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Tricks AND Treats – How to Deal with the Wicked Zit

October is the time for tricks that are fun, but there's nothing festive or enjoyable about waking up to find a pimple on your complexion. If a wicked zit is haunting you, use these tips to deal with it and treat yourself to clearer skin.

1. Don't pop the pest. Your mother was right: picking at your zits is a definite no-no. Although it can be tempting to try and decimate the devilish pimple with your fingers or tweezers, doing so greatly increases the likelihood of scarring. Plus, you can introduce bacteria to the blemish that can lead to infections.

2. Battle back with benzoyl peroxide. One of the oldest acne-fighting ingredients is still considered by many dermatologists to be one of the best. Benzoyl peroxide helps to reduce the amount of sebum released from the pores, easing congestion in the area of the blemish. In addition, it destroys bacteria, helping to clear up the infection.

3. Treat your skin to tea tree. If you tend to prefer natural products to address your beauty woes, you can use tea tree oil as an anti-acne solution. Like benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil is an antibacterial agent, and it has been found to also regulate sebum production. A variety of natural blemish spot treatments are available with tea tree oil, or you can dab water-diluted tea tree essential oil directly onto your blemish.

4. Cool it off. Applying cool compresses to a bright red blemish (without a head) for 5 to 10 minutes is thought to minimize inflammation in the area, helping to soothe potential discomfort and make redness appear less prominent.

5. Or heat it up. Got a pimple with a white head? A warm compress will help to draw the pus and fluid to the tip of the blemish. After 10 minutes, remove the compress and gently press the side of the pimple with a cotton swab. You may find that the fluid will leak out, making the skin eruption less noticeable and potentially help it to heal. Don't use too much pressure. If the whitehead does not seep on its own, do not force it. Simply repeat the process again later in the day.

6. Soak it up. If your blemish is black in color rather than a traditional pimple, use a clarifying, clay based mask as a spot treatment. Leave the formula in place over night and rinse off in the morning. Clays help to draw dirt and oil to the surface of the skin and can decongest a clogged pore when left in place for an extended period of time.

7. Camouflage with concealer. While you can speed up the disappearance of that wicked zit with topical products, you'll be stuck with the ghoulish blemish for a few days. In the meantime, use a green concealer to neutralize the red color of the pimple and then cover with flesh tone concealer to make it much less noticeable. Look for concealers that are free of oil or noncomedogenic to prevent additional skin congestion in the affected area.

Occasional blemishes can be addressed easily at home, but if you're suffering from chronic breakouts, you should see a dermatologist. With his or her professional advice, you can put together a daily skin care regimen to deal with skin congestion and decrease the frequency with which you're tricked by wicked zits and be treated with better looking skin.

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