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Popping Acne: Why You Should Avoid It

We've all been there. A new pimple pops up right before a significant event, tempting us to take matters into our own hands. But did you know that squeezing or popping acne might do more harm than good?

This guide will shed light on the reasons why popping zits isn’t a wise skincare decision and provide you with safer alternatives. We will also provide some better alternatives to popping your acne.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Popping acne can lead to skin damage, increased inflammation, and prolonged healing.
  • Different types of pimples exist due to trapped sebum and dead skin cells, each requiring a unique approach to treatment.
  • Sterilized tools and proper techniques are crucial if one must extract a pimple to minimize risks of infection and scarring.
  • Exposed Skin Care offers an effective solution to treat and manage acne, reducing breakouts and diminishing scarring.
Woman with towel on her head popping her pimple

What's Inside a Pimple?

What exactly is lurking beneath that red, inflamed spot on your skin? Some mistake it for blood or dirt. Here are the components that make up your zit:

  • Pus: A combination of dead skin cells, bacteria, and white blood cells.
  • Sebum: The skin's natural oil, which can become trapped and lead to pimples.
  • Dead skin cells: When these don't shed correctly, they can clog up pores.

Pimples show up when the pore becomes clogged by oil and dead skin cells, causing inflammation. There are different types of pimples, from whiteheads and blackheads to more severe cystic acne.

The Allure of Popping

Why is it tempting to pop?

  • Instant gratification: Seeing the white center of a pimple or the contents of a blackhead being removed provides immediate satisfaction.
  • Misperception of quick healing: Many believe that popping acne speeds up the healing process.

However, while it's tempting to pop, doing so can lead to several undesirable skin conditions.

Young girl worried about her pimple

The Dangers of DIY Pimple Popping

Infection and Scarring

Pimple popping can cause skin damage. When you try to pop a pimple at home, bacteria from your hands can be introduced, leading to infection and scarring. This is particularly true if the tools you use aren't sterilized.

Pushing Pus Deeper

Applying pressure to a zit might force the debris and pus deeper into your skin. This can cause the pimple to become more inflamed and painful.

Delayed Healing

Instead of popping, leaving a pimple alone lets the body's natural healing process work. Popping interrupts this process, making it harder for the pimple to heal.

Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

This is a fancy term for the dark spots that can be left behind after popping acne. These marks can take weeks or even months to fade.

Close up of woman with acne scars

Increased Redness and Inflammation

By squeezing and pricking, you're causing skin inflammation, which can make the pimple more noticeable.

Safer Ways to Address Acne Blemishes

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Remedies

Many OTC remedies, like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, can help treat acne without causing skin damage. These products are formulated to treat the type of acne you have, from whiteheads to cystic acne.

Proper Extraction Technique

If you really can't resist the urge to deal with that large pimple, ensure you're using the proper technique:

  • Sterilize tools: Always use a sterilized needle or extractor.
  • Loosen the plug: Soften the skin, perhaps using steam, to make it easier to remove the contents without using excessive force.
  • Wash your hands: Before you touch your face, make sure your hands are clean to prevent introducing bacteria.

Person washing their hands with soap

In-office treatments

While this article doesn't delve into dermatological treatments, it's worth noting that professional treatments can help manage acne blemishes without the risk of scarring or infection.

The Science of Skincare

It's worth noting that the skincare world follows strict sourcing guidelines, relying on academic research institutions to provide reliable information. Before taking matters into your own hands, it's always a good idea to do homework and understand what’s inside that pimple.

The Benefits of Exposed Skin Care in Acne Management

In the quest to find effective ways to manage acne, Exposed Skin Care stands out. Not only does it aid in preventing new breakouts, but it also addresses existing skin concerns, ensuring the skin remains radiant and clear.

Exposed Skin Care Basic Kit

Let's dive deeper into the benefits:

  • Targets Root Causes: Instead of just treating acne on the surface of the skin, Exposed Skin Care works deeper into the skin, tackling the root causes.
  • Minimizes Breakouts: By keeping open pores clean, it prevents the accumulation of sebum and dead skin cells which can lead to pus-filled pustules or even cystic acne.
  • Reduces Scarring: For those who resist the temptation to pop pimples using their fingers and instead focus on skin-care, Exposed Skin Care assists in diminishing the appearance of acne scars.
  • Effective Extraction: For cases where extraction is necessary, doing it after using an OTC product like Exposed Skin Care makes blackheads harder to extract, reducing the urge of popping blackheads.
  • Sterile Care: While some treatments can irritate the skin, pushing the breakout deeper, this product ensures that any treatment, even using a sterile needle, stays close to the surface, minimizing risks.

In essence, Exposed Skin Care offers a comprehensive solution for those who experience acne often and are looking for effective ways to treat and manage it.


Navigating the world of acne, from cysts and nodules to pesky blackheads, can often seem like a never-ending battle. The allure of taking quick action, especially using your fingers, can sometimes be overwhelming.

However, as we've highlighted, manually intervening in the acne healing process can result in more harm than good. Instead, turning to trusted and effective solutions like Exposed Skin Care can provide a more holistic approach to managing and treating acne.

Not only does it address the root causes beneath the skin, but it also assists in ensuring breakouts are reduced, lessening the temptation to pop and pick. By prioritizing specialized products over manual extraction, we safeguard our skin's health and pave the way for clearer, more radiant skin in the future.

In the quest to eliminate blackheads and other blemishes, it's always essential to opt for proven methods that prioritize skin health.


Q: What causes a pimple to form?

A: Pimples form when dead skin cells and sebum become trapped in a pore. This can lead to various types of blemishes, including whiteheads, blackheads, and cystic acne.

Q: Why do some pimples have a white head?

A: A whitehead is a type of pimple where the pore is entirely closed. It contains pus, which gives it a white appearance.

Q: Can I treat a pimple safely at home?

A: While it's always tempting to pop that pimple, treating it with OTC remedies like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid is best. If you must extract it, use a sterilized tool and ensure your hands are clean.

Q: How often should I wash my face if I have acne?

A: It's advisable to wash your face twice daily to remove oil and dead skin cells. Overwashing can cause the skin to produce more oil, so find a balance that works for your skin type.

Q: Is it ever safe to pop a pimple?

A: While it's best to leave pimples alone if you must pop, ensure you use a proper technique and sterilized tools to reduce the risk of infection and scarring.

Q: How does diet influence acne and pimple formation?

A: While everyone's skin reacts differently, certain foods, especially those high in sugars and dairy, have been linked to acne flare-ups in some individuals. Maintaining a balanced diet can play a role in skin health and potentially reduce breakouts for many.