Icing the skin, using sulfur-based creams or masks, using tea tree oil and getting a corticosteroid injection from a dermatologist can help reduce the swelling associated with acne, according to WebMD. Spot treatments can also help decrease the inflammation, states About.com.
Acne occurs when hair follicles become plugged with dead skin, oil and bacteria, resulting in red, swollen skin lesions, according to Mayo Clinic. It usually occurs in areas of the body with high oil production such as the face, neck, chest, back and shoulders.
Icing acne decreases blood flow, reducing the inflammation and dulling pain, explains WebMD. To avoid further skin damage, never apply ice directly to the skin, notes About.com. Instead, wrap an ice cube with a thin cloth before applying. Ice for 20 to 30 seconds at a time, throughout the day.
Sulfur-based creams or masks decrease inflammation and can reduce the size of pimples, notes WebMD. In addition, spot treatments containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid can help when applied directly to blemishes. Tea tree oil is another effective over-the-counter remedy. It helps control the bacteria that leads to infection.
For large, deep and painful cysts, a dermatologist can inject a steroid directly into the blemish for rapid relief of inflammation and improved appearance, states Mayo Clinic.