How to

Get Rid of a Zit Fast

Nothing kills your confidence like a honking red pimple on your face. And while some guys are comfortable enough to slap on some concealer, we feel that our unpracticed makeup skills would be noticed more than the blemish. So we sought the advice of a trusted New York dermatologist, Dr. Whitney Bowe, for ways to zap a zit quick.


Clear the way
for tonight

Want to adios a pimple for a wedding or other big event? Dermatologists like Dr. Bowe have cortisone shots that they inject directly into the pimple, which smooths it out in just a few hours. For a less extreme case, she suggests dabbing on some over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream. "It will calm the inflammation and flatten the pimple—just don't use it too often or it can thin the skin." Visine eye drops and some ice are also proven ways to reduce redness.

Aveeno hydrocortisone
, $6


Doctor's Warning

"Bad idea to use DIY methods like toothpaste or aspirin. I've seen these products actually create a burn on the skin."


When you've got
a little time

If you wake up with a blemish, Dr. Bowe suggests dabbing on a spot treatment like benzoyl peroxide which helps kill the bacteria inside the pimple, dry it out and shrink the size of the zit. The higher the percentage of Benzoyl Peroxide, the stronger the results, so the doc recommends Persa-Gel, which clocks in with a whopping 10% of the good stuff.

Clean & Clear
Persa-Gel 10
, $5


Doctor's Warning

"These can be drying, so use them sparingly and follow it with extra moisturizer so you don't end up with a dry scaly spot."


Stay ahead
of the game

"In general, I tell my patients to try to prevent acne rather than chasing a pimple once they feel it forming," says Dr. Bowe. "Acne medications are actually much better at preventing spots, so if you're prone to breakouts, it's much more effective to use a gentle acne regimen all over the face every day to prevent the occasional zit in the first place."


Doctor's Warning

While tempting, the doctor advises against popping pimples, as it inflames skin further and leads to scars and larger pores.