What Is A Blind Pimple — & How Do You Get Rid Of It?

It's a conspiracy theorist's favorite catchphrase: The biggest threats are the ones you can't see. On a slightly less troubling note, the paranoiac's motto also applies to skin care — in the case of "blind pimples," which are nodules and zits rooted so deeply that they're practically invisible on the surface of the skin.
“Blind pimples are deep cysts under the skin,” says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D. “Essentially, these are oil-filled balloons without a connection to the surface of the skin, making them unpickable.” Unpickable. With a cyst, because there's no visible head, there's nothing to pick, pop, or squeeze — which means no relief.
Dr. Zeichner says that a trip to the derm is the only surefire way to clear up blind pimples, especially if you're getting them frequently. "A doctor may suggest a cortisone injection or oral medication to reduce inflammation," he says. There's also a new topical retinoid lotion, Altreno, that shows great potential for cystic situations, especially in adult women with acne. "It's the only tretinoin lotion available, and delivers proven efficacy with much less irritation to the skin because of its delivery system. It has been shown to be effective specifically in adult women with acne," Dr. Zeichner explains.
If your blind-pimple problem is more sporadic — or you want to be as proactive as possible to prevent new cysts from forming — a diligent skin-care routine with key acne-fighting ingredients is of the essence. Ahead, Dr. Zeichner sheds light on how to handle blind zits at home.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

More from Skin Care

R29 Original Series