Does Putting Toothpaste on a Pimple Make It Go Away?

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.

Reviewed by: Patrice Hyde, MD
Date reviewed: June 2010

Have a question? Ask the experts.

Although we can't reply personally, you may see your question posted to this page in the future. If you're looking for medical advice, a diagnosis, or treatment, consult your doctor or other qualified medical professional. If this is an emergency, contact emergency services in your area.

Kids Health

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.