Here’s why picking and squeezing pimples is one of the worst skin mistakes you can make – and what you should be doing instead
Squeezing a pimple. We’ve all done it. When something’s as irritating and painful and frustrating as all that, the only thing you want to do is to get rid of it and let it heal so you can get on with your life – hopefully, zit-free from now on.
But it doesn’t quite work like that. Squeezing and picking at a pimple doesn’t actually get rid of the problem. If anything, it can make things way worse.
Remember that story in August last year, when 21-year-old Katie Wright from Texas in the US squeezed what she thought was a pimple on her forehead? You know, that absolute horror story about how she picked at it and her entire face swelled up and she was rushed to the hospital because it wasn’t a pimple at all but a staph infection instead.
Today (2017). Woman shares infected pimple photo as warning against popping zits. [image] Available at: https://www.today.com/health/why-popped-pimple-led-staph-infection-t114992 [Accessed 7 May 2018].
Yes, cases like Katie’s are rare. But, much like with the risks involved with squeezing pimples in “the danger triangle” (your nose and upper lip) where the blood vessels are so close to the brain that a bad infection from squeezing a pimple in this area could potentially kill you, the warnings are there because it actually can happen (and has happened in the past).
Okay, though, let’s not be overly dramatic. Loads of people squeeze pimples all the time. So how bad can it be?
You had to ask. But, yes, there are actually several very good, very much everyday reasons why picking at and squeezing pimples is a very bad idea. For your skin and your body.
You’re stopping your body from healing properly
You might not think about it that way, but by the time a pimple becomes noticeable to you, your body’s actually been fighting the good fight (working hard to get rid of it safely) for quite some time already. The infection that will eventually result in a pimple started inside the skin, in the subcutaneous glands inside follicles long before you see them. So you’re basically walking in at the end of the fight. And squeezing it now, just as your body’s getting a handle on things, causes a whole host of new problems for your skin (see all the points below).
That’s why so many scientist and doctors urge you not to pick at pimples, but rather use a tried-and-tested spot treatment, like Lamelle’s all-new Clarity Active Control.
Squeezing tears and injures your skin
When you squeeze, all the puss and bad stuff inside the pimple pops out through your skin, creating tiny (and sometimes not so tiny) tears in the skin. You’re basically creating a new injury on top of an infected area of skin. So, now your body not only has to deal with the remaining infection inside the pimple (yes, surprise, squeezing a pimple usually doesn’t get rid of the bacteria in the follicle that caused it in the first place), but also has to try and stop the infection from spreading, while trying to heal the skin.
That’s why they say …
Squeezing only makes the pimple worse
Ever squeeze a pimple only to have it come back with a vengeance a little while later? Yeah, that’s because squeezing it more often than not just drives the bad bacteria and oil further down into the skin. This often leads to more inflammation, spreading the infection and turning a manageable situation into a nightmare.
Not to mention that even touching a pimple introduces a whole host of new bacteria from your fingertips and nails to an already open and infected area. Which, even if the original bacteria wouldn’t have flared up again, is enough to cause an entirely new infection (featuring your all-new introduced bacteria) and prolonging the healing process.
You might cause even more pimples
When you pop a pimple, you’re freeing the bacteria and oil, and often allowing it to spread to other parts of the skin. That’s why squeezing often causes another pimple to form nearby.
If you’ve read our post on the ultimate pre-date pimple emergency plan, you will know that rule one of taking care of a surprise zit effectively is to never, ever try to squeeze it.
Squeezing leaves nasty scabs
Remember how we said squeezing tears the skin? It turns a healing infection into an open wound, basically. And your body’s way of dealing with a wound is to create a scab. And, do you know what’s the one thing that’s harder to cover up than a pimple? A big scab with loads of inflamed red skin around it.
What’s more, if the pimple’s infection didn’t clear up properly, guess what’s going to be forming right underneath that unsightly scab. More puss. Tempting you to pick at the scab, too. You can see how this easily turns into a vicious cycle, right?
Scabs leave scars behind
The absolute worst part of popping a really bad pimple is that there’s always a risk that, even if the scab eventually disappears, it could leave a nice scar behind. Scar tissue is a special type of skin structure that’s a little tougher, less elastic and often lighter in appearance than the skin around it. You can always tell scar tissue from the normal healthy skin surrounding it because it always looks just a little bit off.
Now imagine you’re inflicting that on yourself (imagine a scar on your face!) just because you insist on squeezing a pimple.
It could lead to discolouration of the skin
Remember how we said that scar tissue looks different from your normal skin? It’s literally a different colour. It’s marks of discolouration on your skin and it completely ruins your complexion and your entire look.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is one of the three most common forms of skin tone problems and discolouration in the world.
So, what’s the right way to deal with pimples?
If you’re a regular acne sufferer, the best way to beat breakouts and pimples, in general, is to bring a complete inside-and-out treatment into your skincare routine as soon as possible. Lamelle Research Laboratories employs a combination or oral capsules and a range of topical creams to reduce acne by up to 88% in just eight weeks through its Acnevelle and Clarity range.
But, Lamelle has also now introduced a powerful, direct spot treatment that’s perfect for everyone – whether you get regular breakouts or not – that’s proven to be very effective and super easy to carry with you at all times.
Introducing: Clarity Active Control
Made with a special blend of the vitamin niacinamide and a unique form of ascorbic acid (a type of vitamin C), as well as ingredients that fight free radicals in the skin, gel-based Clarity Active control is a spot treatment like no other.
You just dab it on the problem area and let the advanced ingredients go to work. No more picking. No more squeezing. And no more unsightly flare-ups, scabs or inflammation.
What’s more, it comes in a handy 9ml tube. So it’s easy to carry with you in your handbag, or even in the pocket of your school blazer or your jeans – everywhere you go.
For more information on our Clarity Range be sure to read up on our Clarity Range, or ask your doctor/skincare therapist about all-new Clarity Active Control today.