So, You Popped a Pimple—Here’s What You Should Do Now
You could’ve covered your pimple up with concealer. You could’ve applied a spot treatment formulated with benzoyl peroxide. Better yet? You could’ve just let it run its course. Despite your better judgment, you gave in to temptation, picked away at the pesky zit on your face and now you’re reeling in regret. The very blemish you hoped to address (or at the very least, hide) is now an angry spot on your complexion. Unfortunately, you can’t go back in time and un-do your mistake so it’s damage control from here on out. To find out what to do after popping a pimple, we tapped into board-certified dermatologist and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Arash Akhavan. In addition to tips on how to manage a popped pimple, we’re sharing everything you need to know to help prevent pimples from cropping up in the first place. If your prevention plan is solid, you’ll need not worry about a treatment plan.
Why You Should Never Pop Your Pimples
Since you’re in this predicament, it’s worth reminding yourself of why it’s no place you want to be again. Dr. Akhavan agrees that popping your pimples is a terrible idea. By picking at your skin, you risk cross contamination (think about how many germs can be on your hands), possible infection, as well as potentially permanent visible scarring. What’s more, popping pimples at home may even push some of the contents of the clogged pore deeper into the skin, which may increase inflammation and lead to more noticeable acne. Sure, a pop here and there seems harmless. In reality, these potential consequences are not to be taken lightly. Instead of reaching for your concealer tube after each pop to help hide the evidence, do your best to avoid popping those pesky zits in the first place.
If you’re looking for ways to help keep your pimples under control, reach for an acne spot treatment. These formulas contain acne-fighting ingredients which can help reduce the appearance of blemishes over time. They may not work overnight, but they can be incredibly effective. If you’re in a pinch and need to hide the look of your pimples, foundation or concealer can cover up bumps and redness and make blemishes appear less noticeable. These two options are much more encouraged than popping, and your skin will thank you.
The Damage Is Done. What Now?
The area may appear irritated post-pop, but there are ways to care for your skin to help keep the area looking as good as possible. Before you panic, follow these steps:
Step One: Clean the Skin
Now that the skin around the blemish is broken, it could be more susceptible to unwanted bacteria so it’s important to help keep it clean. We recommend cleansing both in the morning and evening with a gentle cleanser, especially if you have acne-prone skin. You want to ensure that you’re removing surface debris, dirt, and makeup before it has a change to wreak havoc on your pores. Just be sure that your cleanser is not too harsh since your skin is still healing.
Step Two: Apply a Spot Treatment
If your instinct was to reach for a spot treatment to expedite the healing process, then you thought correctly! “I recommend drying it out with a spot salicylic acid product,” explains Dr. Akhavan. Salicylic acid is a powerful acne-fighting ingredient that can be found in a wide variety of skin care products. It works as a chemical exfoliator to remove the layer of dead skin cells on the surface of your skin. Need a rec? Check out our roundup of the best acne spot treatments, here!
Step Three: Leave it Alone
Don’t interfere any further; allow your skin to heal on its own. Put a bandage on the zit, tie your hands to your chair—whatever you do, avoid touching your pimples with your fingers as much as possible. By touching the blemish, you’re only inviting more bacteria in to potentially irritate the area even further. We know it’s easier said than done. That’s why we’re sharing some helpful tips to curb the bad habit, here.
Step Four: Skip the Makeup
While it may seem tempting to try to cover up the offending area with concealer and foundation right away, now that you have popped your pimple it’s best to keep it clean and hydrated and wait to put on your makeup.
If, once your skin has recovered, you notice a dark spot or scarring in its place, you can help hide its appearance by reaching for a high-coverage concealer like the Dermablend Quick Fix Concealer. This full-coverage concealer is also formulated with SPF 30.
How to See Clearer Skin More Quickly
When you’re dealing with blemishes, it can be hard to be patient and allow it to run its course. To help speed along the time it takes for your skin to clear, follow these five helpful tips:
Tip #1: Keep Your Hands Off Your Face
Picking and prying at your skin can make your acne worse. Resist the urge to pop your pimples, and do your best to keep your hands off your face. This includes resting your face on your palms, which many of us are guilty of doing. The truth is that even if you wash your hands diligently, harmful bacteria my still be present. It’s microscopic and you can’t see it with the naked eye, but if it’s there it can further irritate your skin. To be extra safe, keep your hands off your face.
Tip #2: Relieve Pain with Ice
Acne can be unsightly, but it can also be painful, especially nodules and cysts. To help reduce inflammation, apply ice to the area.
Tip #3: Use a Spot Treatment
As we mentioned previously, spot treatments formulated with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid can help reduce the appearance of acne. They can take time to work, so you’ll have to be consistent with your use. Also, it’s essential to make sure that you are following all of the instructions listed on the product since these formulas can be notoriously drying. If all acne treatments fail to clear your skin after four to six weeks, visit your dermatologist. He or she will know how to physically remove blemishes safely using sterile instruments. When performed by a dermatologist, an acne extraction is a safe way to get rid of blackheads and whiteheads.
Tip #4: Keep Your Skin Moisturized
Even if you’re dealing with oily, acne-prone skin, you should still be using a hydrating moisturizer daily. Spot treatments and acne-fighting cleansers have a tendency to be a bit drying for the skin. So, to ensure that you replenish any lost moisture, you’re going to want to grab a moisturizer or cream that works with your skin type. moisturizer to choose, we rounded up our six favorite moisturizers for acne-prone skin, here!
Tip #5: Try to Stay Calm
Stress-induced acne can be a vicious cycle. The stress that led to a breakout in the first place is hard to curb once the blemishes are present. If more and more pimples appear, well those stress levels can go through the roof. What are you left with? Skin that doesn’t have a chance to look and feel its best. Remember that acne is incredibly common and most often nothing to worry about. Your skin will eventually clear so make sure not to stress yourself too much. Take some time to relax and decompress. Follow the advice of your dermatologist, use powerful products, and be patient.