It is easy to become tempted to pop a pimple when you or your child encounter one. But did you know that squeezing or popping a pimple can cause scarring, skin discoloration, and even infection? Despite the temptation, it’s best to resist the urge to pop pimples to ensure healthy skin. Here, we explain why you should avoid popping pustules and cysts and how to do it safely and healthily.
What is Pimple Popping?
Pimple-popping is an urge to pop a pimple or cyst on the skin to get rid of it quickly. Though it may sound like a quick fix, popping a pimple can make a skin condition worse.
Why You Should Avoid Popping Pimples
When the skin is opened, the affected area can become infected. Squeezing or popping a pimple can spread the bacteria that caused the pimple in the first place—it can also push the material inside the pimple further into the skin. This can worsen the swelling and cause further infection and scarring.
Additionally, when you pop a pimple, it can cause bleeding, which can result in a longer time for the pimple to heal. This can cause skin discoloration, which can take months to resolve.
How to Pop a Pimple Safely and Healthily
If a pimple requires popping, it is best to first use a warm, damp cloth. Applying a warm, wet compress to the pimple for 15-20 minutes can soften the skin and open up the pores, allowing the material to come out more easily.
It is important to use clean hands and clean tools, such as tweezers. Sanitize the tools and hands before and after touching the pimple. After the compress, gently but firmly press down, then raise the skin above the pimple to let the material come out. Once the contents of the pimple have been released, apply a light layer of an antibiotic ointment or cream.
Do not attempt to squeeze out the material as this can cause infection and further irritation.
When to Seek Professional Help
For cystic and painful pimples, it is best to seek medical attention for proper treatment. A health care provider can prescribe medications to get rid of the pimple, as well as antiseptic creams to prevent infection.
Popping pimples can be tempting, but it can cause further inflammation, discoloration, and scarring. If a pimple is persistent, is painful or contains pus, it is best to seek medical attention. For general pimples, using a warm compress is the best way to pop a pimple safely and healthily.