Gross Alert! This Is What Really Happens When You Pop A Spot And It’s Pretty Icky

We just can't keep our hands off the little blighters but not surprisingly pimple popping has some pretty nasty effects on our skin.

Regina George Mean Girls

It’s skincare cardinal sin numero uno: never, ever pop a spot, but no matter how many times we’re told not to, we just help giving that newly formed zit a big old squeeze.

But while we might think we’re doing our skin a good turn by getting out all that gunk and grime, it turns out that what we’re actually doing is increasing our risk of getting more breakouts and even an infection. Worse yet, getting squeeze-happy can also cause permanent skin damage.

Speaking to The Conversation, Consultant Dermatologist Michelle Rodrigues explains that “a pimple is like a little bag under the skin that contains oil, bacteria, and inflammation. Squeezing it can result in these contents being pushed into surrounding skin, making the problem worse. It can also lead to infection and temporary darkening of the skin in that area.” Yikes.

“On top of this,” she continues, “the inflammation can become so bad that scarring is left behind when the pimple finally settles down. And scarring (unlike the pimple) can be permanent.”

Does this mean that the next time a monstrous pimple pops up we’ll be leaving it well alone? Um, no, but we will be a little bit more careful about how we pop it.

According to Aisling Cleary, Registered General Nurse at River Medical “If you absolutely have to do it, wait until the spot reaches a head and then with squeaky clean hands and a tissue, gently apply pressure. If it doesn’t pop – don’t force it.” Got it.

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