Pop a Pimple
It is a truth universally known that everyone pops pimples. We do it all the time in dermatology clinic, as it can hasten the clearance of an unsightly bump. If done improperly, however, you could turn a minor blemish into a hard, inflamed spot that can last weeks.
Here's what you need to know to safely pop a pimple:
Pick only pimples that are ready to be popped. These are soft pimples with a visible white head on the surface. If it does not have a white head, then it is unlikely that any amount of squeezing, mashing, poking, or prodding will provide any benefit. In fact, the most common problem to occur is that the pus, instead of being released at the surface, is pushed further back into the skin. This often leads to more inflammation and a worse problem than you started with.
If you have a pimple that is ready to pop, then wash your face and hands thoroughly with warm water and soap and pat dry.
Carefully pass the tip of a sewing needle through a flame from a lighter or a match. Use the tip of the flame, this is the hottest part.
Wait at least 60 seconds until the tip of the needle is completely cool. Using a cotton ball soaked with rubbing alcohol, wipe the tip of the needle clean.
Gently wipe the pimple and surrounding area with another alcohol-soaked cotton ball.
With the needle nearly parallel to your skin, not pointed into your skin, stick the needle through the head of the pimple. If possible, stay parallel with the skin and gently push the needle thorough the other side of the pimple then pull up, opening the top of the pimple. If no pus comes out, then the pimple was not ready. Gently blot and wait 12 to 24 hours to try again.
Using even pressure, gently push down perpendicular to your skin. Do not 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.
Gently wipe the area with a clean alcohol wipe or alcohol-soaked cotton ball. You can now apply some witch hazel, if you have some, or just hold light pressure for a minute or so.
Apply an acne spot treatment to the area such as Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel or Neutrogena Skin Clearing Oil free Concealer. This will also create a barrier between the pimple and your makeup, if you wear it.
If your pimple persists, then consider visiting your dermatologist. He or she can sometimes inject it with steroid to help it resolve faster.
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