Extreme measures to remove an unsightly pimple are not recommended by dermatologists. Safe strategies that can help tone down a blemish's inflammation and minimize its appearance are available and can make a difference while you sleep. Don't resort to popping or squeezing the pimple, which may make it take longer to heal and could cause permanent scarring.
The redness that makes your blemish stand out like a beacon is a result of inflammation. Reduce this with a cold compress just before you retire for the night. A refrigerated, wet washcloth or a chilled tea bag are easy options; just apply them for three to five minutes. In the morning, you can reapply the compress to further reduce redness and swelling.
Corticosteriod or Cortisone Creams
A strong, prescription strength corticosteroid cream, called clobetasol -- usually given to patients with eczema, psoriasis or poison ivy -- will definitely reduce the angry appearance of your pimple overnight, dermatologist Roy Grekin told the "Wall Street Journal." Prolonged use of this cream can thin the skin, so only use it in emergencies. Not everyone has access to a prescription-strength cream, however, so get the strongest over-the-counter hydrocortisone you can and apply a small amount to the blemish. The cortisone reduces some redness and swelling.
Dry It Out
Products containing benzoyl peroxide dry out the pimple. Use it in conjunction with the cortisone cream to most effectively reduce redness and stem any additional growth. If you find benzoyl peroxide too irritating, go for a product that contains 1 to 2 percent salicylic acid; this will similarly deflate the blemish. Too much of either of these creams can cause dryness and irritation at the site, though. Cover the blemish with a bandage after applying cortisone and a drying agent to help these creams do their work.
A few items in your medicine cabinet may stand in for official facial skin-care remedies. Diaper cream often contains hydrocortisone and can be applied to your face. Toothpaste has drying properties that may work similarly to benzoyl peroxide in a pinch. On HuffingtonPost.com, Dr. Jennifer MacGregor suggests dabbing the pimple with a cotton swab soaked in eye drops designed to reduce redness. A cotton swab is a preferable applicator because it's gentle on the skin and unlikely to cause damage.