To Pick or Not to Pick a Pimple – A great Question!

March 18, 2013

Someone once said All women are face-pickers.  Whether or not that statement is true, here are some important things to keep in mind when you get the urge to pop a zit.

When you squeeze a pimple you are spreading bacteria.  Either the bacteria will erupt and spread across the surface of the skin, or it will be pushed back into the follicle (pore), bursting the lining wall and spread the bacteria in the dermis layer.  Do you ever notice that picking one pimple can produce a family of pimples?

Scarring is another reason not to pick a zit.  An esthetician looks at skin through a magnifying scope and can see the imprints of fingernails where they pressed on the blemish.  Also, picking a blemish to bleeding causes a scab, which leads to scarring – sometimes so much that a deep pit forms permanently.

A more subtle, but longer lasting result of picking is revealed in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation — the brown and red marks that remain after a lesion heals.  Most browns spots will resolve by themselves, but it may take a very, very long time.  Picking a pimple can cause an inflammatory response in the form of a red mark.  Some people may get a red mark regardless if they pick or not as this depends on the amount of melanin that person’s skin produces.  Nevertheless, it will be worse if you pick at your pimple.

Here are some helpful tips to heal a pimple quickly.  Try putting a piece of ice on the blemish.  Hold it on the affected area for a few minutes, then remove it, and repeat. This takes away the irritation and inflammation, which helps it heal quicker.  It also reduces some of the built-up pressure, thereby making it easier to resist the temptation to attack it with your fingers.

Now the legal pick.  This is not a license to go after your face, but sometimes it just has to be done!  When a pimple has been opened and there is pus and debris on the surface, take two Q-Tips and gently – GENTLY – push on both sides of the pimple until the debris releases.  Cleanse the area with alcohol and pick no more!  It takes discipline but your skin will thank you for it.