Why Your Dermatologist Discourages Pimple Popping

It may seem satisfying in the moment, but pimple popping is potentially damaging to your skin. While extractions (preferably in-office) are sometimes appropriate, Dr. Pimple Popper (board certified dermatologist Dr. Sandra Lee), always advises patients not to pick, pop, or squeeze their pimples. Here’s why.

Man popping pimple instead of using salicylic acid Spot Check by SLMD Skincare

Why is it bad to pick pimples?

Basically, pimples are your body’s natural response to a disruption in optimal skin function. When you mess with that natural response, you invite unwanted consequences. According to Dr. Lee, here’s what can happen when you squeeze your delicate skin.

  1. You’re tearing your tissue. Unless it’s an open comedone (aka blackhead), popping a pimple means you’re breaking through a layer of skin. This creates a wound on top of a pimple. To gently but powerfully exfoliate clogged pores without picking, Dr. Lee favors salicylic acid. Find it in SLMD Salicylic Acid Spot Treatment, which also contains witch hazel to fight bacteria.
  2. You’re interrupting the healing process. Acne forms when pores clog up with dirt, oil, and sometimes, bacteria. Your body’s defenses naturally kick in to remedy the situation — which gets sidetracked when you squeeze. When you get a powerful urge to pop a pimple, remember that acne is a normal skin condition — and be kind to your skin.
  3. You might be making it worse. Popping a pimple can introduce more contaminants from your fingers and face — or push trapped oil and bacteria deeper down — into your pores, provoking an even bigger blemish. Instead, try an acne-fighter like SLMD BP Spot Treatment. It’s loaded with benzoyl peroxide to kill acne-causing bacteria, along with allantoin to ease inflammation.
  4. You might create multiple pimples. All that gunk exploding out of an acne pustule or papule can spread bacteria, exacerbating your breakout. To keep fingers off your face while fighting pimples, use SLMD Spot Check Acne Patches. These salicylic acid patches absorb excess oil and pus, while soothing and protecting skin from possible scarring.
  5. You could be creating a scar. Anytime you pick at your pimples (particularly deeper, cystic acne), you run the risk of creating permanent damage. Even if you leave your acne alone, you’re likely to have some post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) as skin heals. PIH generally disappears over time, but you can speed the process with SLMD Dark Spot Fix — a powerful combination of niacinamide, salicylic acid and kojic acid that helps reduce the look of hyperpigmentation.
Spot Check salicylic acid acne treatment and Dark Spot Fix by SLMD Skincare

Dr. Lee’s last word

As a dermatologist, I’m always going to tell patients not to pick or pop their pimples. It’s a lot to ask, I know — but having spot treatments with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide on hand will not only promote healing, they'll also keep you from touching and irritating your acne. So next time you’re tempted to pick a pimple, treat it with a targeted product or patch — and step away from that magnifying mirror!

— Dr. Sandra Lee


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