Regretfully, I’m a bit of a goody-two-shoes.
I never speed up at yellow traffic lights, I pay all my bills on time, and I religiously dot all my i’s and cross all my t’s.
But when it comes to pimples, I somehow lose all sense and sensibility. Whenever a huge pimple stares back at me, mocking and taunting me, my self-discipline takes a nosedive and all I can think of is to quickly go for the kill.
“That’ll show him,” I’ll say in triumph as I squeeze the life out of it.
Then, almost instantly, a wave of panic and regret will rush over me as I frantically try to clear the bloody murder scene before me, hoping and praying that I won’t be left with a scar.
And every time this happens, I’ll swear to myself that this will be the last, but it never is.
Over the years, I’ve learned the do’s and don’ts of pimple popping – from how to pop pimples safely, to healing and after-care to avoid pimple scars. Read on to find out more!
WARNING: Gross images ahead. Proceed at your own risk!
1. Know Your Enemy
Don’t go on a killing spree and eliminate all pimples.
Only pop those that are “ripe” and have a big, white or yellowish head. These are generally safe to be popped, and doing it right will speed up the healing time.
But what about pimples without a head, or what are called “blind pimples”? Don’t even think about it! You won’t be able to get rid of them, and may even cause scarring or other pimples to pop up nearby.
For blind pimples, there are plenty of things you can use to dry them out before they grow into full-blown pimples: tea tree oil, honey (good quality UMF Manuka Honey works wonders!), clay masks, or my personal favourite — good old-fashioned “bedak sejuk”!
2. Don’t Attempt With Dirty Hands
This is a dirty job best done with clean equipment.
Make sure you your hands and the affected areas are cleaned thoroughly. You’ll be at risk for all sorts of infections and additional blemishes if your kill zone isn’t clean.
Consider yourself warned.
3. Weaken The Enemy By Using A Warm Compress
To soften your skin and the pimple area, use a warm compress on your pimple for several minutes.
You can also gently massage the area to remove dead skin cells, but be careful not to overdo it as it may further irritate your pimple.
4. Squeeze Gently To Avoid Scarring
Now that you’ve set the scene, you can now execute your master plan.
Wrap your fingers in tissue and gently squeeze around the white tip. If your pimple is ready to be popped, all the gunk will come out pretty easily. Otherwise, stop and wait a little longer!
When squeezing, make sure you get it all out so that the pimple doesn’t come back the next day. Don’t overdo it either, or you will risk scarring. The goal here is to be gentle without damaging the surrounding skin.
5. Heal Your Wound
Now that your enemy has been eliminated, you will need to help your skin heal.
Apply an emollient to help form a protective seal over the wound. You can use an antibacterial cream, or even petroleum jelly (e.g. Vaseline) in a pinch.
6. Keep Those Fingers To Yourself
Your fingers and fingernails harbour a ton of bacteria, so you don’t want them anywhere near your face, much less your wound.
It can be really tempting to pick at the scab, but don’t give in. You’ll want the scab to stay there in order for the area to heal without future scarring.
7. Take Care When Applying Makeup
Don’t apply foundation or concealer directly to your skin if it’s broken, as it may get infected.
Apply a gel spot treatment or serum that will form a film over the affected area. Once your skin is closed, you can then apply your foundation and concealer to hide your blemish.
Some Final Notes…
Remember that it’s NEVER advisable to pop those wretched things. Exhaust all other options before resorting to pimple popping — there are acne patches, acne-fighting treatment with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, or natural home remedies like lemon juice or honey.
However, if you’re like me, it’ll be unavoidable at times and you’ll find yourself popping your pimple. Keep in mind these seven tips, and you’ll never have to worry about pimple scars again!