It may not be the most pleasant thing to talk about, but pimples can have some pretty serious hazards if they’re not treated correctly. And not matter how much is spent on skin products and no matter how intensive the cleaning routine is, they have a way of popping up from time to time.
But not everyone buys into the practice of popping zits. Some would argue it’s disgusting, but other would argue, well…that it’s still disgusting, but they like doing it anyway to clear up the problem.
So if you fall into the latter camp, you might want to learn about the RIGHT way to go about this activity.
Here’s the rundown on how to pop zits correctly (if you must):
1. Pick only pimples that are ready to be popped. The white blood cells will have collected and be walled off in the follicle, forming a visible white head on the surface. If it does not have a white head, then squeezing, mashing, poking, or prodding will only make it worse.
2. Wash your face and hands with warm water and soap and pat dry.
3. Get a needle. Yes, a needle. Carefully pass the tip of the needle through a flame from a lighter or a match. Use the tip of the flame, this is the hottest part.
4. Wait a few seconds until the tip of the needle cools. Using a cotton ball or even paper towel soaked with rubbing alcohol, wipe the tip of the needle clean.
5. Gently wipe the pimple and surrounding area with another alcohol wipe or alcohol-soaked cotton ball.
6. With the needle nearly parallel to your skin, impale the head of the pimple. If possible, stay parallel to the skin and gently push the needle thorough the other side of the pimple then pull up, opening the top of the pimple. It sounds intense, but it’s the best way to get this done cleanly and certainly.
7. If no pus comes out, then the pimple was not ready (see #1). Gently blot and wait 12 to 24 hours to try again. This is one of the rare activities wherein the presence of pus is a good thing.
8. Use even pressure to push down, perpendicular to your skin, around the zit. Don’t squeeze the pimple between your thumb and fingers. Squeezing can cause the pustule to rupture backwards, deeper into your skin, creating further inflammation and turning a little pimple into a big, red nodule. And possibly creating a LOT more problems for you.
9. Gently wipe the area with a clean alcohol wipe or alcohol-soaked cotton ball. You can now apply some witch hazel or just hold light pressure for a minute or so.
10. Apply an acne spot treatment to the area. This will also create a barrier between the pimple and your makeup (if you wear it).
As you can see, there’s a lot of stuff to be mindful of. So if it was a tick that you’d perform absentmindedly, you might want to pay a little more attention to what you’re doing. If not, you could be subject to infections, or almost as bad, you may irritate that pimple so that it sticks around even longer.