I've been going through a major breakout lately. I'm not sure why, maybe it's the heat or stress. So while I'm a big believer in trying to prevent breakouts before they start, I also want those existing mountainous zits to go away as quickly as possible.
Over the years I've tried tons of different blemish spot treatments. Some worked fairly well. Others, not so much. What I found interesting, though, was that those products my friends swore by didn't always work for me, and vice versa. The key to spot treatment, as with other acne treatments, is finding the products that work for you.
I also had to lower my expectations a bit. Yes, spot treatments can and do help pimples heal more quickly. But I never did find one that made a blemish disappear after only one application, despite what the advertisements might have said. Expect to notice a reduction in size and a lessening of redness after several applications instead.
Following the usage directions is important too. Daubing on spot treatments a zillion times a day isn't going to make that zit vanish instantly, but it will give you red, peeling skin. A once or twice daily application is usually sufficient. More than that can cause irritation.