How To Shrink A Cystic Pimple Overnight?: A Step-by-Step Guide

By Kathy Brisbane

Updated On

Cystic pimples are the most severe type of acne, characterized by deep, painful, and inflamed lesions that can last for weeks. Unlike regular pimples, cystic acne develops deep within the skin and is often resistant to over-the-counter treatments.

If left untreated, these pimples can lead to scarring, making it crucial to address them quickly and effectively. In this guide, we’ll walk you through a step-by-step process to help shrink a cystic pimple overnight.

Key Takeaways

  1. Cleanse the skin gently and apply a targeted spot treatment to the cystic pimple.
  2. Use a cold compress to reduce inflammation and swelling.
  3. Avoid picking or squeezing the pimple, and focus on hydration and sufficient sleep to support the healing process.

Cleanse the Skin

The first step in treating a cystic pimple is to cleanse the skin thoroughly. Use a gentle, non-comedogenic cleanser to remove dirt, oil, and bacteria from the skin’s surface.

Avoid harsh scrubbing or exfoliation, as this can further irritate the inflamed pimple. Instead, use your fingertips to massage the cleanser onto your face in gentle, circular motions. Rinse with lukewarm water and gently pat your skin dry using a clean towel.

Apply a Spot Treatment

After cleansing, apply a targeted spot treatment directly onto the cystic pimple. Look for products containing active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, which can help unclog pores and reduce inflammation.

Apply a thin layer of the treatment directly onto the pimple, avoiding the surrounding skin. Be careful not to overuse the product, as excessive application can lead to dryness and irritation. Allow the treatment to absorb into the skin before proceeding to the next step.

Use A Cold Compress

To help reduce inflammation and swelling, apply a cold compress to the cystic pimple. Wrap an ice pack or a clean cloth filled with ice cubes in a thin towel and hold it against the pimple for 5-10 minutes.

The cold temperature will constrict blood vessels, reducing redness and pain. Repeat this process a few times throughout the day, or as needed, to help soothe the pimple and promote healing.

Avoid Picking or Squeezing

One of the most important things to remember when treating a cystic pimple is to resist the urge to pick or squeeze it. While it may be tempting to try to pop the pimple, doing so can push the infection deeper into the skin, worsening inflammation and increasing the risk of scarring.

Instead, allow the spot treatment to work its magic overnight, and trust in the healing process. If you must touch the pimple, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly first to avoid introducing new bacteria to the area.

Hydrate and Moisturize

Keeping your skin hydrated is essential for promoting healing and preventing further irritation. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day to nourish your body and skin from the inside out.

In addition, use a non-comedogenic moisturizer to help soothe and protect the skin. Look for products containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which can help lock in moisture without clogging pores.

Apply a thin layer of moisturizer to your face after cleansing and applying spot treatment, focusing on the areas around the cystic pimple.

Get Sufficient Sleep

Finally, make sure to get a good night’s sleep to allow your body to repair and heal. During sleep, our bodies produce more collagen, which is essential for skin health and wound healing.

Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night, and try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule. In addition, sleeping on a clean pillowcase can help prevent the spread of bacteria and further irritation to the cystic pimple.

Also Read: How To Make Turmeric Paste For Skin?


Treating a cystic pimple overnight requires a combination of gentle cleansing, targeted spot treatment, and self-care practices. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can help shrink the pimple and promote healing while minimizing the risk of scarring.

Remember to be patient and consistent in your skincare routine, as cystic acne can take time to heal fully. If your pimple persists or becomes more severe, consult a dermatologist for professional advice and treatment options.


1. Can I use toothpaste to dry out a cystic pimple?

A: While some people swear by using toothpaste as a spot treatment, it is not recommended by skincare professionals. Toothpaste contains ingredients that can irritate the skin and cause further inflammation, potentially making the cystic pimple worse. Stick to products specifically formulated for acne treatment, and consult a dermatologist if you have concerns about the severity of your pimple.

2. Should I apply a warm compress instead of a cold one?

A: While some people find that a warm compress can help draw out the pus from a pimple, it is generally not recommended for cystic acne. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests using a cold compress to reduce inflammation and pain, as heat can potentially increase swelling and redness. If you do choose to use a warm compress, make sure the water is not too hot, and limit the application time to a few minutes to avoid further irritation.

3. Can I wear makeup over a cystic pimple?

A: It’s best to avoid applying makeup directly onto a cystic pimple, as this can further clog pores and irritate the skin. If you must wear makeup, choose non-comedogenic, oil-free products, and apply them gently around the pimple rather than directly on top of it. Make sure to remove all makeup thoroughly at the end of the day, and cleanse the skin gently to avoid further irritation.

4. How long does it take for a cystic pimple to heal?

A: Cystic pimples can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to heal completely, depending on the severity of the lesion and the effectiveness of the treatment. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, it can take up to 8 weeks for a cystic pimple to heal fully. It’s important to be patient and consistent with your skincare routine, and to avoid picking or squeezing the pimple, which can prolong the healing process and increase the risk of scarring.

Kathy Brisbane

Kathy Brisbane is a highly respected and experienced dermatologist with over three decades of expertise. After graduating with honors, she completed her residency and established herself as a leader in the field. Known for her compassionate approach and diagnostic abilities, Dr. Brisbane has authored numerous publications and lectures at conferences. Committed to staying at the forefront of advancements, she provides exceptional skin care and is widely regarded as one of the most trusted dermatologists.

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