Zits are a pain in the butt, unfortunately for the average teenager and young adult they are a part of life. They always come at the worst time (if there is such a thing as a good time) and in the worst spots. Many of the things we do to cover them up only make them worse (makeup). So what are we to do? The answer for many people is popping zits. This may provide a little bit of instant relief, but it can be very risky.
Preventing zits is the best way to not have to worry about having to pop them. A healthy diet, drinking lots of water, and a strict skin care program will prevent zits from showing up. But what happens when you have clear skin and a zit pops up on the tip of your nose? Pop it, but do it very carefully.
Popping a zit can lead to more acne, increase the risk of scarring, and open your face up for infection. We’ll examine each of these below.
Popping Zits – Does it Make More Acne?
When you pop a zit all of the sebum, dead skin cells, bacteria, and other goo comes out and can spread over your face. I know this sounds pretty gross, but it’s true.
With this stuff on the rest of your face (especially the bacteria) you are running the risk of it settling in the other pores around it. When it settles into the other pores it will usually lead to blackheads, which are easier to live with than a whitehead, but still a pain. The key is to wash your face directly after popping pimples and use sterile practices. Read the next section for tips on sterilizing.
Popping Zits – Infection, Eww
When you pop a zit on your face you leave behind an open wound. This wound is a magnet for infection, namely staph infections. I, personally, would rather deal with a zit than an infection that won’t let me go to school, or work, or hang with my friends.
Dermatologists have a specific and sterile way to pop zits that is hard to duplicate at home. The closest you can get is by sterilizing a sewing needle with rubbing alcohol, using it to pierce the tip of the whitehead, immediately cleaning the wound with a cottong swab dipped in alcohol, then washing your face. This may seem like a pain and way more work than just pushing it out like you always have, but the cost of not doing it is way higher.
Popping Zits – Acne Scars
When you push on zits to get everything out of them you are running a serious risk of damaging the tissue below the surface of the skin. If this tissue is damaged it is far more likely to be affected by scarring after a major breakout. It also hurts. I’ve always been taught that if it hurts, you’re probably doing it wrong.
If you take none of the advice outlined above, follow this – don’t push down when popping zits, do your best to push sideways. The last thing you want are acne scars to haunt you long after your zits go away.