The One Skincare Habit You Should Break Immediately If You Want To Avoid Scars Or An Infection

I'll admit — sometimes facials can be pricey, but it's important to realize that certain techniques really should be left to skincare professionals. While it may surprise you, the one skincare thing you should never try at home is popping your own pimples! I'm guilty of it and I'm sure most of you are, too, which means you should probably keep reading to learn why you should nip that bad habit in the butt.

"Although it's incredibly tempting to play dermatologist at home when a pimple pops up, the harsh reality is that your own handiwork on pimples can actually do more harm than good," says Dr. Rachel Nazarian of Schweiger Dermatology Group. If you choose to take matters into your own hands, you could end up with much more than just a pimple — scars, skin discoloration, and worse, an infection is possible. Yikes!

Think about how many doctors have told you over the years to avoid touching your face because of oils and dirt that accumulate on your hands throughout the day. Dr. Nazarian agrees, pointing out that dirt and bacteria transferred from your hands can actually lead to more clogged pores and even infection. The same goes for using blackhead extraction tools that aren't properly sanitized.

Even if you don't end up with a scar, applying an improper amount of pressure to the area around a pimple can cause a condition called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which can temporarily alter the color of your skin. While the discoloration isn't permanent, it can take up to two years to return to it's normal tone. Or worse, if you break the skin, you could end up with a nasty scab, which will take far longer to heal that nuisance of a zit. And trust me, scabs can also be much harder to conceal.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying that you're doomed the next time you're faced with an unwanted pimple, but according to Dr. Nazarian, there are lower-risk ways to deal with the issue. "Simply apply an over-the-counter on the spot treatment, and make an appointment to see your dermatologist," says Nazarian. "They can inject that pesky pimple with an anti-inflammatory steroid to decrease the redness, minimize the size and to give you clearer skin faster- without the same risks of deep scarring."

If you've never tried an on-the-spot treatment before, they're easy to find at your local drugstore. Here are a few highly rated options:

Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Treatment

Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Treatment, target.com, $5.69

Perfect for sensitive skin, this product provides maximum strength, on-the-go treatment without drying out your skin.

Origins Super Spot Remover

Origins Super Spot Remover Acne Treatment Gel, origins.com, $16.00

The combination of salicylic acid and red algae extract helps treat and calm blemishes at the same time.

Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment

Clean & Clear Acne Advantage Spot Treatment, jet.com, $5.99

Aside from the great prices, Clean & Clear products are my absolute favorite when it comes to treating acne!

Moral of the story? Next time you're dealing with the appearance of a third eyeball on your forehead, let your doctor do the rest. Your skin will certainly thank you later!

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