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Will Toothpaste Make a Pimple Go Away?

Put toothpaste on a pimple? You may have heard this suggestion, but experts on acne say don't do it.

If you try it, that spot on your skin could get even more red, irritated, and noticeable. Why? Today, there are so many different kinds of toothpastes — and many contain ingredients that can hurt your skin. It makes sense that you don't want all those whitening, tartar-reducing ingredients on your face!

It's better to use medicine designed to treat pimples. Try acne creams or gels that contain 1% salicylic acid, or 2.5% benzoyl peroxide.

Check with your mom or dad first if you're trying these creams for the first time. They can help you buy the right one and use it correctly. Your doctor also can help you deal with pimples and can recommend other medicines, if needed.

Reviewed by: Patrice Hyde, MD
Date reviewed: January 2014