You may not want to admit it, but you've likely dealt with acne at least once in your life Sometimes, when zit creams and DIY potions just don't do the trick, you might feel the only option left is to squeeze and hope for the best. But, if you're anything like me, you may not have known about the surprising and gross things that happen when you pop a pimple. Sure, there are the obvious disgusting results of what happens when you release the pressure of a Mount Vesuvius-sized blemish on your face, but there's more to it than that, actually.
You don't have to be a dermatologist or some kind of whitehead wizard to get the low down (and dirty) details on what's really going on above and below the surface of your skin when you squeeze a spot. Clearly, regardless of any new information you learn, there are still going to be some days when you give in to temptation and deflate the cartoonishly large pimple that's been staring you straight in the eye since you woke up. So, proceed with caution
But get ready to have your mind blown — and your appetite potentially lost — with the surprising things that can happen when you pop a pimple.
1. The Skin Rips
Dermatologist Dr. Jeanine B. Downie told The Huffington Post that "when you pop a pimple, "you force that gunk out so hard that it’s actually ripping your skin." It may not be super visible, but you actually are creating a big enough hole by force so that you can get rid of your blemish.
2. The Healing Takes Longer
The relief you get from popping a pimple may be short-lived. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, your skin will take longer to clear when you pick or squeeze a pimple. It makes sense, too, since getting rid of zits can damage your skin with all that pressure and stress.
3. More Dirt Enters The Skin
A gross result of squeezing spots is just how unsanitary the whole ordeal can be. Dr. Margarita Lolis, a board-certified dermatologist and surgeon, told SheKnows that, "popping a pimple introduces dirt and bacteria from the fingers and the face into the pimple, creating a vicious cycle for more skin problems to occur." Even if you've washed your hands, bacteria is always lurking.
4. Scars Can Happen
Zits may come and go, but scars are usually permanent. Dr. Michelle Rodrigues, a consultant dermatologist, explained to The Conversation,"the inflammation can become so bad that scarring is left behind when the pimple finally settles down." Spots may be unsightly but the risk of scar might not be worth it.
5. The Germs Go Deeper
Just because you might get a little something come out when you pop a pimple doesn't mean that you're seeing the whole picture. Dermatologist Dr. Sejal Shah told Yahoo! News, "you can even force the contents deeper into the skin, leading to more inflammation and potentially a larger pimple." Just like an iceberg, apparently blemishes have a lot more going on under the surface than you might think.
6. More Skin Problems Arise
Though whiteheads and large spots can be frustrating, they're actually serving a purpose. As dermatologist Dr. Joel Schlessinger told Women's Health whiteheads keep acne bacteria contained to one area. So when it's squeezed, you release the contents of the blemish. Gross. So those unsightly bumps are really just trying to keep the yucky stuff contained.
7. The Problem Gets Worse
There are a lot of slang terms for pimples, but not all bumps are created equal. Dermatologist Dr. Neal Schultz told SheKnows that people can confuse cysts with pimples and that leads to potential dermal disasters. "When you squeeze a cyst, it bursts under the skin, goes into the fat layer under the skin, and the inflammation can cause enough destruction of skin, resulting in a scar." So if you've been trying to pop a blemish that just won't budge, make sure you're not actually damaging your skin by irritating a cyst.