At some point, everyone gets pimples. Genetics, skin care habits and cleansing products all affect the frequency and severity of pimples. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, a pimple occurs when the naturally-occurring bacteria on your skin surface mixes with oil and clogs the pore. Dead skin cells and bacteria rise to the top of the closed pore in a puss-like mixture, creating a whitehead. Treating puss-filled acne isn't difficult, but it does require specific steps to avoid aggravating or scarring your skin.
Wash your face using a gentle, antibacterial soap twice a day and after profuse sweating. Removing excess dirt and oil from your face allows the acne treatment reach your pimple.
Pat your face dry using a clean towel. Rubbing towels against your face aggravates skin. Avoid using towels stored on a towel rack in the bathroom. The moisture and heat of the bathroom makes absorbent materials, like towels, a breeding ground for bacteria.
Wait 15 minutes before applying the acne treatment. The waiting period lets your skin dry but not accumulate a layer of bacteria and oil.
Dab your acne medication directly onto the pimple using a cotton swab. Use a topical over-the-counter ointment that contains salicylic acid. Salicylic acid helps unclog pores by removing the dead skin cells causing your puss-filled pimple.
Repeat steps one through five for three to four weeks or until your pimple heals.
Give your treatment product a few weeks to work. Constantly switching products irritates skin.
If you suffer from frequent acne, stick with the above routine as prevention, even when your skin is clear. Once you stop, oil production and surface bacteria will clog your pores again.
Do not pick, pop or squeeze your puss-filled pimple. It may seem like an easy fix but you'll actually be driving bacteria back into your pore, creating an even larger pimple.
Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.