clean fingers. If the boil feels hard, it is not ready to be drained. Keep repeating your heat applications. If it feels soft and displays a pointy head, it is ready for drainage.


Place a piece of clear tape over the affected area before bedtime. Leave the tape on overnight. It's believed that the tape helps surface the pimple and removes the puss and infection. Even though this is not a proven method, many people swear by it and it might be worth a try. Consult your doctor if your acne cyst is large and painful. He can give you a cortisone shot or lance it.