There is a right way to pop a pimple; take it from me, I do this professionally. If done improperly, you could turn a minor blemish into a full-blown pimple crisis. If done correctly, you could eliminate that spot in 72 hours. Here are 10 tips to properly pop a pimple.
As a dermatologist, I am obligated to tell you: “Do not attempt to pop your pimples.” But I know you are going to do it anyway, so here’s how to do it properly:
- Pick only pimples that are ready to be popped. The white blood cells will have collected and be walled off in the follicle, forming a visible white head on the surface. If it does not have a white head, then squeezing, mashing, poking, or prodding will only make it worse.
- Wash your face and hands with warm water and soap and pat dry.
- Get a needle. Carefully pass the tip of the needle through a flame from a lighter or a match. Use the tip of the flame, this is the hottest part.
- Wait a few seconds until the tip of the needle cools (never touch a glowing hot needle in case you were unsure). Using a cotton ball or even paper towel soaked with rubbing alcohol, wipe the tip of the needle clean.
- Gently wipe the pimple and surrounding area with another alcohol wipe or alcohol-soaked cotton ball.
- With the needle nearly parallel to your skin, impale the head of the pimple. If possible, stay parallel with the skin and gently push the needle thorough the other side of the pimple then pull up, opening the top of the pimple.
- If no pus comes out, then the pimple was not ready (see #1). Gently blot and wait 12 to 24 hours to try again.
- Using even pressure push down, perpendicular to your skin, around the pimple. Do not squeeze the pimple between your thumb and fingers. Squeezing can cause the pustule to rupture backwards, deeper into your skin, creating further inflammation and turning a little pimple into a big, red nodule.
- Gently wipe the area with a clean alcohol wipe or alcohol-soaked cotton ball. You can now apply some witch hazel if you have some, or just hold light pressure for a minute or so.
- Apply an acne spot treatment to the area such as Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel or Neutrogena Skin Clearing Oil free Concealer. This will also create a barrier between the pimple and your makeup if you wear it.
If your pimple persists, consider visiting your dermatologist. He or she can sometimes inject it with steroid to help it resolve faster.
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Photo credit: Zach Slootsky Flickr.com