You could have applied a spot treatment. You could have buried your pimple under makeup. Or, best of all, you could have just left it alone. But you succumbed to temptation and popped that pesky pimple, despite your better judgement.
So here you are, defeated with a very angry looking spot. Though we can’t un-pop that zit, we can tell you how to get it to heal faster. Here’s everything you need to know about how to manage a popped pimple.
But first, a biology lesson! Why shouldn’t you pop a pimple? Aside from the fact that it’s painful, popping a pimple can cause you to introduce germs to the blemish and you run the risk of getting an infection and scarring. And that scarring will probably end up lasting much, much longer than if you’d just waited for the pimple to run its course.
What’s more, trying to pop a pimple yourself can cause you to push the contents of clogged pores deeper into your skin, which can cause further irritation and inflammation.
Step 1: Keep it clean
As the skin barrier has now been broken, the blemish is open to all those bacterial nasties. To avoid infections and accelerate healing, use a gentle cleanser in the morning and the evening. Because your skin is still healing, it is important to make sure you’re not using anything harsh.
Step 2: Spot treatments are your friend
As spots are micro-infections of hair follicles, they contain a tonne of microbes and oil. When you pop a spot, it may look like you’ve drained it, but don’t be fooled; those microbes are still in there.
Drying out the blemish is a good way to help it heal. Using benzoyl peroxide or tea tree oil can help kill microbes and dry up oil in the follicle. Better yet, salicylic acid too does those things, with the added bonus of exfoliating the skin to properly let out any fluid in the follicle.
Step 3: Just don’t touch it
We know this is easier said than done, but your poking and prodding is definitely going to make the inflammation worse. Touching your face introduces more bacteria to the blemish which can irritate the area further.
Step 4: Say no to makeup
Any makeup applied to the area can get into deeper levels of exposed tissue than the product is designed to reach. The result can be added irritation with increased redness and swelling of the pimple.
But if you’re going to do it anyway, try to use a spot treatment before you apply your makeup.
Step 5: Ask yourself why you popped it in the first place
Photos: Instagram and Jason Lloyd-Evans