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Popped A Pimple? Here’s How To Deal With It

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We are not supposed to pop our pimples. But sometimes, most of us cannot resist the urge to get hands-on with the situation and play Dr. Pimple Popper. The trouble starts once the damage is done. Popping and scratching a pimple often leads to scarring and dark spots. We are here to help you with damage control and prevent unwanted after-effects. Keep reading to understand what you should do after popping a pimple to ensure proper healing.

What To Do After Popping A Pimple

1. Do Not Pick At The Pimple

So you have popped the pimple. Avoid messing with it anymore. Do not pick at it and scratch it or keep squeezing it. Even if it develops a pus-filled head again, leave it alone and let your skin take care of the infection.

2. Cleanse The Blemish

Cleanse the zit gently. Use a salicylic-acid-based cleanser. Avoid rubbing it too hard to prevent the risk of disturbing the zit. You can also use cleansers with witch hazel to reduce inflammation. Avoid trying DIY hacks at this point to avoid blemishes and scarring.

3. Use Spot Treatment

Use an antibiotic ointment and spot treatments containing tea tree oil and witch hazel extract to reduce inflammation. Witch hazel has astringent effects and anti-inflammatory properties to calm down redness and swelling. On the other hand, tea tree oil can kill acne-causing bacteria. You can dab the zit with witch hazel solution and diluted tea tree oil.

4. Control Swelling With Ice

An ice pack can reduce the redness and soreness after popping a pimple. Wrap ice cubes in a clean cloth or use an ice pack.

5. Consult A Dermatologist

Start acne prevention treatment to prevent further breakouts. Consult your dermatologist for prescription acne products and antibiotics (if needed). Early treatment prevents the risk of scarring and blemishes.
Our skin and body have a natural healing system. When you pop a pimple, you interfere with the process, leading to further damage. Here is why you should avoid popping a pimple in the first place.

Why Should You Avoid Popping Your Pimples?

1. Risk Of Infections

Popping a pimple aggravates the bacterial infection. There is always a risk of transferring dirt and bacteria from our nails and fingers to the inflamed zit. Moreover, this can prolong the healing time.

2. Scarring And Hyperpigmentation

Picking at a zit can be counterproductive as it creates open wounds, and the skin may develop scars and dark spots.

Instead of popping the pimples, you can try the following alternatives to speed up the healing process.

Alternatives For Popping A Pimple

1. Products With Active Ingredients

Using products like creams, moisturizers, and cleansers containing active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid can help reduce the inflammation and clear the pimple. They promote skin exfoliation to clean the dirt, sebum, and bacteria to promote healing.

2. Pimple Patches

These are hydrocolloid patches that absorb the pus from the pimple, keep the area moisturized, and promote healing. These patches also shield the pimple from dust and dirt and prevent you from picking at it.

3. Follow Proper Skin Care Routine

Wash your face twice a day to reduce inflammation. You may use chemical exfoliators in low concentrations (if you haven’t popped the pimple) and keep the area moisturized. A proper skin care routine prevents the pimple from worsening.

If you cannot resist the urge to give it a good squeeze, you should at least do it safely. While we do not recommend popping a pimple, here are a few tips to follow to pop your zits safely.

How To Safely Pop A Pimple

1. Wash your hands thoroughly before touching your skin. It will prevent the germs on your hands from infecting the skin around the pimple.

2. Apply a warm compress or wash your skin with warm water to loosen the dirt.

3. Sterilize a pin with a lighter and let it cool down. Then, wipe it with rubbing alcohol.

4. Wrap your fingers with a clean tissue and hold the pin parallel to the zit.

5. Gently pierce the pus-filled head of the pimple.

6. Squeeze it with a cotton swab. Press around the zit and not on the pus-filled center.

7. If the pus does not come out easily, the pimple is not ready to be popped. Stop immediately.

8. Apply an antibacterial ointment or witch hazel to the area.

9. After a while, clean the area and apply a pimple patch.

10. You can use an ice pack to relieve redness and soreness.

In case of stubborn pimples, you may have to consult your dermatologist.

When To Consult A Dermatologist

If the pimples refuse to go away or keep coming back, consult your dermatologist. Recurrent and stubborn pimples may need antibiotics to kill the bacteria. In such cases, the doctor can prescribe medicines and ointments, depending on the severity of your condition.

Wrapping It Up

Jabbing at the pimple, especially if it is unripe, is wrong. It can lead to scarring and blemishes. Therefore, it is best to use topical ointments and products to soothe the inflammation and consult a doctor for prescribed medication. However, if you have popped it anyway, you can follow the methods discussed in the article to care for the pimple and prevent further infection and blemishes.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

What happens if you do not pop a pimple?

If you do not pop pimples, they go away within 3-7 days. You may notice the pus draining out. In such case, dab the area with witch hazel solution or apply a pimple patch for proper healing.

3 Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Check out our editorial policy for further details.

  1. The efficacy of 5% topical tea tree oil gel in mild to moderate acne vulgaris: a randomized
    double-blind placebo-controlled study
  2. Antioxidant and potential anti-inflammatory activity of extracts and formulations of white tea rose and witch hazel on primary human dermal fibroblast cells
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC3214789/
  3. Over-the-counter Acne Treatments
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3366450/

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