Ice-Cubes to Treat Acne and Pimple: Does it Really Work?

Ice on pimples
Ice on pimples

What is the most satisfying thing to pop? (I mean the second most satisfying one since of course, there’s no argument that “Bubble Wrap” is the first one). Yup, you guessed right – Pimples!

Everyone will get pimples and acne, irrespective of your age, gender or skin type. No matter how healthy you are, what food you eat or even how careful you are with selecting skincare products, one annoying pimple might always secretly appear. While there are many “miracle skin care products”, which you can empty your wallet for, there are simple home remedies that can help you. 

While the easiest way out is to pop it out like a mini volcano, no matter how satisfying it is, that’s the worst way to get rid of it, since it not only spreads debris all over your non-infected area of the skin, the pressure of popping pushes the infected material into the dermis, which is the lower layer of skin, infecting your skin even more. Also, not to mention the ugly mark it’s going to leave on your face, which will be there for a long time, keep reminding you of your poor life choices. So…. no! No popping!

There’s an easier method which can help you in both the short and long term; and that is, ‘ice’.

Pimples and Acne: How and Why Does it Form?

Before looking at how ice can help you reduce acne, let’s look at why acne form in the first place.

Acne can form due to many reasons, including (but not limited to) hormonal changes, dirty environments, unhealthy food, re-wearing dirty clothes, and harsh skin treatments. Each hair follicle in your skin produces an oil (called ‘sebum’) which keeps your skin moisturized and healthy. This sebum naturally comes out of the pore of your hair. But if the pore is blocked with dirt, grime, oil, bacteria, or your own dead-skin particles, the sebum which is trying to come out, creates a swelling on the skin. That is what we call acne.

How Does Ice on Pimples help?

Pimples and acne will form anyways. While you can reduce the chance of having them by controlling food, keeping your face clean, using only mild skin care products, you eventually would have to face at least one or a few of them. The best remedies should help acne to be reduced quickly without any side effects. That’s what ice does.

There are two basic types of acne, which are inflammatory and non-inflammatory. While ice will only work for inflammatory acne, it doesn’t work for non-inflammatory acne such as blackheads. Ice will work on the following inflammatory acne types:

Ice Helps the Above Types of Acne in the Following Ways.

  • Reduce pain and swelling: Severe cases of large cysts, pustules and nodules can pressurize nerve endings, as they grow larger, which might cause pain. Ice helps here in two ways. First, it slows down the blood flow towards the acne, which reduces the rate of swelling, thus, causing some reduction of pain. Second, it numbs down the nerve endings, so that you’re temporarily relieved of pain. 
  • Reduce longevity of swelling: Reducing the flow of blood to the acne causes a reduction of the rate of swelling. Reducing the size of the acne reduces its lifespan.
  • Redness: Applying ice could temporarily redden the skin. But by controlling the blood flow towards the acne can reduce the level, size and the duration of redness.
  • Shrink Pores: While hot water could open pores, ice could shrink the pores without closing them. This helps avoid further dirt, bacteria, and sweat from going in and further-irritating the skin.
  • Clean the skin: After applying ice, some of the water will melt on your face. Washing it away after a while will clean the skin, which can reduce the chance of further irritation.

How to Use Ice?

‘Applying ice on pimples’ does not mean directly placing a cube of ice on your acne, which could sometimes aggravate the situation! There’s a bit more to it and following these steps would give you ideal results.

  1. Cleanse
    Before applying ice, you should cleanse your skin properly, to get rid of dirt, sweat, oil and other gunk on your skin. 
  2. Wrap the ice cube
    Wrap the cube of ice with a thin cloth or a thick paper towel. 
  3. Application
    Place the wrapped ice cube right on top of your acne. Hold it for about one minute, but no longer, since it might also damage the surrounding skin too. 
  4. Repeat
    If the inflammation is a bit bigger, wait for five minutes and apply the ice for another one minute. You can repeat these steps a couple of times.

If the pimples do not seem to reduce within a few weeks, maybe it’s time to visit your dermatologist, who will help you shrink it down without any side effects.

So… ice on pimples, huh? Who would have thought that something simple like ice is one of the best ways to fight the extremely annoying acne and pimples? Sometimes the simplest methods go a long way. 

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