How To Get Rid Of Hard Pimples – Home Remedies & Treatments

It's time to say goodbye to these menaces with simple and effective solutions.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Sravya Tipirneni, MBBS, MD DVL
Written by Monomita Chakraborty, MA (Journalism & Mass Communication), Certified Skin Care Coach
Edited by Eshna Das, BA, MSc
Fact-checked by Swathi E, MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach  • 

Almost everyone experiences painful pimples at some point in their lives. Various types of pimples can impact your skin, and you should be aware of them so that you can receive the proper treatment. Hard pimples are formed when dead skin cells, oil, and germs enter the skin’s surface. They require more care and attention as they are more painful and noticeable.

In this article, you will learn about the causes, treatments, and prevention tips for hard pimples. Keep scrolling!

What Are Hard Pimples?

Hard pimples are formed when dead skin cells, oil, and germs enter the skin’s surface and pores. The skin may get inflamed and infected as a result of this. Hard pimples emerge as raised bumps on the skin’s surface or beneath it. They can appear on the face, back, or body. Hard pimples can be quite large, painful, and filled with pus.

Eliza, a blogger, shared her journey and the lessons learned from dealing her with acne’s relentless presence. She shares, “The cold hard facts were that genetics had chosen my skin for its personal punching bag. Modern life also brings with it a whole bunch of toxins and has ultimately messed up the microbiomes in our bodies (i).”

It is extremely important to understand what is causing the breakout to treat it effectively. The most common causes of hard pimples are listed in the next section!

What Causes The Formation Of A Hard Pimple?

Many factors influence the development and growth of a hard pimple, like:

  • Excessive production of sebum (oil)
  • Genetics
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Changes in hormone levels
  • Side effect of certain medications
  • Stress
  • Makeup products
  • Oily skin care products
  • High humidity
  • Popping, picking, or rubbing your acne
protip_icon Did You Know?
According to a study in 2020, people with a family history of bad acne, and people who have higher body weight are at higher risk of getting acne (1)

A few small mistakes can lead to the formation of hard pimples. Read on to learn about the treatment options available for hard pimples.

How To Treat Hard Pimples

You can treat hard pimples with home remedies or with the help of medical treatments.

1. Home Remedies

Note: Conduct a patch test before using any of these home care remedies on your face.

1. Olive Oil

Many people recommend using olive oil to cleanse the skin. It is believed that the olive oil combines with the excess oil on your skin and removes it from the pores. It is also claimed to minimize pore-clogging and breakouts.

Olive oil has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help in fighting oxidative damage and reducing the inflammation caused by hard pimples (2). Apart from that, there is not much scientific proof that it improves skin health or prevents acne.

What You Need

  • 8-10 drops of olive oil
  • Washcloth
  • Warm water


  1. Pour some oil onto your palm and apply it all over your entire face.
  2. Massage the oil into your skin for a few minutes.
  3. Let the oil get absorbed into your skin.
  4. Soak a washcloth in warm water.
  5. Place the washcloth on your face for 15 seconds.
  6. Wipe the oil off your face slowly with the washcloth.

2. Tea Tree Oil

The antimicrobial properties of tea tree oil fight against acne-causing bacteria (3). It can be applied directly on hard pimples or diluted with a non-comedogenic oil like mineral oil, argan oil, or olive oil before application.

What You Need

  • 8-10 drops of tea tree oil
  • Cotton ball


  1. Wash your face with warm water and a gentle cleanser. Pat it dry.
  2. Pour a few drops of tea tree oil on the cotton ball and dab it on your skin.
  3. Rinse it off thoroughly after 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Green Tea

Green tea offers many anti-acne benefits.  Studies have shown that it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may help fight acne (4).

What You Need

  • 1 green tea bag
  • Warm water
  • Cotton ball


  1. Soak a green tea bag in warm water.
  2. Place the tea bag on the hard pimple. This will help in minimizing inflammation.
  3. Leave it on for a couple of minutes.

You can also apply brewed green tea on a hard pimple with the help of a cotton ball.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar may soothe acne inflammation. Its antimicrobial properties are also effective against Staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria that causes acne (5).

What You Need

  • 8-10 drops of apple cider vinegar
  • Cotton ball


  1. Pour a few drops of apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball.
  2. Apply it directly to the hard pimple.
  3. Let it dry.
  4. Wash it off after 20-30 minutes.

You can also mix half a cup of water and half a cup of apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on the hard pimples twice a day after washing your face.

5. Baking Soda

Baking soda is often touted as a natural remedy for pimples and acne, and its efficacy as a facial cleanser and oil controller. Despite widespread belief, there is no scientific research supporting its effectiveness, and the FDA hasn’t approved it for acne treatment. Advocates claim results may vary based on individual skin types.

What You Need

  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 1-2 tablespoons of water


  1. Mix the baking soda with water to create a paste.
  2. Gently apply paste to affected areas, avoiding eyes and mouth.
  3. Massage in circular motions for 15-30 seconds, then rinse with cold water.
  4. Apply a non-comedogenic moisturizer to prevent dryness.
  5. Do this twice a week.

II. Other Treatments

1. Retinoids

Topical retinoids fight comedones and micro-comedones to help in acne management. They also fight the inflammation caused by acne (6).

Retinoid cream is recommended for normal acne. But, for hard pimples, you must consult a dermatologist for a prescription.  The most popular option is isotretinoin, an oral retinoid  (6).

Unfortunately, retinoids make your skin photosensitive and more susceptible to the sun’s UV rays. Therefore, using sunscreen throughout the day is essential. Otherwise, you risk hyperpigmentation and possibly skin cancer.

When you first start using topical retinoids, they may dry out your skin.  Therefore, you may need to begin by applying the gel or cream every other day and work your way up to the recommended dosage.

2. Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills are a common medicinal treatment for acne. Pills that have both estrogen and progesterone are usually recommended (7).

However, this is only a temporary solution. Unless you are actively treating your symptoms with proper diet, supplements, and exercise, it is likely that when you stop taking these pills, the hard pimples will return.

3. Over-The-Counter Medication

Over-the-counter products containing ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and sulfur penetrate your skin and fight the acne-causing bacteria from within. They also dissolve the dead skin cells that are clogging your pores. They may also help to reduce skin irritation and swelling (8). These products include creams, serums, ointments, and cleansers.

Certain chemical irritants in these medications, on the other hand, may induce skin dryness.

    1. Laser Therapy

Photopneumatic therapy is a laser treatment that can be used to treat acne. A laser is used in conjunction with a mild vacuum in this treatment. The suction helps remove dirt and oils from the skin, while the laser’s heat penetrates deep into the skin, promoting the growth of new, healthy skin cells. Laser treatment can also be utilized to minimize scarring from prior acne flare-ups (9).

Hard pimples can be bothersome and painful. Wondering how long these stubborn pimples last? Keep scrolling to find out!

How Long Do Hard Pimples Last?

Hard pimples form deep beneath the skin and can last for weeks and sometimes months at a time. Make an appointment with a dermatologist right away because, without timely intervention, they might result in chronic scarring.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You may apply a topical silicone gel with vitamin C to your skin to reduce the appearance of pimple scars (10).

Want to know how you can prevent future breakouts? Continue reading!

Tips For Preventing Hard Pimples

  • Wash your face twice a day.
  • Don’t pop, poke, or rub your acne. It can aggravate the situation and cause scars.
  • Maintain a healthy diet.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Avoid touching your face and other acne-prone areas.
  • Wash your sheets and pillowcases regularly.
  • Make sure to remove all of your makeup with appropriate cleansers before going to bed.
  • To dry out excess oil, use OTC products containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Keep your skin moisturized.
  • Limit sun exposure.
  • Avoid harsh scrubbing.

In the next section, we have answered one of the common queries regarding hard pimples on the skin. Keep reading.

What Is The Hard Thing That Comes Out When You Pop A Pimple?

Dried dead skin cells and dead white blood cells are the hard substance that comes out when you pop a pimple. It becomes harder as it dries up.

Are you struggling with hard pimples? Want to know when you should consult a dermatologist? Read the next section to find out.

When Should You See A Dermatologist?

Consult a dermatologist right away if the hard pimples are painful. Hard pimples can spread quickly and cause severe damage to the skin if left untreated, resulting in patches and scarring.

Hard pimples are the most difficult type of acne to treat. See a dermatologist if you have any pain or irritation in the acne-prone areas of your face and body.   Being proactive can keep your skin clear and blemish-free and save you from a host of unpleasant symptoms.


Hard pimples are an extreme kind of acne. Cysts and nodules can have a variety of effects on your life. The condition can be unpleasant and uncomfortable and can also impair your self-esteem. Many people who deal with persistent acne have low self-esteem and despair. To avoid scarring, you must treat pimples properly. Various factors can cause the growth of hard pimples, including hormonal fluctuations, heredity, and a bad diet. See a dermatologist to treat the underlying reasons for your hard pimples and utilize the home remedies recommended in this article to ease the lesions.

Key Takeaways

  • Excessive production of sebum, genetics, unhealthy diet, changes in hormone levels, side effects of certain medications, stress, and makeup products are some of the causes behind the formation of hard pimples.
  • Olive oil, tea tree oil, green tea, and apple cider vinegar are home remedies for hard pimples. However, it is important to conduct a patch test before opting for these remedies.
  • Keeping your face clean by washing it twice a day and staying hydrated to avoid hard pimples is essential.

Struggling with stubborn, hard pimples? Then watch this video to learn about effective strategies to banish them. From skin care routines to spot treatments and lifestyle changes, explore expert tips to tackle these pimples.

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Systematic review of the epidemiology of acne vulgaris
  2. Oleuropein in Olive and its Pharmacological Effects
  3. Antimicrobial and Improvement Effects of Tea Tree and Lavender Oils on Acne Lesions
  4. The effects of green tea on acne vulgaris: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials
  5. Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression
  6. Topical retinoids in acne–an evidence-based overview
  7. Use of oral contraceptives for management of acne vulgaris and hirsutism in women of reproductive and late reproductive age
  8. Over-the-counter Acne Treatments
  9. Photopneumatic Technology in Acne Treatment and Skin Rejuvenation: Histological Assessment
  10. The Roles Of Vitamin C In Skin Health
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