There’s no denying that popping a pimple can be extremely satisfying. Yes, it’s gross, but there’s something fulfilling about squeezing a pimple. Even though you know it is bad for your skin, sometimes it’s just impossible not to pick. Like nail biting, this habit can be extremely difficult to break. Start by remembering all the reason picking at your face is bad for you. There are three major reasons to stop touching your pimples:
- It’s gross. By touching your pimples, you risk spreading your acne to other parts of your face. Plus, no one wants to see a scabby, bleeding pimple.
- It can damage your skin. Picking pimples causes irritation and can lead to scarring. Having a pimple for a week is nothing compared to have a permanent scar on your face. Picking also exacerbates the problem, causing the pimple to take longer to heal.
- It’s bad for your health. Your putting your unwashed hands near open cuts on your skin. This makes your vulnerable to colds, illnesses, and infections.
If the cold, hard facts behind pimple picking don’t make you stop, it’s time to enlist the help of family and friends. Have a family member or friend point out whenever you reach for your face or start picking at your skin. These reminders will help you realize when you are picking at your skin, which can often be a mindless habit.
You also need to identify why you are tempted to pick at your skin: Is it a nervous reaction? Are you bored or stressed? Do you just find squeezing a blackhead to be super satisfying? Once you identify the root cause of picking, try to replace it with another habit. Every time you get the urge to pick, engage your hands in another activity, such as squeezing a stress ball or playing a game on your phone. Another trick to throw out all your tools. Get rid of any extraction tools you may own. If you can, ditch your magnifying mirror. This helps reduce your temptation to pick and poke.
Do you look forward to squeezing a pimple or extracting blackhead? If you are one of those people who just finds squeezing pimples to be weirdly gratifying, try watching pimple popping videos on YouTube. It sounds disgusting (and it is), but many people find watching these video to be “cleansing.” There’s even a Instagram dedicated to it: @drpimplepopper. Watching these videos might help fulfill your urge to pick and squeeze. The best part? There’s no resulting damage to your skin from watching someone else pop a pimple.
It’s important to recognize that picking at your skin can be indicative of a bigger problem. Compulsive skin picking is called dermatillomania and can be a sign of anxiety. See a doctor if you think your skin picking is more than just popping the occasional pimple.
READ MORE: How Not To Pick At Your Manicure