Friday, July 29, 2011

How To Pop A Pimple.

I'm going to begin this post by stating the obvious: don't pop pimples. You've heard it, I've heard it, that's the best advice they've got and still- that big date is coming up and you say- screw what's better for my skin, I want to look good. Understandable!

Let's first talk about why they recommend you leave it alone. The first reason given for why you shouldn't pop it is because it has the potential to cause scarring. This is more true of certain skin types than others. For example, darker tones and people with severe acne. My husband is pretty fair skinned and this is no motivation for him to stop- he says "I've never gotten a scar before, so that doesn't mean much to me." While some could argue that what he's saying is naive, it's also the mentality of most people who haven't experienced scarring. It's not much a concern!

So what else? Here's one thing that's guaranteed to happen: you're squeezing out a good amount of debris from the pimple, but what you don't realize is, you're not getting it all out. Ever. Think of it like a tube of toothpaste. If you squeeze from the middle, a lot comes out. But the stuff at the bottom doesn't. In fact, when you do this on your face, you are forcing much of the infection deeper down into your skin. This causes potential for worsening the pimple.. which is certainly not something you want. Even in the off chance that it doesn't worsen, it will take longer to completely heal up and go away- because you have caused your body a lot of trouble by interfering with its healing process.

See the illustration above to see what I mean: there is no way you can get in your skin deep enough to squeeze everything out from the bottom, where the hair follicle is. Most likely you will get a lot of the surface, forcing everything else deeper below.

So that's why you don't want to do it. Is that going to stop you? Maybe not. So if you must, you must. But take precautions and do it the right way.

The first step in popping a pimple properly is to make sure your hands and face are clean. Remember how you drive the infection deeper into your skin by forcing some out? The part of the pore that's open will get infested with whatever bacteria is left on your hands, fingernails, and face- one of the reasons a pimple can get worse after popping, or God forbid- spreading the infection causing more breakouts. Prevent this by being clean. Otherwise, don't touch your face!

Next, disinfect a needle or pin with rubbing alcohol. Gently prick the pimple's surface and cover your fingers with some tissue, and squeeze on the sides. (See pic below). If it is ready, the debris will come out easily, if it is not- do not force it. That is key in popping pimples the right way: only do it when it can be done without too much force. You have a much higher risk of damaging skin tissue by using too much force. This will most certainly take longer to heal up, and the main culprit in scarring.

Afterwards, treat the popped pimple with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, like Clearsil's Popped Pimple Relief Pen.

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