Why Pimple Popping is Never the Best Choice

October 26th, 2016 by Dr. Michael Glass

Stop Popping Your Pimples!


It never fails. You’re getting ready for an evening out, and just as you’re about to leave, you glance at the mirror one last time, and there’s a pesky pimple right on your forehead. You panic, and squeeze it between your fingertips. But is the burning urge to pop that zit really the best choice? Experts caution – it’s not.

Why is Pimple Popping a Bad Idea?

As the body sheds dead skin cells, often times those cells, combined with oils and perspiration, can block pores in the skin, leading to blemishes and pimples.

Pinching, squeezing and popping may offer temporary satisfaction, but it can also damage your skin in the long run.

Some of the unfortunate consequences of popping are:

The spread of bacteria: those bumps and blemishes aren’t only holding in dead skin cells and oils, but bacteria, too. When you pop a pimple, you actually puncture the outer layer of skin, allowing that latent bacteria to spread to other parts of the face. This can create the perfect breeding ground for new pimples to develop in adjacent pores.

Deeper infection: that squeezing and poking may also push bacteria deeper into the skin, causing the pimple to become red and inflamed, and even prolonging its lifespan. There’s also a high risk of infection, which can end up looking worse than the pimple you popped.

Facial scarring: because popping pimples breaks the skin, scarring is a real concern. Putting too much pressure on the pimple, or picking at subsequent scabbing, leads to scarring that could be permanent.

What to do Instead of Popping

young woman with face cleanser and cucumber slices on the her face.

Most pimples clear up on their own within three to seven days, but if you can’t wait that long, there are methods to reduce visibility. First and foremost, it’s important to follow a healthy skin care routine that includes a strong cleanser and appropriate moisturizer. Rinsing and moisturizing the face regularly is essential to reducing the occurrence of blemishes over time. If pimples are rearing their ugly heads, using products specifically geared toward spot treatment helps speed up the process, as do exfoliators and clay masks.

If you’re struggling with the urge to squeeze, it may be time to visit a professional. Extracting built up bacteria, oil and dead skin cells can be done in the sterile environment of a doctor’s office, with the right tools and the right acne treatment process.

Additional treatments such as Silk or chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or blue light photodynamic therapy (PDT) may be recommended if the occurrence of pimples is constant.

Working with a skin care doctor to understand the cause of your pimples, maintaining a healthy skin care regimen at home, and getting advanced treatment when necessary are all excellent alternatives to popping those pimples.

Contact Esteem Medical Spa at 775.329.3000 or Request a Consultation.