Popping whiteheads, blackheads or papules can reduce the immediate appearance of singular pimples, but in asking should you pop pimples with pus, dermatologists will always say no.
The structure of pimples often means that their contents can be accessed by rupturing the thin layer of skin which covers them or encouraging oxidised and exposed contents to the surface. However, the adverse consequences of doing so can prolong their occurrence or cause other aesthetic and physical concerns – like bacteria and infection – to appear.
For how to make a pimple go away in a safe and non-obstructive way, there are efficacious skincare solutions. Ahead, we review methods like placing salicylic acid or retinol on pimples. As with the concerns experienced by every skin type, behavioural stressors are often a common cause.
PIMPLES VS. ACNE BLEMISHES
A mixture of dirt, dead skin cells, excess sebum and pus make up pimples, which form together to create different types of acne breakouts. Popping and expelling the contents has a different outcome depending on the kind of pimple you’re addressing. If there is inflammation and tenderness over a minimal level, or there isn’t visible pus, popping them won’t eliminate the interior concern. If you’re wondering ‘should I pop my pimple’ for an acne blemish, the simple answer is no. These blemishes sit deeper in the subcutaneous layers of skin, and require a topical formula approach. Types include:
Blind pimples: an infection that is trapped deep in skin nearby nerves, causing pressure and discomfort. Learn more about blind pimples:
Papules: bumps that lack whiteheads and are coloured red, purple or brown.
Pustules: a yellow centre of pus surrounded by red or brown skin
Nodules:hard lumps that sit deep within skin
Cysts: swollen red, brown or purple lumps that can cause high levels of discomfort
SHOULD I POP MY PIMPLES?
Noninflamed acne blemishes – or pimples – include whiteheads and blackheads. While they sit higher on the surface level of skin, there are still consequences in trying to eliminate their contents. So, should you pop pimples with pus that is visible? The two variations include:
• Whiteheads: also called closed comedones, whiteheads are clogged forms of pimples that retain a thin layer of skin over them, preventing the contents from oxidising and turning dark.
• Blackheads: as opposed to whiteheads, the contents of these pimples are exposed, giving the term ‘open comedones’. The dirt, bacteria and skin cells that make up blackheads oxidise once exposed and turn dark.
Given their raised height, should you pop whiteheads? Popping is never advised as you may rupture the area of skin around it. This leaves those pores exposed to bacteria and scarring, which can increase the rate of pimples and cause stress to skin.
1. PURIFY AND EXFOLIATE
Over-exfoliation can have a similar effect to popping pimples. For how to help support blemish-prone skin without causing stress to skin, a gentle exfoliant like Effaclar Micro-Peeling Purifying Gel Cleanser should be used. Gel cleansers like this deeply exfoliate skin and target visible pimples through the use of purifying and unclogging ingredients like salicylic acid and LHA.
2. CLARIFY AND REBALANCE
Retinol can assist in reducing further breakouts, as its formula helps to renew the skin cell cycle and improve skin barrier health. In terms of using retinol on popped pimples, the strength and efficacy of this ingredient can assist with marks. Retinol B3 Anti-Ageing Serum helps to resurface healthy skin, and can be used by those with sensitive skin types.
PROTECT AND STREGTHEN
To remove excess oil that may reclog pores, Effaclar Anti-Acne Purifying Clay Mask contains kaolin clay and vitamin B5 – which have naturally absorbing properties. Following this, a non-comedogenic moisturiser hydrates and strengthens skin. For whiteheads and acne related blemishes, Effaclar Duo (+) Anti-Acne Moisturiser uses niacinamide to decrease the appearance of redness and mannose to stimulate skin regeneration. For blackheads, Effaclar K (+) Anti-Blackhead Moisturiser contains antioxidants vitamin E and carnosine to prevent oxidisation.
WHAT TO DO AFTER POPPING A PIMPLE
For any blemishes you have addressed through forced clearing, what to do after popping a pimple is important to limit marks. Rebalancing Effaclar Anti-Acne Salicylic Acid Serum contains three peeling acids – LHA to lift dead skin cells, salicylic acid and glycolic acid to help improve the appearance of blemishes and brighten skin texture.
OTHER HABITS TO AVOID AND IMPLEMENT
Outside of placing supportive ingredients like salicylic acid on popped pimples, there are lifestyle habits to adapt for continued clarified skin.
Cleansing at night and ensuring you sleep on clean pillowcases will help to avoid bacteria accessing skin. UV radiation can also affect pores – so implement non comedogenic sunscreen like Anthelios XL Anti-Shine Dry Touch Facial Sunscreen SPF 50+ into your daily routine.
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE.
Apply 20 minutes before sun exposure. Sunscreen is only one part of sun protection so wear protective clothing and seek shade. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, towelling and perspiring in accordance with directions.
Keep reading to discover what causes acne breakouts.
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