Obsessed with popping pimples? Here’s why…
There are two types of people in this world — people who love to pop pimples and people who shudder at the thought. Trying to figure out which one you are? Think about these questions…
• When a pimple starts to surface on your chin (or your partner's chin), do you get itchy fingers?
• Does anxiety build in the pit of your stomach as you stare at the potential extraction?
• Or do you feel a rush of excitement about what’s to come?
• Does the idea of a ripe pimple making that “pop” noise underneath your fingers give you a little bit of a thrill?
• Have you ever spent a Friday night at home going down a rabbit hole of Dr Pimple Popper videos on YouTube?
If you answered yes to any of the above, then we guess you’re pro-pimple popping. But don’t be embarrassed or ashamed, it turns out you’re not alone — there are plenty of others out there who obsess over the challenge of popping a giant pimple.
Before we get into why some of us love it, let’s chat about all things popping pimples.
Is popping my own pimple really that bad for me?
Think that popping pimples on your face will lead to clearer skin? Sorry to break it to you, but you’re wrong! Popping pimples can lead to scarring, more acne or worse — an infection. The only person who should pop pimples is a dermatologist, like Dr Pimple Popper (keep reading for more extraction goodness from her below).
What happens when I pop a pimple?
When you pop a pimple, you essentially tear the skin’s surface to make way for the pimple’s pus to come out. This tear becomes a small wound that will either heal or, most likely, scar. One more warning? The pus that comes out of the pimple can contain acne-causing bacteria, which can spread into nearby pores and cause the acne to spread.
Have we convinced you to stop yet?
Ok, ok…I know it’s bad for me, but I still want to do it! Why?
Your brain says no, but your fingers still say yes? There are a couple of reasons.
Popping pimples releases dopamine
A lot of people find popping pimples satisfying. After feeling and hearing that “pop”, some people get an immediate sensation of pleasure and relief. That’s because dopamine — the happy-hormone — is released when you feel a sense of accomplishment.
Popping pimples can become addictive
You know the saying “once you pop you can’t stop”? Well unfortunately in some cases people can develop a pimple popping addiction. As we know, popping pimples can cause a surge of dopamine. But repeated exposure of popping our own pimples can lead us to want it more and drive us to go after the source of pleasure (Ref: How Addiction Hijacks the Brain).
How do I stop popping pimples?
It’s time to step away from the mirror. If you’ve found yourself in a cycle of popping pimples that you can’t seem to break, try the following.
See a dermatologist
The next time a breakout makes you want to pick and pop, go and see a dermatologist and let them handle the extraction(s).
Implement a consistent skincare routine
Once the extractions have been made by a professional, implement a skincare routine to keep your complexion clear.
Binge on Dr Pimple Popper
Instead of picking at your own skin, watch Dr Sandra Lee (aka Dr Pimple Popper) take on some of the world’s worst pores. Watching other people undergo extractions can give you an equal thrill to popping your own. Think of it like watching a scary movie or eating something really spicy — you’ll get pleasure from the discomfort.
Need it right now? Here are three of her trending videos — the best pimple pop ever.
Her Most Watched Video — The Best Pimple Pop Ever
One Big Blackhead
Top 10 Soft Pops!
Satisfied? We are.
Okay, this pimple on my chin is ludicrously large, filled with white pus and bursting at the seams. If I don’t pop it, it will spontaneously combust on my face….now can you tell me how to pop this thing the correct way?
We didn’t want it to come to this, but if you can't get to a dermatologist and absolutely must pop a pimple, here is the correct way to do it according to Acne.org.
- Clean your hands with anti-bacterial soap and then cleanse your face thoroughly.
- Disinfect an extraction needle with rubbing alcohol.
- Take the extraction needle and gently prick the pimple's surface.
- Take two tissues and wrap each of your index fingers with them.
- Using your fingers, gently squeeze from the sides — using a down-and-in motion. Don't force it to pop. The pimple will expel the pus onto the skin if it is ready.
- Stop if clear fluid or blood starts to come out and walk away from the mirror!
Note: Never attempt to pop a cystic lesion. See a dermatologist for help.
Who would have thought that popping pimples would be this complex? The next time you pass by a mirror and see a pimple on the verge of erupting, put down your fingers and think — is there a YouTube clip I could be watching instead?
More Acne Advice
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