I’m not sure why I’ve been so obsessed with skin care lately, but here I am again with a post about pimples!
We talk a lot about how to take care of your skin. One of the top tips we’ve shared many, many times is not to pick. We’ve never really talked about why not to pick, and which types of pimples you should just leave alone. So here we are, talking about what happens when you do pick.
Let’s start by talking about the different kinds of blemishes.
-Blackheads: Dark ‘clogs’ stuck in your pores. They are usually flat and appear as small, black pinpricks on the skin.
-Whiteheads: White, dome shaped bumps on the skin. They don’t have an opening, but are raised above the skin.
-Papules: a solid bump that is either skin colored or red. They sit below the skin and do not have a head or opening on the top. They are less than five millimeters.
-Pustules: Bumps that contain pus. They usually start out red or have a yellow top. Before they pop or crust over, they turn completely yellow. They are also less the five millimeters big and can sometimes be painful.
-Cysts: They are bigger than five millimeters. They begin skin coloured and painless, but as they grow they turn red or yellow and painful. They grow quickly and are usually noticed because they hurt before coming to the surface.
It’s no secret that some of these are more serious than others. But regardless of which of these catagoies your blemish falls under, you should NOT pick! And here’s why…
- Picking one pimple will cause more to show up.
It’s sort of like when you pluck one gray hair, 6 more show up to it’s funeral. Except there is some science behind this. The pimple is holds in bacteria, dead skin cells and other acne causing badies. When you burst it it gets on your skin and could cause other pimples. Plus, other dirt and bacteria from your fingers get into your skin, causing more clogged pores.
2. You’re forcing that bacteria farther into the skin.
So, we talked about the pus being pimple-causing if it touches the skin. If you’re not experiences in popping pimples (and I mean trained, not just practicing in front of the mirror), you will likely push that bacteria further into the skin. And when that happens, you’ll just make the blemish worse. Sometimes, when the wall of the pore is damaged, the skin will grow back over top trapping the remaining bacteria underneath it. This can cause your blemish to become a cyst. That’s no fun for anyone.
3. You could leave a scar (especially with those pesky cystic ones).
We’ve all been there: a blemish pops up and it seems easy enough to pop. But once you start, it’s not as easy as you thought. You push, you pinch… decades seem to pass before the pop finally happens. But now you’re left with big red marks around the spot, which will turn into scabs. When you pop pimples this way, you run the risk of causing a permanent scar. When the second layer of skin is damaged, scarring will appear. Ouch.
So what should you do?
Keep up with your regular skin care routine. The pimple will dry itself out in a few days (usually 4-7 days) and go away on its own. While it’s healing, invest in some non-comedogenic (non-clogging) concealer to help cover tat bad boy up.
Need immediate relief? Press an ice cube covered with a cloth on the spot for 1 minute. This will help take down the swelling and decrease it’s appearance on your face.