When you decide to pop pimples at home it’s important to have the right tools and be in a good frame of mind. Removing pimples, using antibacterial products, cold compresses, and spot treatments with ingredients such as salicylic acid (SA) are always the best first step. If you have sensitive skin, salicylic acid is the safest choice. SA works by stopping inflammation (redness, swelling) and killing bacteria trapped within the pore. Most store-bought products contain 3-5% of SA, which is a safe potency for home care. However, Estheticians have education, experience, and higher acid strengths and can perform peels that quickly dissolve the problems associated with congestion.
If you decide to go ahead and pop your pimples at home it should be done with extreme caution and with a sterile extractor; damage may be caused by applying too much pressure to the pore. This can cause it to rupture beneath the skin, leading to pain, bleeding, and scarring. Extractions should only be attempted for superficial acne as it can worsen deep, cystic pimples. If you can extract, you will reduce the swelling and allow soap and pimple-dissolving ingredients to penetrate the pore. Visiting a qualified professional for this treatment is always the safer option.
Various Types of Skin Bumps
The human body is smart and creates micro-environments that we generally call skin bumps. These skin bumps can be pimples, cysts or blisters and they’re each designed to heal a particular problem. These skin bumps form to allow white blood cells to kill bacteria and clear cellular debris. Skin bumps are unsightly, and we typically want to remove them quickly. However, there are times when you would want to leave a bump intact and other times it is safe to remove.
Skin Bumps and Dark Marks
A skin bump, itself, can cause collateral damage through extensive swelling that could last a couple of days to weeks. Sometimes it’s best to get rid of the clog and release the pressure. As it stays, the bacteria and pressure build up, allowing the pimple to become larger in size; at this point, melanocytes (cells that produce pigment) step in and try to be helpful, but sometimes leave a dark mark (scar) behind.
- Extraction works best if the clogged pore is superficial and caught early; unclogging the pore can stop it from growing.
- If the acne is older, deeper, and cystic, you’ll be doing more damage by opening it up yourself.