What Can I Put On A Pimple That Hasn’t Formed Yet?

You’ve noticed a red bump on your face, but it hasn’t fully formed into a pimple yet. It’s at that frustrating stage where you can feel the impending doom of a potential breakout. But don’t worry! There are some simple and effective remedies you can try to nip it in the bud before it becomes a full-blown pimple. From natural ingredients to over-the-counter products, learn what you can put on that pesky pre-pimple to help banish it before it even has a chance to fully develop.

Why Treating a Pimple Before It Forms Is Important

Understanding the Stages of a Pimple

Before diving into the remedies and treatments, it is essential to understand the stages of a pimple. A pimple typically goes through three main stages: the early stage, when it first begins to form; the inflammatory stage, when it becomes red, painful, and swollen; and the advanced stage, when it finally comes to a head and forms a white or yellowish pus-filled center. Treating a pimple during the early stage is crucial because it can help prevent it from progressing into the inflammatory and advanced stages.

Preventing the Formation of a Pimple

Prevention is always better than cure, and the same holds true for pimples. By taking proactive measures to prevent the formation of a pimple, you can save yourself from the discomfort and embarrassment that comes with a fully developed pimple. Some simple steps you can take to prevent the formation of a pimple include keeping your skin clean and free from excess oil, avoiding touching your face with dirty hands, and maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.

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Natural Remedies for a Pimple That Hasn’t Formed Yet

When you notice the early signs of a pimple, such as a small bump, redness, or tenderness, it’s time to take action. Natural remedies can be incredibly effective in treating a pimple that hasn’t formed yet without causing any harsh side effects. Here are a few natural remedies to consider:

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a renowned natural remedy for various skin ailments, including pimples. Its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make it an excellent choice for combating acne. To use tea tree oil, mix a few drops with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, and apply it directly to the affected area. Leave it on for a few hours or overnight before rinsing it off.


Known for its antibacterial and healing properties, honey can also be used to treat a pending pimple. Apply a small amount of raw, organic honey to the affected area and let it sit for around 15 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. Honey helps reduce inflammation and redness while keeping the skin moisturized.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera, with its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, is another fantastic natural remedy for early-stage pimples. Extract the gel from an aloe vera leaf and apply it directly to the pimple. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes before washing it off. Aloe vera not only helps reduce inflammation but also promotes healing and prevents scarring.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for various skin issues, including acne. Its acidic properties help balance the pH of the skin, making it less favorable for pimple-causing bacteria to thrive. Dilute apple cider vinegar with water in a 1:3 ratio and apply it to the affected area using a cotton pad. Leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing it off.

Over-the-Counter Solutions for a Pimple That Hasn’t Formed Yet

If natural remedies don’t provide the desired results, over-the-counter solutions can be an effective alternative. These products are specifically formulated to target pimples and their underlying causes. Here are a few common over-the-counter ingredients to look for:

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Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is a widely used ingredient in acne treatments due to its antimicrobial and exfoliating properties. It works by killing bacteria on the skin’s surface and unclogging pores, preventing the formation of pimples. Look for products with a benzoyl peroxide concentration of 2.5% to 10% and follow the instructions carefully.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is another popular ingredient known for its ability to penetrate the pores and remove excess oil and dead skin cells. By doing so, it helps prevent clogged pores and reduces inflammation. Look for over-the-counter products with salicylic acid as the active ingredient and apply according to the instructions provided.


With its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, sulfur is an effective ingredient for treating early-stage pimples. It works by reducing oil production and drying out the pimple. Look for sulfur-based products, such as creams or spot treatments, and apply them directly to the affected area.


Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is a versatile ingredient that offers numerous benefits for the skin. It helps regulate oil production, reduces inflammation, and promotes healthy skin barrier function. Look for products with niacinamide and apply as directed for best results.

Prescription Treatments for a Pimple That Hasn’t Formed Yet

For stubborn or severe pimples that don’t respond to over-the-counter treatments, prescription medications can provide a more potent solution. These medications are typically prescribed by dermatologists and should be used under professional guidance. The two most common prescription treatments for pending pimples are retinoids and topical antibiotics.


Retinoids, derived from vitamin A, are a powerful class of drugs used to treat various skin conditions, including acne. They work by unclogging pores, reducing inflammation, and promoting cell turnover. Retinoids are available in different forms, such as creams, gels, and oral medication, and should only be used under medical supervision due to potential side effects.

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Topical Antibiotics

Topical antibiotics are prescribed to treat bacterial infections on the skin’s surface, including acne. They work by killing bacteria and reducing inflammation. Commonly prescribed topical antibiotics for early-stage pimples include clindamycin, erythromycin, and metronidazole. It’s important to follow your dermatologist’s instructions for application and duration of usage.

Precautions and Tips for Treating a Pimple That Hasn’t Formed Yet

While treating a pimple that hasn’t formed yet, it’s important to keep in mind a few precautions and tips to ensure the best possible outcome and minimize the risk of complications.

Avoid Picking or Squeezing

Resist the temptation to pick or squeeze at the pimple, as this can introduce more bacteria to the area and increase inflammation. Picking or squeezing can also potentially lead to scarring or hyperpigmentation.

Keep the Area Clean

Maintaining good hygiene is crucial when dealing with pending pimples. Cleanse your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser to remove any excess oil, dirt, and impurities. Avoid using harsh or abrasive products that can irritate the skin further.

Don’t Overdo It

While it may be tempting to apply multiple treatments and remedies simultaneously, it’s important not to overdo it. Using too many products can irritate the skin and potentially worsen the condition. Stick to one or two treatments at a time and give them an ample amount of time to work before trying something new.

Seek Professional Advice

If your pimple persists, worsens, or doesn’t respond to over-the-counter treatments, it’s best to seek professional advice from a dermatologist. They can evaluate your specific situation, recommend appropriate treatments, and provide guidance on how to effectively manage your skin condition.

In conclusion, treating a pimple before it fully forms is important to prevent it from progressing into a more severe and painful stage. Natural remedies, like tea tree oil, honey, aloe vera, and apple cider vinegar, can be effective in early-stage pimple treatment. Over-the-counter solutions with ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, sulfur, and niacinamide are readily available and can help manage pending pimples. In cases where over-the-counter options are insufficient, prescription treatments such as retinoids and topical antibiotics can be prescribed by a dermatologist. Remember to take precautions, avoid picking or squeezing, keep the area clean, and seek professional advice if needed. By being proactive and treating a pimple at its early stage, you can minimize its impact on your skin and maintain a clearer, healthier complexion.