By Sean Zucker —
It’s the natural impulse after seeing a red, pus-filled bump develop seemingly overnight. It is a target for popping. The instinct may be pure, but the idea is bad. Trying to clear pimples by popping them will only make matters worse. It can also have a hazardous impact on the surrounding skin, experts confirm.
The Dermatology Center of Northwest Houston explains that pimples are a common skin condition that often forms due to hormonal changes or excessive oils in the skin. As a side effect of acne, pimples develop on the skin when oil glands become clogged with dead skin cells and oils leading to a build-up of pus.
While generally thought to be just an adolescent plague, both teenagers and adults can suffer from acne. The problem certainly hits teens and young adults harder than other age groups with approximately 95 percent of these individuals suffering from some form of acne. But Jama Network, a research site, reports up to 50 percent of adults over 25 also suffer from acne in some form.
Regardless of age, popping a pimple only makes matters worse as the blemish tends to become more severe and pronounced.
“Many people who have pimples think that popping them will help the bumps go away. However, popping or squeezing pimples can actually worsen your condition,” the center reported. “Pressing on pimples can force bad bacteria and pus deeper into your skin. This can lead to increased swelling and redness in the area that makes pimples more noticeable.”
But that’s only the tip of the white head. Verywell Health warns that popping a pimple can do more than just accentuate a blemish’s visibility. It can leave a lasting imprint on skin beyond more pimples.
“This is especially true if the pimple forms well beneath the surface of the skin. Popping a papule (a pimple without a white head) forces the skin to literally break open to release the pus. This leads to the formation of a scab and the darkening of the surrounding skin,” the site explained.
And that’s not the only concern. While this skin darkening is often only temporary, Verywell Health warned that consistently popping pimples in one area can result in permanent scarring.
“Every time your skin is damaged, there’s a possibility that tissue will be lost in the course of the healing process. That is how you get depressed or pitted acne scars. The greater the damage, the greater the chance of tissue loss,” the site reported.
Luckily, there are plenty of strategies to minizine the appearance of pimples and expedite their eradication. The Dermatology Center of Northwest Houston stressed the need to keep hands away from the face and other areas zits tend to appear. This will limit the amount of unnecessary pimple-producing bacteria coming into areas where problems tend to appear. Additionally, the center recommends those at risk maintain a daily skin cleansing and moisturizing regimen specific to their skin type.
When pimples do arise, there are also over-the-counter products that help eliminate the blemishes faster–hopefully halting the urge to pop them. Look for products containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or sulfur.