Pimple popping: Imagine you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror and suddenly your attention goes to a recently emerged pimple in your face.
What would you like to do in such a situation? Will you squeeze it? Well, you’ll really want to squeeze it.
In fact, you are not alone. Pimples affect almost all young adults. It affects people on their face, neck, chest, shoulders and hands, regardless of their caste and gender.
Pimples are one of symptoms of a skin condition called acne which affects the skin’s hair follicles and oil glands. Every year in the USA alone, about 50 million people experience the acne. And, around 85 percent of people between the ages of 12 and 24 experience the mild acne symptoms such as pimples.
Certainly, most of us have to experience pimples at one time or another in our lives. And this time is really very difficult and frightening for everyone.
So what should we do in such a time? Can this problem be overcome by pimple popping? Well, before knowing the answers to all these questions, we have to know the science and reason behind the formation of pimples.
So without further ado, let’s get started…
Formation of Pimples:
When the opening of hair follicles becomes clogged for some reason, acne occurs and pimples form as a sign.
There are tiny microscopic exocrine glands (sebaceous glands) present in different zones of a human body. These sebaceous glands produce sebum (oil) to maintain skin PH level and to keep skin moisturized naturally. In some cases, due to some external and/or internal factors, the glands begin to produce excess sebum, causing hair foliciles to become clogged, and it develops into pimples.
Sometimes, pimples are developed due to fluctuations in hormones. Hormone fluctuations usually occur during puberty, causing hormonal acne in the forehead, nose, and chin. It is particularly common in women. Several factors can contribute to this, including menstruation and menopause.
Not all type of pimples are same. It’s possible to have multiple types of pimples at once. So, identifying the type of pimples is always the first and best method of its treatment.
Whitehead is a type of acne in which the pores are completely closed. Due to which the accumulation of excessive sebum, bacteria and dead skin cells combination, small white bumps are protruded from the skin.
Blackhead is a type of acne in which the pores are not completely closed. Due to the pores being partially blocked, some amount of the combination of sebum, and bacteria leak into the skin surface. This results in the characteristic black color seen on the surface.
Palules are inflamed, red or pink bumps on the skin with no head. This type of pimple is hard and sensitive to touch.
Pustule is a inflamed type of acne whose base is red/pink and has pus at the top. This type of pimple is also hard and sensitive to touch.
Nodules are large, and inflamed bumps under the skin’s surface. Nodules are so deep within the skin that you usually cannot treat them at home.
Cysts are painful, large, and pus-filled lesions that often look similar to nodules but are further below the surface than nodules.
Should You Pop a Pimple?
When you see a pimple in your skin, your mind is automatically tempted to pop it. No matter how much you want, pimple popping is never a best solution. When you pop a pimple, you are actually interfering with your skin’s natural healing system. There is a high risk of skin scarring and infection during popping a pimple.
The safest way to get rid of pimple is to wait for it to heal by itself. Pimples hold acne bacteria and if you try to pop a pimple, the bacteria can spread to other pores and hair follicles causing a major acne outbreak.
Even after knowing all this, most people are unable to resist the temptation to pop a pimple. If you are also one of those people or currently pimple popping is the only remedy for you, then follow the following guidelines which will be safe for your skin.
How to Do Pimple Popping?
If you are in a hurry, as long as you follow all the parameters to avoid infection pimple popping might be the instant solution. It is okay to pop the pimple once in a need but you should not get used to it. Knowing when and how to pop a pimple is very important. Because if you do not do it properly you may get infections and scars.
With that, here are the steps to do pimple popping safely:
- Step #1: Analyze Pimple Carefully
- Step #2: Wash Your Hands
- Step #3: Clean the SKin
- Step #4: Pop the Pimple
Step #1: Analyze Pimple Carefully
If you want to pop a pimple, then it is most important to first analyze it. Keep in mind, not all types of pimples are meant to pop. You can only pop whiteheads pimples. There is a risk of scarring, infection, bleeding, and pain in popping other types of pimples.
Do not pop pimples that appear just in the past day or two. Wait until a white head appears in your pimple.
Don’t ever try to pop pimples that are large, red and deep within skin. Popping these type of pimples can make the condition worse and can lead to a lifetime scar.
Step #2: Wash Your Hands
If you want no irritation and/or infection during and after popping pimple. Just keep these three simple words in mind: Wash your hands!
Pimple popping can introduce new bacteria to already damaged tissues and possibly lead to infection. Therefore, it is very important to wash hands thoroughly, especially underneath the nails. The best way to wash hands is as follows:
- First, wet your hands with water. Then apply soap.
- Rub them carefully between fingers and fingernails for atleast 20 seconds.
- Rinse your hands thoroughly and dry with a clean paper towel.
Step #3: Clean the Skin
When you pop a pimple, you actually makes a tiny path for bacteria to enter. The pimple will heal faster if you prevent bacteria from entering and causing infection. Therefore, it is necessary to clean the skin surrounding the pimple.
You can use an antibacterial cleanser to clean the skin, or with the help of cotton, you can slowly rub alcohol into the skin surrounding the pimple. Be careful not to use too much force while cleaning. After cleansing, wash the skin thoroughly with warm water and dry it with the help of a towel.
Step #3: Pop the Pimple
Before starting the pimple popping process, put on disposable gloves or wrap your fingers with a clean tissue paper. By doing this you can prevent bacteria present in your fingers (or fingernails) from coming into contact with the pimple. Also, you can also save the pimple from further damage by sharp nails.
With that, here are the steps to pop a pimple safely:
- Sterilize a straight pin with a lighter. Let the pin cool, then wipe it down with rubbing alcohol.
- Hold the pin and arrange it parallel to the surface of the skin. And, gently pierce the tip of the white center of the pimple.
- Using your covered fingers, softly squeeze the pimple. Press around (not on) the white tip of the pimple. If the pus is not coming out of the pimple easliy then stop. The pimple is not yet ready to be popped.
- Clean the area with an antiseptic solution and apply a very small amount of bacitracin ointment.
Pimple Popping Alternatives
As we have already said, popping pimples is not the only way to cleanse the skin. Here are few other ways to take away pimples:
- OTC Medications: Over-the-counter medications that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can be used daily to clear pimples.
- Cold Compress: The ice can be used to reduce swelling and relieve pain for a pimple that has not yet completely infected.
- Warm Compress: When whitehead begins to form, warm compress can be used for speed healing of clogged pores and releasing the pus.
- Steam: Steam is a better way to open the skin’s pores and take out all the horrible things such as pus.
- Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil has its antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, making it a better contender for pimple treatment.
- Aloe Vera Gel: Aloe vera gel reduces irritation and redness by cooling down the pimple and the skin around it.
The Bottom Line
It’s tempting to pop a pimple, but it doesn’t necessarily get rid of the problem. If you will be patient and do not tamper with pimple, then pimple will disappear on its own.
If you are highly concerned about acne, talk to a dermatologist. When you pop the pimples by yourself, you also risk getting an infection. But dermatologists know how to safely remove pimples. Prescription medications, dietary changes, and skin care products recommended by dermatologists will help you overcome the problem of acne and get clearer skin.