The Big Zit: How to Handle a Pre-Wedding Breakout

Last minute pimple pop-up? We gotchu, girlList item

Updated 04/18/17

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There's never a good time to see a big red zit popping up on your face, but just a few days before your wedding, a major breakout can seem like a total disaster. And, since stress can cause acne breakouts to occur, and wedding planning can be stressful, well, that ultimate disaster scenario isn't all that uncommon.

So we asked a couple of dermatologists to get an expert's advice on how to handle a dreaded last minute pimple pop-up.

10 Days Before the Wedding:

If you get a zit 10 days before the big day, you have some options, but Dr. Joel Schlessinger, a board-certified dermatologist and RealSelf contributor, says, "First of all, it's incredibly important to establish a hands-off policy. You might think you're doing your skin a favor by popping a pimple, but you can force bacteria deeper into your skin and actually prolong the healing process from a few days to a few weeks." He also recommends making sure you wash off your makeup each night, and to start using a product from his own line of skincare, LovelySkin LUXE Acne Care Gel to help exfoliate the skin and remove acne-causing bacteria. (Acne care gel, $30, LovelySkin LUXE)

Dr. Michele Green, also a board-certified dermatologist and RealSelf contributor, agrees you should consult an expert: "If you get a breakout ten days before your wedding, you should go see a board-certified dermatologist. You can be prescribed oral antibiotics and topical cream to help reduce the breakout."

5 Days Before the Wedding:

"Microdermabrasion is a great procedure to get five days before your wedding," says Green. "It exfoliates and removes the superficial layer of dry, dead skin cells (that can clog your pores) and entails no discomfort, downtime, or recovery." Schlessinger says it's risky to add new products into your skincare routine just five days before the wedding, since there isn't enough time to adjust or recover if your skin reacts badly to anything, and rather focus on things you can change easily. "Replace your favorite makeup products for brand new compacts, since makeup can often become contaminated, leading to breakouts. Also, cut out dairy products, since the hormones found in dairy products are known to make acne worse." And believe it or not, he says the same goes for protein supplements!

2 Days Before the Wedding:

Once again, go see your derm! "A cortisone shot helps reduce inflammation and flattens out those big blemishes, sometimes within a matter of hours," says Green. If that isn't an option for some reason, simply spot-treat and remember to keep your hands off.

The Night Before the Wedding:

"Spot treat, and then the day of, conceal the blemish with makeup," says Schlessinger. "Don't forget, your photographer can edit out any imperfections." Plus, your makeup artist knows all the tricks for hiding any blemishes, too!

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