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Pimple popping can be tempting but this is considered a bad idea by most dermatologists who feel it should be avoided at all cost. Listening to this warning is very simple but once a nasty whitehead comes along is another story. You should note that picking a pimple can spread the infection and worsen your acne or cause a permanent scar on your face. If you can’t live with a pimple on your face, there are other hygienic and safe methods you should use. But first, you should learn what causes blemishes.

What Causes Pimples

The problem begins in the hair follicles which contain the oil-secreting sebaceous glands. These glands are common on the face and scalp as opposed to other parts no wonder these areas are more prone to pimples. They secrete oils used to lubricate the hair, however, when the hair or skin dies, the pores are blocked.

As a result of excess oil in the pores, the skin under is forced to expand forming a water balloon-like shape which appears red, puffy and infected. Popping that pimple increases the risk of forcing debris of bacteria and dead skin deeper straight to the follicle. Consequently, the follicle wall might rupture and spill infected material into the dermis, the innermost layer of the skin.

Popping out a lot of that nasty fluid doesn’t help since the dermis from below are already affected due to the pressure you exerted.

Why Popping Pimples is That Bad for You

Popping pimples can be the worst thing to do or a good thing because it depends on how you do it. Here is why you should stop popping those pimples.

Not All Pimples Are the Same

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), pimples can be grouped into a number of categories: whiteheads and blackheads, nodules and cysts, and papules and pustules. What they have in common is the fact that they start when your pores become clogged. Apart from that, they have key differences. A whitehead or blackhead occurs when oil, dead skin cells and bacteria block one of your pores. The pores at this point become opened, therefore, exposing bacteria and oil to the air causing the area around it to darken hence the term blackhead. After a while, the area might close up and turn white and you can guess what happens next.

At the time the area around that skin gets irritated and your blackhead or whitehead turns to a papule, a hard, red bump that looks like a classic pimple. A bacterial infection causes the papule to form pus as a way of your immune system’s attempt to fight infection and as a result, you’ll get a pustule. Pustules are quite big compared to Whiteheads and they have a white or yellow head. Lastly, we have cysts and nodules which form due to a blockage or an irritated pore. They tend to be bigger and deep into your skin causing pain. Cysts are hard while nodules are soft but both are hard to treat.

The Way You Pop the Pimple Matters

Popping a pimple with dirty tools like uncleansed tweezers or unwashed hands forms a perfect environment for bacteria to multiply and increases your risk of scarring and infection. For a blackhead or a firm whitehead, you should consider using a comedone extractor, a handled device with a hollow circle at the end specifically designed to help extract pus from these kinds of pimples. But don’t use this device if your pimple isn’t ready and also remember not to use much pressure on your skin.

When using a comedone, first clean your skin then apply a hot cloth around the area to make the skin soft for easier extraction. In case of a pustule, you can use bare hands provided they are clean and you don’t use your nails. Even better, after cleaning your hands, you should press the skin around the pustule with a tissue so that your hands don’t come into contact with the pus.

Whichever way you choose to empty your pimple, the last you should do is apply a small amount of antibiotic cream on the area to prevent infection.

Don’t Pop Your Pimple If You’re in Doubt

Sometimes you might be nervous to tackle that zit on your own. At this point, you should seek assistance from your dermatologists who will pop it for you and give some antibiotics if you have infections. The doctor will also help you determine why the pimples are forming in the first place and how to deal with them. For cyst or nodule, the doctor might decide to inject you with a steroid like cortisone, which helps relieve the pain and causes the pimple to deflate. Cortisone effectively helps shrink giant acne. While it’s not recommended to pop a pimple on your own, some like papules are easier to deal with. However, if you notice that these pimples are becoming a regular thing, then you need to see your doctor.

All images by Pixabay

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