We've all been there before: The zit that you just have to pop. There are a lot of dos and don'ts (okay, mostly don'ts) when it comes to the rather disgusting yet satisfying task, but what's one thing never to do when popping a zit?
Of course, first off — you really shouldn't pop it in the first place. Satisfying (and necessary) as it may seem, popping zits can actually lead to a whole host of new problems. Dr. Zakiya Rice told WebMD, "If the bacteria contained in that gunk splatters and lands inside other pores, it can lead to more pimples." Plus, there's also the bacteria from your own hands to worry about, and it's also possible to push the pimple further into your skin, which can make it worse — and that's not even counting the potential scarring. In short, Rice cautioned, "It's best to let a pimple run through its life span."
That said, if you're really desperate to pop it (which, let's face it, you are), there are a few things you should know — and perhaps most importantly of all? Don't push too hard — literally. If a pimple doesn't pop easily, you should never force it, according to Refinery 29, because that's where all the aforementioned scarring and infection (not to mention bruising!) comes in. If you must, PopSugar suggests you make sure to target the pimples with a white, raised head — those will pop most safely and easily. It's also possible to bring the zit to the surface using chemical peels and/or warm compresses, which will ease the popping process.
Other key things to remember include cleanliness — again, an important factor when warding off infection. Sterilize the area with alcohol first — and, of course, if you're going to be hardcore and lance the lesion yourself, make sure to fully sterilize a straight pin using an open flame (yeowch). You're also going to either dab on alcohol or an antibiotic cream, like Neosporin, to the popped pimple after the fact.
Even with all that in mind, try to avoid the popping, if your will power is strong enough (mine generally isn't). Oh, and second to not popping the pimple at all, your best (and safest) option would be to head straight to the dermatologist. Heck, maybe you can even visit the Internet-famous Dr. Pimple Popper!
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