What You Should Do After Popping A Pimple
By Korin Miller
Hey, it happens!
You know you’re not supposed to pop a zit. Heck, your 13-year-old niece knows you’re not supposed to do that. But sometimes the temptation is too great to resist, especially if that pimple shows zero signs of backing down.
So…you pop it. Now what are you supposed to do?
First, don’t panic: You’re not going to skin hell because you got a little squeeze-happy. Just, you know, don’t do that again.
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Watch: 7 Bumps You Should Never Pop
While Dr. Gary Goldenberg, medical director of the Dermatology Faculty Practice at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, doesn’t recommend popping zits, he says there are a few steps you can take in the aftermath. First, use a cold compress on the area to reduce swelling and redness. Then, apply some benzoyl peroxide. “Popping a zit likely causes some of the zit contents to spread deeper down,” he explains. “Benzoyl peroxide can help reduce the amount of bacteria in the area and decrease inflammation, decreasing likelihood of scarring.”
Then, wait it out. Goldenberg says it’s okay to cover the area with makeup once it’s stopped oozing. He usually recommends green-tinted makeup to hide the redness.
Of course, the best way to avoid the temptation to pop zits is to prevent them in the first place. If you find that you’re regularly dealing with this struggle, Goldenberg recommends seeing a dermatologist and starting a skin-care regimen to tackle your zits. But, if you have the odd zit pop up, try a combination of salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide as spot-treatment, and see where that gets you. And if you’re REALLY feeling the urge to get pop-happy again, just live vicariously through one of these gross, can’t-look-away zit-popping videos.
Looking for more? Here are six nasty things that can happen to your skin while exercising.
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