At one point or another, when a pimple begins to show up on our face, we’ve all had the urge to pop and squeeze. But should we actually be messing around with our faces in such a way? We take a look at whether or not it’s actually a good idea to go about squeezing pimples.
So what is the difference between a pimple, blackhead and whitehead?
These are all various forms of acne that can show up on your face, chest, back, and shoulders. They are formed when a pore gets clogged with dead skin cells, bacteria, and oil. If that pore is completely clogged and is closed at the surface it’s called a whitehead.
A blackhead forms when a pore is only partially clogged; this allows some of the trapped oily substance, called sebum, to slowly drain to the surface. The black colour is caused by oxygen when it reacts to the exposed pore. When a pore becomes inflamed, it’s considered a pimple, which develops after whiteheads or blackheads have become infected.
But should you squeeze them?
When it comes to any form of acne, the general consensus is that you shouldn’t squeeze or pop them. This is because when you attempt to pop a whitehead or blackhead all the bacteria, oil, and debris that was contained will leak out into the surrounding area and cause tenderness, inflammation, redness and sometimes it can even cause a cyst.
If the area gets very inflamed then you might also scar your face. If you can resist the urge to squeeze, then the problem generally tends to resolve itself within a week or so. If you think that the situation requires urgent treatment then you should probably visit a dermatologist or make sure to pop a pimple in a safe way.
How then do you safely pop a whitehead or blackhead?
Firstly, when it comes to whiteheads, wait until it has a firm whitehead as it means that the pus is close to the surface. Then you need to wash your hands with warm water and soap, you can also wear some thin rubber gloves if you want to be extra cautious. Use a warm compress to soften the follicle so as to allow the white part to slough off. Then you can squeeze it, but make sure that you don’t squeeze it from both sides.
Pimple popping is never really a good idea, as it can normally cause more problems than solving them. So if you can hold off from squeezing, the problem will go away. However, if you can’t resist the urge to squeeze then make sure that you do it the right way so that you don’t end up damaging your skin.