Safe Squeezing: How to Take Care of Breakouts (and Ensure They Don’t Scar)

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Breakouts are unavoidable. They are one of those inevitable things in life that we must manage when they pop up. And, the most common way of dealing with said breakouts is to squeeze them. While this is ridiculously satisfying (yes, really!), it’s not great for your skin and experts strongly advise against any sort of popping interference.

Why is that? Well, popping a pimple can encourage infection and in some cases, can also lead to scarring once the zit has disappeared. When you pop a pimple, you’re left with an open wound that spews all of the gunk onto your skin. Bacteria can enter the wound and cause further infection, while you’re also disrupting your body’s natural healing process.

While this all makes sense, it doesn’t make it any easier to stop yourself from squeezing when a giant pimple has made itself at home on your face. While I’ve personally found acne stickers to make a big difference in stopping me from picking my zits. I’m still tempted. And more often than not, I still squeeze pimples if they reach a certain point where I can’t bear to look at them any longer.

If you suffer from acne and are tempted by pimple popping on the regular, the best place to go is to see a dermatologist or the like. Skin experts are able to properly treat the acne and if necessary, pop the pimples in a safe way that won’t result in infection or scarring,

But, for those moments when you just can’t leave the zit alone, this is what Shoshana Eisner, pharmacist and founder of QED Skincare, recommends you should do. “The best way is to let your professional beauty therapist deal with it,” said Eisner. “However, that is not always possible so here are the essential steps. Firstly make sure you wash your hands. This is something that needs to be done with very clean hands!”

Step 1: After you’ve washed your hands, start by cleansing your face.

Step 2: Then, run your hot tap to get the temperature up and wet a facecloth with warm water. Press the hot compress onto the pimple for a few minutes to help loosen the skin and open the pores.

Step 3: Gently squeeze the pimple. If it doesn’t pop, it is not ready. If excessive force is required, don’t do it as you will damage the skin around the pimple. (If it is just not ready, applying a dab of the QED 5 – Minute Facial Clay Mask, Detox + Clarify, which is designed to have powerful anti-inflammatory effects, will help speed up the healing process).

Step 4: Quickly wipe away any goo that comes out (Goo is the technical term for a mixture of dead white cells, dirt, bacteria perhaps a little blood).

Step 5: Immediately press on the area with a clean cotton round soaked in HOT water.  You should feel a little zing. Now leave it alone to heal, NO MORE TOUCHING!

There you have it. While popping your own zits is never ideal, sometimes it’s necessary. As someone who struggles to leave things like pimples and blackheads alone (I’m a picker), this advice is super helpful for future zits. If you prefer leaving your zits to do their own thing, that’s great! And, way more healthy for your skin, so keep up the good work.