We get it, sometimes it’s impossible not to pop a pimple. It’s especially hard to resist the temptation when you have a giant whitehead glaring back at you in the mirror. But what is a whitehead exactly (other than really, really gross)? A whitehead is a type of acne that is formed when dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria get trapped in one of your pores or hair follicles. The pore’s oil secretions build up behind the blockage, and bacteria in the pore essentially feeds of the oil secretions, causing the pore to become inflamed which creates a pus. This gross combination gets caught under the skin and is closed off from the outside air, causing the blemish to remain white.
READ MORE: How Not To Pick At A Pimple
Grossed out yet? Although most people know that popping pimples is taboo, but it can be hard to resist picking and prodding at a pimple. Some whiteheads are just asking to be popped! However, when you have a whitehead, there’s one thing you should always avoid doing: you should never push too hard to pop it. The most important thing to remember is that if a pimple doesn’t pop easily, you shouldn’t force it. Seriously, squeezing a pimple too soon can result in infections and scarring. Pushing and squeezing a zit can irritate the skin around it. You also spread bacteria everywhere when you pop a pimple, which can lead to even more pimples. Plus, if you push too hard, you risk pushing bacteria and dirt deeper into the pore.
If you can’t resist the urge to pick, there are some ways “safe” ways to pop a whitehead. You should only pop pimples that have a white, raised head. You can hold a warm compress to the blemish to help bring the pimple to the surface. Most importantly, make sure your hands are clean. If you are using a tool (like this one) make sure it is sterilized before using it. After you pop a whitehead, clean the affected area with alcohol or antibiotic cream. This will help prevent further infections.
However, your best bet is to avoid popping altogether and letting the whitehead run it’s course. Popping isn’t worth the damage it can cause! Check out our tips for avoiding picking at your skin here.