Popping Good Time

By HSC Staff Writer • Published: April 18th, 2007
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

To squeeze or not to squeeze. Everyone gets a blemish from time to time, and… although we know we’re not supposed to… the temptation to pop that pimple is just too hard to resist. So, if you find you must put the ache on your acne, be sure to follow some simple rules.

To begin, the only time it is O-K to physically attack a blemish is when you see a whitehead. If the puss has yet to reach the skin’s surface or is plugged in by a blackhead, any attempts at draining it will instead force the gunk deeper down into the inflected pore. This could result in a painful cyst… which will take weeks to heal.

For the best results, apply a hot compress for a few minutes to open the pore and bring the puss to the surface. Many dermatologists even suggest lightly pricking the whitehead with a disinfected sewing needle for easier draining.

Now on to the actually popping.

Your fingers are loaded with oil and bacteria that can cause further breakouts… and, using your fingers virtually ensures that you’ll use too much skin-pinching pressure. Instead, gently roll the end of a Q-tip over the blemish or sweep over it with a folded gauze pad. Do not, however, use toilet or tissue paper, as both leave behind pore-clogging residue.

Lastly, apply antibacterial ointment or moisturizer and hope for the best. With luck, you’ll be free and clear in a day or two.