How to Get Rid of Pimples -- Fast!

Don’t know the first thing about zit zapping? Whether you get the occasional pesky pimple or all-out acne breakouts, here are the best ways to banish blemishes and rid yourself of pimples for good.

Step 1: Wash your face.

You must use a gentle cleanser (not harsh soap!) on your face in the morning and at night. Keeping skin clean is imperative to zapping zits and preventing more outbreaks. Just lather the cleanser into your hands or a soft cloth -- nothing coarse, which could irritate -- and gently apply to your face (keep away from eyes!). Rinse well and dry with a clean towel. Toss the cloth and towel into the laundry, as reusing them can spread pimple-producing bacteria.

Step 2: Try a home remedy.

If you only have a few zits to zap, some people swear by tea tree oil (available in health food stores) or toothpaste. Just dab a little on the affected spot and leave on overnight. (Do not try these remedies if you have sensitive skin.)

Step 3: Hit the drugstore.

Are your pimples persistent? Head to the pharmacy for an over-the-counter treatment. Choose a product that contains hydrogen peroxide or salicylic acid -- both antibacterial agents -- then carefully follow the directions on the product packaging.

Step 4: Go easy on the makeup.

You might be tempted to cover up your zits with makeup, but cosmetics tend to worsen the problem. If you insist on wearing any makeup, go with oil-free water-based products -- and be sure to wash it off before you go to bed. Also, keep your hands and hair, which carry oils, away from your face. Updo, anyone?

Step 5: See a dermatologist.
If you’ve tried everything but you’re still losing the battle to chronic acne, talk to your parents about making an appointment for you to see a dermatologist. This is a doctor who specializes in skin care, and he or she will prescribe effective medication or another appropriate treatment regimen faster than you can say “Buh-bye, blemishes!”