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Does Putting Toothpaste on a Pimple Make It Go Away?

Reviewed by: Patrice Hyde, MD

Does putting toothpaste on a pimple make it go away?
– Adrian*

You may have heard this suggestion, but experts on acne say don't try it.

Toothpaste could make that spot on your skin even more red, irritated, and noticeable. Why? Today, there are so many different kinds of toothpastes — and lots of them contain ingredients that can hurt your skin. It makes sense that you don't want all that whitening, tartar-reducing stuff 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. Your doctor also can help you deal with pimples and recommend other medicines, if needed.

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

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