Did you ‘accidentally’ pop that pimple? Trust us, we know the urge to popping is tempting. Even though we don’t condone popping that pimple, it can create redness, irritation and even scarring, but if you happen to succumb to the temptation, we have some Expert tips to minimize the damage! Let’s turn to Dr. Crystal (@dr.crystallee) for some guidance.
Pimple popping should be left to professionals
Popping your own pimples can cause more irritation and inflammation which can result in unwanted marks such as post-inflammatory erythema or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Worse, it can leave depressed acne marks or hypertrophic keloid scars. As you pop your own pimple, you’re also making it more susceptible for microorganisms to cause further infection. This can also lead to the formation of new pimples in nearby areas. So, it’s best to leave pimple popping to professionals to minimize the damage.
If you absolutely insist on popping your own pimple
Before you attempt to pop ANY pimple, ensure the skin around the area is clean and your hands are washed. Instead of using your fingers, try using cotton buds which are gentler for your skin. Applying a warm compress can also help ease the popping process.
Next, make sure you choose the right targets – choose whiteheads that looks like they’re going to pop at any moment without much force or blackheads that are at the open pore of a follicle. If the pimple is not popping with a little push, don’t force it and leave it alone as it can cause more damage than good!
Whatever you do, DO NOT try popping a cystic acne as they are much deeper than whiteheads or blackhead! Cystic acne is best treated by dermatologists with prescription only medications.
Popping Pimples Damage Control
Clean the area
After popping the zit, clean the area with alcohol and leave the area alone. This may sting a little but it’s very important to ensure the area is clean and sanitized! Make sure the rest of your face is clean, avoid touching the area and don’t forget to wash your hands.
A cold compress can help soothe and minimize skin redness after a pimple popping session. You can use a cotton ball soaked in cold water which you can leave in the fridge for a greater cooling effect. If you’re using ice, make sure that the ice is not in direct contact with your skin to avoid any frostbite! Hold the cold compress lightly for 10-15 minutes and this can be repeated two to three times a day. Whatever you prefer to use as cold compress, ensure that it is properly sanitized to minimize the risk of infection.
Have you ever noticed that some spots just keep coming back in the same place? That pimple was likely not completely cured. Pimple patches or hydrocolloid patches are great spot treatment and aftercare. These patches are made out of water attracting materials such as pectin, cellulose or polymers that help absorb pus from the pimples. They may also contain additional active ingredients and even microdarts to enhance wound healing, reduce inflammation and formation of post-inflammatory marks. Aside from being great at absorbing residual fluid from pimples, they also keep out microbes. Make sure to clean your face thoroughly before putting on a new patch, otherwise, they might not stick!
Antibacterial spot treatment
If you don’t have any pimple patches at hand, using an antibacterial spot treatment is your next best bet. Acne spot cream containing active ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil or salicylic acid have great anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that could help heal and protect the area. Aside from that, look for products containing soothing agents such as centella asiatica, oatmeal, aloe vera and panthenol to help soothe any inflammation and irritation. Remember, prolonged inflammation can result in unwanted pigmentation or redness!
Sun Protection is Crucial
The skin post extraction can be really sensitive, so sun protection is crucial. It is no secret that sun protection can help prevent skin pigmentation and erythema. So, don’t forget to apply at least 2 finger lengths worth of sunscreen all over your face and reapply after every 2 hours if you are outdoors. Tinted sunscreens can be helpful in camouflaging skin redness and also in providing additional protection against visible light!
At the end of the day, popping a pimple is something you should make every effort to avoid unless it’s done by a professional. If all else fails, don’t forget to take the necessary precautions for damage control. Don’t hesitate to see a dermatologist if you are struggling to tackle your acne problems.
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