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Blind Pimple: Get Rid of It Safely

Kristin Hall

Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP

Written by Our Editorial Team

Last updated 12/04/2020

You know it’s there, you can feel it. But it’s deep beneath the surface of your skin, lurking like a monster. 

Not all pimples look alike because they’re not all alike. Some are more painful than others; some are uglier. And some can increase your risk of long-term scarring. 

Acne breakouts can impact your quality of life, even when some of your pimples are deep beneath the surface. If you have a blind or invisible pimple, act. This type of blemish, or zit, may not be visible, but it can be one of the worst types. 

What Is a “Blind Pimple”

A “blind pimple” isn’t a clinical designation, and it’s unclear how the term arose. But enough people are searching online for answers about it, that we thought it worthy of an article. 

Generally, what people mean when they refer to a blind pimple is a pimple that’s deep beneath the surface of the skin. (The pimple isn’t really blind; it’s invisible.) 

Some pimples are angry and red, for the whole world to see. 

But a blind pimple takes its time. You’re the first person to notice it, largely because it’s painful. It’s invisibility hides a secret — this type of pimple can indicate the most severe form of acne. 

It’s an acne nodule, a sign of nodular acne, or nodulocystic acne when it’s combined with acne cysts. Acne nodules are deep, painful, and can be “blind” or invisible. 

It is a type of inflammatory acne that can lead to scarring. Because eventually, that pimple will come to a head. Blind pimples don’t hide forever.

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Treating Your Blind Pimple or Nodular Acne

You’re going to want the help of a healthcare provider or dermatologist, here. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends seeing a dermatology practitioner if you have acne cysts of nodules, as these types of deep acne lesions can leave scars. 

Nodular acne is considered severe acne, so wasting your money on drugstore solutions likely won’t give you the results you’re after. 

There are numerous treatment options for your dermatologist to choose from, but they largely fall within a few buckets

Topical retinoids: The go-to first line solution for prescription acne treatment. If your acne is severe, topical retinoids aren’t likely enough, and your healthcare provider  will prescribe an oral medication too. 

Systemic treatments:  Systemic treatments are prescription drugs you take orally. In the treatment of acne, these are usually oral retinoids such as isotretinoin or antibiotics such as tetracycline. 

Isotretinoin is the first-line choice against severe acne and can provide long-term results. 

Oral antibiotics fight the bacteria and inflammation involved with acne, but can cause you to develop a resistance to their effectiveness overtime.

Oral contraceptives: Oral contraceptives can help regulate hormonal cycles, and it’s believed this is how they work to combat acne. 

The effects of oral contraceptives can take several months to see, however.

Other treatment approaches may include things like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and azelaic acid.

Self-Care for Acne Prevention and Treatment 

While you’re waiting for your appointment or even while you’re undergoing treatment, there are steps you can take to lessen the impact and severity of your acne breakouts. 

Wash your face twice daily with a gentle cleanser. Don’t scrub or wash too frequently, as this can worsen the condition.

Manage stress and take care of your overall health. Things like a good night’s sleep, healthy body weight, and managed stress levels can all go far in preventing acne.

Use cosmetics that explicitly state they’re non-comedogenic, or won’t clog pores.

Apply ice to reduce pain and inflammation. Nodular acne can be painful, and ice cubes can temporarily relieve your discomfort.

Apply warm water to a clean compress when a nodule begins coming to a head. The warmth of the clean washcloth will encourage the pimple to come to a head and release the pus.

Don’t pick or squeeze! Picking, squeezing,  or popping your pimples can not only make them redder and angrier, but can spread bacteria well beyond the affected area.

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In Conclusion

Blind pimples are a specific type of acne nodule that occur underneath the surface of you’re skin. As far as pimples go, they’re about as brutal as they come. They can become inflamed, painful and if treated improperly, they can even cause scarring. 

Luckily, with the help of a certified dermatology practitioner, treating blind pimples isn’t a lost cause, and there are plenty of helpful medications — everything from topical solutions to oral medications — to help treat and prevent them.

And if you’re presently dealing with a blind pimple, there are things you can do to help the healing process along and minimize the potential for scarring.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.