For many people, pimples are a huge annoyance in life (especially once puberty hits). They often appear at the most inconvenient times (date night or job interview) and sometimes in the most inconspicuous places that can wreak the most havoc (back, shoulder, or buttocks). And worse, if you have oily or acne-prone skin, they tend to return more frequently than those who have combination or dry skin.
Popping a pimple is a joy for some and a pain for others. And I don’t mean the physical pain from popping the pimple but a pain because of what happens after popping one (significant redness or irritation). Often redness, irritation, or swelling occurs when the pimple is not popped correctly. But did you also know that improperly popping a pimple can leave permanent scarring on the face or anywhere you pop a pimple? Yes, and that makes having pimples all the more irritating.
While many dermatologists recommend not to pop pimples, waiting on the pimple to go away on its own takes a level of patience not many people have. Letting it naturally go away on its own is the best option because most people don’t know to extract the sebum (also known as oil or pus) at the onset of a pimple because it is immature. But even after knowing this, desperate times will call for desperate measures.
So, if you’re going to pop it anyway, here are three simple tips that are helpful in removing zits:
- Steam/Hot Compress
Because heat is known to open pores, steaming or applying a hot compress to the face or body helps naturally bring the sebum to the surface or opens the skin. Before attempting to pop the pimple, it is imperative that you thoroughly wash your hands. This removes any chance of infecting the area with the pimple. Once you pop it, you can apply the hot compress to the area for three to five minutes. This will help prevent any swelling of the area (especially if it was not easy to pop the pimple).
Sometimes the steam or heat before will pop the pimple by itself. If it does not, as soon as the skin softens, put a cotton swab around it and pinch the sides to remove the pus along with the blackhead inside it (if it has one). If the pimple still shows some resistance, leave it alone. Forcing it to pop will cause immediate irritation and potentially scar the skin.
- Spot Treatment
Many active product ingredients (like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid) may prove helpful in removing zits. Whether you consult a professional or use an over-the-counter product, spot treating a pimple can make it mature faster or dissolve by itself. There are also homeopathic remedies that help as well. These home remedies include tea tree oil, charcoal masks, baking soda, and toothpaste.
- Dermatologist Extraction
If you fear that the pimple looks a tad different color or shape than the regular ones you get, you should be concerned. The general indicators can include experiencing more pain and resistance while popping. Also, if the above methods don’t work and you still have no idea how to get rid of the pimple safely, then going to your dermatologist is the only option left. The extraction will be completely safe, as the professionals know how to get rid of every type of pimple or blackhead.
There are some types of pimples you should never pop. Further, make sure that it doesn’t develop into a habit because the result can be lots of scarring on the face or body. These general methods may be helpful in removing zits, but they don’t prevent them from returning. If recurring pimples are an issue, you can also have regular, professional facials done.