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Zits, pimples, acne; call it whatever, they’re unsightly, painful and leave scars. Especially if it’s before a meeting, a big date or an event, your zit pops out of the blue and there it is staring back at you in your mirror. You have the urge to squeeze and pop it. Should you do it? Yes and No. Confused? Before we delve into this answer, let’s first look at what a zit is composed of and how it is different from a pustule.
Zits usually have bacteria, debris, sebum, and oil. A zit contains all this debris in a neat sack. Once you pop a zit, this infectious material can spill over into other pores and infect them as well. This leads to more pimples because of the bacterial spread.
You must never touch a Pimple, Acne, Cyst or a Nodule
Sometimes when you prod a pimple, you are also likely to force the debris and bacteria deeper into the pore, risking more scarring. Zits usually last for about a week. Left alone, these zits run their course over five days and heal fairly quickly. If popped incorrectly, they can last for weeks and result in deeper scars.
This is the case with cysts and nodules as well. How can you tell? Cysts and nodules are deep, hard bumps that are red and swollen from within. They usually penetrate the depth of the epidermis and can leave scars depending on how far they go. You must never touch these. You can try and dry it up by applying 5% benzoyl peroxide gel or cream once a day or meet your dermatologist. You can also visit this website called “Facing Acne” for more ideas in solving your problem.
In addition to nodules and cysts, blackheads and whiteheads should also not be touched. An aesthetician or a dermatologist should work on extracting these.
On the other hand, pustules can be popped at home.
Pustules are red and swollen and have a white head that is easily visible to the naked eye. When you squeeze or pop a pustule, you will find a gooey white substance oozing out which is pus— dead white cells destroying bacteria.
Popping a pustule requires some practice as it needs to empty the pore completely. If you pop a pustule and don’t drain it completely, the bacteria proliferate, and you will find a pustule filling up again with the pus.
So how do you go about popping the pustule?
- Start with cleaning your hands. Wash thoroughly, including fingernails because your nails will press the base of a pustule.
- Soak a cotton swab with some rubbing alcohol and clean a pustule and the area around it.
- Once clean, with your fingers apply gentle pressure on either side of a pustule, directing it towards the base. You want the material from below to push upwards to the surface.
- If a pustule does not pop with gentle pressure, stop. If a pustule is ready, it will pop without too much pressure. You will be able to feel if a pustule is ready or not. Do not use a pin or needle on your face. Often these can be an additional source of infection. If you feel you have to use a needle, your pustule is not ready.
After you pop a pustule, it will bleed and you need to keep a cotton swab pressed against it to stem the mild bleeding. A pimple can be left open or you can an use an over the counter hydrocortisone cream. This will help reduce the redness and inflammation.
Don’t apply anything else to it. Since it’s open and will take a day to scab over, don’t try to cover it with makeup. You can use a spot band-aid to keep it from getting infected.
If you find yourself getting a zit in the same place over and over again, you need to rethink your skin routine, contact with fingers and may even need to visit a dermatologist to do a deeper cleanse or peel.
To pop or not to pop? Hope you’ve got your answer.😇 So, this was it for today. I hope you have found this post helpful.
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