Popping Pimples

Is Popping Pimples Bad For Your Skin?  What The Experts Are Saying

How many times have you had that pimple that just wouldn’t go away? If you’re like most people, you wanted to help it go away fast. So, you squeezed or popped it, hoping that would be the end of it.

But was it really the best choice? What did you do to your skin by popping your pimple? Would popping pimples cause scars and damage to your skin?

Read on to find out what the experts are saying about popping pimples; with information on whether or not it’s bad for your skin and how to decide when to pop pimples versus leave them alone.

Types of Pimples


They are small, dark-colored bumps that form when your hair follicles get clogged with oil and dead skin cells. They can appear on your face, chest, back, or anywhere else where you have pores.


They are small bumps that form when dead skin cells and oil clog your pores. They’re usually white or flesh-colored and can be found on your face, neck, chest, back, or shoulders. Whiteheads are different from blackheads because they have a layer of skin over them.


Cysts are large pimples that often appear on the face, back or chest. They’re filled with pus and can be painful to the touch.

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They are deeper and more inflamed than most acne lesions, which is what makes them harder to extract.

They tend to have a red appearance. Pustules can be a symptom of many conditions like allergies, hormones, bacteria, or skin conditions.


There is no visible pus in the center of these painful, swollen lumps deep within the skin.

Is It Safe to Pop a Pimple?

We all know the satisfaction that comes with a good pimple popping session. But is it actually safe to pop pimples on your face?

According to dermatologists, the answer is a resounding no. Here’s why popping pimples can be bad for your skin:

Picking at or popping acne lesions can lead to scarring and leave permanent marks in sensitive areas like the neck, chest, and back. Acne-picking can also lead to other health problems such as infections and abscesses.

Additionally, picking at acne will worsen the inflammation which leads to increased production of oil (sebum) by sebaceous glands, clogging pores further and worsening the acne breakout cycle.

When to Pop a Pimple

Most dermatologists will tell you that popping pimples is bad for your skin. However, there are certain times when it’s okay to pop a pimple.

If the pimple is white and ready to be popped, then go ahead or, if it’s a blackhead, it can be extracted.

Note: If you’re wearing makeup or anything else on your face (especially sunscreen), don’t touch a pimple because the chemicals could irritate the surrounding area and cause more problems than just the original pimple!

When Not To Pop a Pimple

You might be surprised to know that there are actually pimple popping risks and times when you shouldn’t pop a pimple.

So, when is it bad to pop a pimple on your face? We went to the experts to find out. Here’s what they had to say about pimple popping.

You should not pop a pimple if it has pus in it. That pus is an indication of bacteria that could lead to an infection. Wait until the pus drains out on its own before attempting to pop it.

If you have a cold sore or fever blister and think it may have broken open, don’t pop the pimple since the virus can spread via touching your face with dirty hands.

Picking at dry skin could also lead to infection so you should avoid popping any blemishes that have hardened skin or whiteheads.

Side Effects of Popping a Pimple

Popping a pimple can cause your skin to become red, swollen, and inflamed. It can also lead to the development of scars.

Additionally, popping a pimple can cause the bacteria that are normally found on your skin to enter your bloodstream, which can lead to an infection.

Finally, popping a pimple can cause the pus and oil from the pimple to spread to other areas of your face, which can lead to further breakouts.

If you have multiple pimples or blemishes on your face, it’s better to treat them all at once with a topical medication rather than popping one at a time.

How to Pop a Pimple without Causing Scarring

If you must pop a pimple, the best way to do it is to:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  2. Apply a warm compress to the pimple for three to five minutes.
  3. Use a sterile needle or tweezers to gently puncture the surface of the pimple.
  4. Apply gentle pressure until the contents of the pimple are expressed.
  5. Cleanse the area with warm water and pat dry.
  6. Apply an antibiotic ointment or spot treatment to the area if desired.
  7. Repeat steps two through six as needed until the pimple is gone.

1.     Extracting Blackheads

Blackheads occur when oil and dead skin cells clog pores. When the sebum (oil) oxidizes, it turns black and becomes a blackhead.

You may apply a topical medication such as salicylic acid or Benzoyl peroxide to your blackhead before you try to remove it.

Wash your hands thoroughly, and then squeeze the pore gently with both your hands. By pressing a little, the blackhead will come out.

Note: It may be tempting to pop these blemishes but picking or squeezing can lead to inflammation and scarring.

2.     How to Get Rid of Pustules

 Pustules are under the surface of your skin and are difficult to remove. You can try to heat your pores with a warm compress to get the irritant closer to the surface of your skin. OTC treatments might also work. It’s probably best, though, not to pop a zit yourself.

3.     Popping a Whitehead

Disinfect a needle with alcohol and prick the clogged pore a few times before extracting the blemish.

Wash your hands after applying an over-the-counter astringent or acne medication, and press down on both sides of the clogged pore to extract the plug.

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How to Reduce Pimples?

There are a few things you can do to ease the symptoms of acne and even clear up your skin.

1.     Apply a warm compress to inflamed pimples.

A warm compress can help reduce whiteheads and blackheads. It’s simple to make a warm compress: just soak a clean washcloth in hot water, and then apply it to the pimple for 10-15 minutes. You can do this a few times a day until the pimple goes away.

2.     Apply an acne spot treatment.

Acne spot treatments are a great way to target pimples that have already popped up. Spot treatment is usually a cream or gel, which can be applied over the affected area.

While you can find many types of acne spot treatments on the market, dermatologists recommend Benzoyl peroxide for its ability to fight bacteria and reduce inflammation.

Benzoyl peroxide is also the most common ingredient in acne medications prescribed by doctors because it’s not only effective at getting rid of acne but also prevents future breakouts from happening as well.

Dermatologists recommend applying Benzoyl peroxide as directed for best results, though you may need more time if your acne is severe.

As always, be sure to follow the directions on your product so you don’t irritate your skin and make things worse!

3.     Opt for a cold compress

A cold compress can help reduce inflammation and swelling. It can also numb the area, making it less likely that you’ll feel the urge to pop the pimple.

To make a cold compress, simply wet a clean cloth with cold water and apply it to the area for a few minutes. You can also use a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a cloth.

4.     Apply non-comedogenic products

One of the best ways to reduce your chances of developing pimples is to upgrade your skincare routine with products that won’t clog your pores.

Look for non-comedogenic on product labels, which means they won’t cause pimples. These products are often oil-free and water-based and can be found at most drugstores.

Natural Ways to Treat Acne

While there are several effective treatments available, some people prefer to go the natural route.

If you’re interested in trying natural remedies for acne, here are a few options to consider.

Apply green tea extract or apple cider vinegar to a cotton ball or pad and gently wipe it over your entire face after cleansing it once daily.

Both green tea extract and apple cider vinegar are potent anti-inflammatory agents that help prevent inflammation from causing breakouts as well as reduce redness and swelling from existing ones.

They might not work as fast as an antibiotic, but they’re less likely to have side effects and don’t carry the risk of antibiotic resistance.

These treatments will also cost less than a prescription drug, which makes them worth trying if you want to avoid spending money on prescriptions or over-the-counter treatments that may not work for you.

 Consult Your Dermatologist

If you have acne, you may be wondering if popping pimples is bad for your skin. The answer isn’t always simple, as it depends on the severity of your acne and how you pop your pimples.

Severe acne can lead to permanent scarring, so it’s important to consult a dermatologist if you’re unsure about whether or not popping your pimples is right for you.

Bottom Line

In general, dermatologists agree that popping pimples is bad for your skin. Not only can it cause scarring, but it can also lead to the spread of bacteria and further irritation.

If you must pop a pimple, do so with clean hands and a sterile needle or comedone extractor. Be sure to wash your hands and the affected area before and after popping the pimple.

We hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Until next time, take care of your skin!

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