Don’t poke, pop or play around with your pimples. That’s the advice you always get from magazine articles, your aesthetician and dermatologists and they’re right, but we all know sometimes you just can’t resist. The reason it’s best to just leave it alone is because you can scar your skin if not done properly. And something that started as temporary becomes permanent. If you insist on poking and popping here is how you do it.
First you will need these medical Q-tips. Regular Q-tips won’t work. They are made to be more gentle and will not provide the pressure needed to properly extract. The reason you are advised to leave your breakouts alone is because if you attempt to pop or poke you can end up doing more damage by spreading the bacteria under the skin and also scarring. I’m sure you’ve made failed attempts at popping your pimple(s) and then waking up the next day with two more in it’s place. That happens because if you don’t extract correctly you spread the bacteria under the skin and create more breakouts. This is why you are better off just leaving it alone and treating it topically.
Once you have the proper Q-tips, take two and be sure to put them on either side of the pimple and push down and up. Make sure you are pressing down around the pimple first and then up. If you make the mistake of just popping you will spread the bacteria below the surface of your skin and cause yourself more aggravation. Also your pressure is important, you don’t want to press so hard you’re breaking capillaries. If the pimple itself is not a pustule, meaning it doesn’t have a whitehead, then leave it alone. Extracting, or popping, is tempting but it won’t do anything but make it worse. When it doesn’t have a whitehead and it’s under the skin the only way to treat it is topically. You have to allow your body the time to heal it from the inside out.
**Warning-gross description ahead** Popping pimples isn’t the most pleasant of topics, but something everyone does unless you are blessed with perfect skin in your DNA. When you do pop a pimple and it is a whitehead then you only want to apply enough pressure to extract the pus inside. That pus is actually a mixture of oil, dead skin cells, bacteria and white blood cells. You don’t want to apply so much pressure to the point that you’re bleeding, just enough to extract the pus inside.
A very important thing is to make sure that you clean the area properly afterward so as not to spread the bacteria to other pores on your face. I use a toner after I do an extraction to clean the area. It’s also very important to not use the same set of Q-tips to extract any other pimples on your skin, that will also spread bacteria. Use a new set for each pimple.
A healing cream is most beneficial if you feel that there could be potential for scarring. I’ll do a separate post on acne/pimple treatment products since there are so many.