We’ll say it: popping a pimple is almost always a bad idea. Sure, it feels good — for a second. The aftermath is usually worse. The pimple turns into a red spot, which can turn into a scar. This guide will teach you how to calm your pimples without popping them — and if you do give in, how to treat popped pimples the proper way.
Zits are like oil wells. They’re dirty, they get on everything, and there’s a lot unseen below the surface. When you pop a zit, the gunk inside can splash out and irritate your skin, leading to even more pimples nearby. Plus, you run the risk of driving debris and bacteria even deeper into your skin. The results? More swelling and inflammation, or even dark spots and permanent scarring.
Dermatologists have a trick for healing pimples quickly using a product you can buy for a few dollars at the store. Look for a small adhesive bandage called a hydrocolloid dressing, which can reduce a sore pimple overnight and usually takes care of the pimple in a couple of days! Sound like magic? It’s pretty simple: the bandage absorbs pus and oil from the inflamed spot. It also creates an acidic environment to prevent bacterial growth.
How to use a hydrocolloid bandage
Bandages we recommend
Tip: Hydrocolloid bandages aren’t always labeled that way. Look for blister bandages in your pharmacy, and make sure they have “hydrocolloid” listed as an ingredient.
Are you morbidly curious about the scientific term for that thing on your face? We’ve got you covered. Acne falls in two categories: non-inflammatory and inflammatory. The process begins on a cellular level when excess oil, or sebum, mixes with dead skin cells and bacteria and clogs your pores.
Non-Inflammatory Acne: Whiteheads and Blackheads
Inflammatory Acne: Papules, Pustules, Cysts and Nodules
Okay, so you’ve gotten here and you know we don’t recommend popping pimples. But if you must do it, do it like a pro.
Avoid home remedies such as toothpaste or baking soda, which can cause a lot of irritation. Also, some toothpastes contain pore-clogging ingredients that can make things worse.
Honey and lemon juice are often touted as natural remedies, but we can’t vouch for either. Although pure honey has antimicrobial properties, it’s not likely to help acne much, if at all. Non-medical grade honey may contain viable bacterial spores — not good for your skin. Lemon juice can cause significant dryness, redness and irritation. Save that lemon for cooking!
Don’t give in to desperation — you have options
We know big zits are a touchy topic (pun intended). Unsightly pimples can lead people to desperate solutions, including ones that backfire. But remember, you don’t have to be alone in dealing with them. It’s always best to talk to a professional, especially if pimples are a recurring problem. If you have questions about your skin, please message your Curology provider for expert advice!