Is It Bad To Pop Spots? – Why You Shouldn’t Squeeze Them!!
If you’re anything like me, the second you see the little yellow head make an appearance you’re straight in front of the mirror trying to squeeze it out of hiding in the hope you can catch it before it explodes into a massive boil in the middle of your face only to find you have made it look a million times worse and wish you had just left it alone it the first place.
But have you ever wondered is it bad to pop spots? Are you actually ever going to get rid of them any quicker by squeezing them or are you actually doing more harm than good.
Read on to find out.
Approximately 8 out of 10 teens will experience acne, and between 40 and 55% of adults will experience adult acne at some time in their life.
But should you be popping those pimples or leaving them well alone.
Do Spots Go Away If You Don’t Pop Them?
There are 6 different types of pimples; All of which start when the pores in our skin get blocked by sebum which is an oil naturally produced by a gland called the sebaceous gland.
When our skin produces too much sebum, usually due to hormonal imbalances, the pores becomes clogged as it mixes with dead skin cells.
This can create an inflammatory response when a specific bacteria gets involved too, these bacteria is called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes)
The different types of pimples are;
Closed comedones – these are just little whiteheads, they are not usually painful.
Open comedones – exactly the same as closed except the content isn’t protected by a thin layer of skin so it becomes oxidized and darker in colour, we know them as blackheads.
Pimples – small red bumps often a little painful
Papules – larger red painful bumps
Pustules – Red and inflamed spots with a whitehead in the center. What we all commonly think of when we get a zit!
Cysts and Nodules – these are very large and painful puss filled bumps which are in the deeper layers of the skin, they can be around for quite a long time and often leave scars.
Does Squeezing Spots Cause More Spots?
Is it a myth that popping your pimples will cause more?
Your hands and fingernails contain millions of bacteria as does the contents of the spot you are squeezing.
In doing so you are transferring many more of these spot causing bacteria on to your face which is already acne prone.
It is also possible you could be transferring the bacteria from the spot your are trying to get rid of to other areas of your face.
So I guess the answer is yes, you can end up with more spots by squeezing your spots!
Should You Squeeze A Spot If It’s Yellow?
Just because a spot is yellow doesn’t mean you have to squeeze it!
If it is yellow they are often very superficial and will often pop by themselves if you just leave them alone.
Usually it will only be a day or two at the most.
How To Safely Pop A Pimple?
So in theory if the spot has a yellow or white head, this means it is very close to the surface and ready to pop by itself anyway.
If this is the case and it is not red, inflamed and painful, you are not going to do any harm by gently popping it providing you have a very clean face and hands and stop immediately if it is painful or not popping on your first attempt.
Apply a warm compress first to open the pores, then thoroughly cleanse and apply alcohol to your hands to disinfect them.
If you manage to pop successfully, close the pore immediately with a cold compress and disinfect with alcohol then apply a spot treatment.
When Should You Never Squeeze A Spot?
If the spot is deep, painful, red and inflamed you definitely shouldn’t attempt to squeeze it!
You could be doing a lot more harm than good.
Even the small little red ones, you know the ones I mean, you try to pop them but they just don’t budge! Not only are they really painful but you end up making them look 10 times worse than before you started.
Whether it’s the tiny ones or the really deep cysts, if you try to squeeze them and they’re not ready you can end up causing more inflammation, trauma and scarring.
A spot that might have gone in a matter of days might leave you with a reminder of its existence for months or even years.
Acne scarring and post inflammatory hyperpigmention are a common result of spot squeezing and picking which are extremely difficult to get rid of and can take multiple treatments to improve.
Can You Squeeze Cystic Acne?
This is a definite no no! You will really end up scarring yourself if you attempt to squeeze these deeper type acne nodules although I really do understand the temptation especially when they are so painful and you just want them gone!
Your best option is to visit a skin specialist that may be able to perform extractions for you in a safer more controlled way.
Medical practitioners may also advise steroid injections or antibiotic treatments.
I suppose like anything prevention is better than the cure, so always cleanse twice a day with warm water and use non comodegenic products.
Acne prone skin doesn’t like too many products so keep your skincare regime simple.
Always remove makeup before bed and clean brushes at least once a week.
Eat a balanced diet, low in dairy and sugar although more research needs to be done in this area, there is plenty to suggest diets high in these things do exacerbate acne.
Drink plenty of water and avoid processed foods.
Avoid squeezing your spots unless you are confident they are absolutely ready, if this is the case make sure you have clean hands, a clean face, open the pores before and close them after and be sure to disinfect your skin to avoid any problems.
I hope you have found this article useful, please let me know in the comments below.