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Skin School  >   Acne Basics

Yes, You Can Pop a Pimple (As Long As You Do It Right)

Whether it was from your dermatologist, your mom or a skincare article, you’ve heard it before: Don’t pop your pimples!


But let’s get real. No one wants to walk around in public with a huge, very visible zit on the tip of their nose (or anywhere else, for that matter). Plus, popping pimples is so #oddlysatisfying. We know at least 3.5 million people who love watching gunk ooze out of a pimple - Dr. Pimple Popper’s Instagram followers!


So today, we are not going to tell you to stop popping pimples. Instead, we are going to share 5 basic rules for clean, safe pimple popping. 


1. DON’T use your nails to squeeze a pimple.

When you squeeze a pimple and pus (AKA sebum, bacteria and/or dead skin cells) doesn’t emerge, you are actually pushing the bacteria further into the dermis. This spread of bacteria will increase inflammation and redness. The pressure from your nails can easily tear the skin and leave long-term pits and scars. Plus, the pimple will take longer to heal when your skin is damaged. 


2. DON’T pop anything other than a whitehead.

Attempting to pop a blackhead, papule, pustule, nodule or cyst will be extremely painful and worsen the situation. And nobody wants that!


    RELATED READ: An Acnepedia: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Pimples


    3. DO try a Mighty Patch first.

    Whiteheads are probably the type of pimple you pop most often. But the truth is, it’s also the easiest type of pimple to eliminate without popping. The pus and fluid has already risen to the top of the hair follicle and is nearly ready to burst on its own. So all you have to do to get rid of it quickly is stick on a Mighty Patch for a few hours and let the hydrocolloid absorb all of the whitehead pus.


      4. DO use a sterilized needle for pimples that you must pop.

      Maybe you don’t have a Mighty Patch on hand for your whitehead. Or perhaps your pimple has not yet come to a head but is close (and seems “poppable”). Take a needle (as in Sansa’s simple sewing needle, not Arya’s Needle), clean it with alcohol to eliminate any bacteria and poke a tiny hole in the center of the pimple. This gives your pimple a spot to spill out the gunk and is much gentler than bursting your skin open by squeezing with your nails.


      5. DO use a patch and/or gentle pressure to finish the job.

      Once you’ve used a needle, you can throw on a patch and let the hydrocolloid work its magic. But if you absolutely must push out the gunk yourself, use a tissue and your fingertips (not nails) to gently apply pressure around the pimple. Pressing directly on the pimple will just force all the pus back into the dermis.

      Now that your skin has a gaping hole, you’ll definitely want to apply a pimple patch. Originally used in medical dressings, hydrocolloid provides a moist healing environment, which is much better than letting a pimple (or any wound) scab on its own and scar. 


      Do you have another method of popping your pimples? Comment and share below!



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