If you’ve fallen to the temptation of zit-popping (and shamefully, many of us have) then you know one thing is certain – once you do it, you can’t go back. Although we are not recommending you pop or pick any pimples, we know there are times when you feel like you absolutely must (I mean that zit was just coaxing you in, right?). To minimize irritation and scarring, follow these steps for what to do before, during and after you pop a zit.
Run a cloth under warm water and hold it on the blemish. Your goal is to soften the area so repeat this step until the pimple and surrounding skin has softened. To avoid spreading bacteria, you should never use your fingers to pop! Cover two fingers in clean tissues or use Q-tips to do the deed. Never attack straight on – Instead, go from underneath and lift up. Apply only gentle pressure so you don’t damage the surrounding healthy tissue.
Even if your popping procedure is “successful,” it’s still going to result in immediate redness and inflammation. Hold an ice cube, wrapped in a tissue, to the area for 10 to 15 minutes (we know it’s super cold, but if you do the crime you have to pay the time).
Disinfect and Protect
Once you’ve popped a zit you’re not just dealing with a blemish anymore, it’s now an open wound so disinfecting is imperative for proper healing. Apply an antibacterial solution, such as apple cider vinegar or witch hazel. Next, treat the area with a protective coating just like you would for a cut. Dab hydrocortisone or tea-tree oil on the post-popped zit, and let the healing process begin!
You’ve already gone against the rules of skin care by popping your zit in the first place so please just leave the damn thing alone already (we mean this with love, of course)! Touching the area can lead to infection, and picking at it can lead to scarring, redness and additional unwanted breakouts. Avoid further irritation by keeping your hands off and visiting your esthetician on a regular basis.