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People often say that they don't know if it’s ok to pop a pimple or they feel guilt when they admit to popping them!
There are many reasons to consider popping a pimple. The most important thing to keep in mind is that it needs to be done the right way to minimize the chances of scarring. Remember that studies have shown that acne can scar with or without manually popping pimples. Scarring is based more on how deep the inflammation associated with acne is- the deeper the inflammation and the longer it lasts leads to the higher chance of scarring.
To pop your own pimples get a sense of whether or not it’s actually ready to go. Is it close to the surface? Do you see the opening of the pore it started in? If it’s not ready yet, use an acne spot treatment to encourage it to come to the surface for a few nights. Once it’s ready, take two Q tips or cotton tips and place each on opposite sides of the pimple. Then gently apply pressure toward the center. Reposition them at different angles to help the process. By using Q tips and not your hands or a device, then you are less likely to traumatize your skin in the process of extracting your acne. If your acne is close and hurts and really isn’t coming out, if you can see your dermatologist and have the spot poked or incised or injected it helps.
Most people pop a pimple and then smother it with acne cream afterward. I understand why. However, the problem is that most acne creams work by drying or exfoliating the skin. This is great before you pop a pimple to get it ready to pop. After you pop it- it’s technically no longer a pimple. It’s now a wound that needs to heal. The same way you wouldn’t smother acne cream on your knee after you scrape is the same reason you shouldn’t put it on your wound after popping a pimple! It will inflame the skin, prevent it from healing, keep it oozy and crusty, and just be a mess! After popping a pimple, gently cleanse with soap and water, blot dry, and either apply Vaseline or an antibiotic ointment to help the skin heal and prevent scarring. By keeping it moist and healing it heal the chances of discoloration and potential pitted scars are reduced.