Today I’m showing you how to make your own heat compress to heal cystic acne breakouts. Heat compresses are not often the first thing you think about when it comes to natural acne treatment but they are one of the most effective ways to reduce inflammation and speed up the healing of cysts and pimples.
In my previous post, I shared 6 tips to help heal an acne breakout quickly and one of my favourite ways to banish a breakout is by using a heat compress. Over the past 12 years I’ve tried countless topical creams, serums, gels and oils to try and treat a cystic acne breakout but nothing ever worked. I spent a fortune on products and never once found something that worked well enough to justify the high price tags.
A simple heat compress is the most effective way to treat spots – especially large cystic type spots which are often very deep and painful to touch. Using a heat compress helps to reduce inflammation and can speed up the healing process dramatically. If caught early enough, a cyst can be calmed and stopped in its tracks for it develops into something huge and painful that may hang around for weeks.
How can a heat compress heal cystic acne breakouts?
- Reduces inflammation
- Increases circulation
- Emulsifies sebum
For most people, one application of a heat compress isn’t going to clear a breakout overnight. But by regularly applying a heat compress to a cyst or pimple over the course of 2-3 days will help reduce inflammation and emulsify the gunk clogged deep in your pore so the cyst comes to a head faster. For the best results, I recommend applying a heat compress for 15 minutes 3 times a day – usually morning, early evening and before bed.
As heat compresses draw out the bacteria from deep within the pore, it’s very common to develop pustules as the spot heals and comes to a head. Although these are very tempting to squeeze, you must avoiding doing so as this will inevitably push some of the bacteria back down into the pore and will delay your healing time.
Read more about the different types of acne here
DIY heat compress to heal cystic acne breakouts
Reusable Hand Warmers
Reusable hand warmers are perfect for travelling as they can be activated as and when needed by ‘clicking’ the metal disk. They offer instant heat that can be applied to acne and cysts to reduce inflammation and draw the infection out. Depending on the brand, reusable heat packs can stay warm for up to 60 minutes making them a great option for those who want a fuss free heat compress for acne and cysts.
If you’re not confident with a sewing machine but don’t want to spend money on hand warmers, you can make a heat compress out of a clean sock. Simply fill 1/3 of the sock with dried rice and tie a knot in the end. Microwave for 10 seconds at a time until you can hold the compress on the back of your hand without it feeling too hot.
This method requires very little prep and is something you can probably start doing this evening as it’s likely you’ll have everything you need in your bathroom already. To make this simple heat compress, boil some water and let it cool a little. Soak some cotton wool (ball or pad) in the hot water and apply to cysts or pimples. As the cotton pad/ball cools, re-soak in the hot water and repeat. This method can be a little wet and messy but it will do the trick until you have the time to make something more long term and convenient.
Green Tea Bags
Using the same concept as the cotton wool method. Soaking green tea bags in hot water then applying the tea bag to your pimple is great for reduce inflammation. Plus, green tea contains polyphenols which will provide an extra portion of anti-inflammatory properties to your skin.
Top tip for using a heat compress:
To keep your heat compress clean and free from bacteria, I recommend wrapping your hand warmer/rice sock in a clean muslin cloth before holding it to your skin. This way the cloths can be washed regularly and you won’t risk spreading bacteria round your face. I buy my organic cotton cloths from Greenfibres.
Have you tried using a heat compress to heal cystic acne breakouts? Did it work for you?
Peace, Love & Clear Skin,