Why You Shouldn’t Pop a Pimple

Pimples are a common skin condition that affects both adolescents and adults. These growths form due to hormonal changes, the use of hormonal birth control, or from excessive oils in the skin.

At Dermatology Center of Northwest Houston, our team of experienced dermatologists offer treatment options for recurrent pimples and mild to severe acne.

If you’re unhappy with the appearance of pimples on your skin, our providers can recommend ways to clear them and prevent them from forming again. She also suggests that you avoid popping pimples.

Why you have pimples

Pimples are a side effect of acne. They develop on your skin when your oil glands (sebaceous glands) become clogged with dead skin cells and oils. This causes areas of your skin anywhere on your body to swell up and fill with pus.

There are different types of pimples that range in severity and can include:


Whiteheads are small pimples that form under your skin and appear as small, flesh-colored bumps.


Blackheads are visible on the surface of your skin and appear black in color due to oxidation of your skin pigments (melanin).


Papules are small, solid bumps that rise up from your skin and are usually pink in color.


Pustules are pimples that fill up with pus and are visible on the surface of your skin. These bumps are usually red with noticeable pus showing on the top.


Nodules are larger than papules and can embed deeply into your skin, causing pain.


Cysts are pus-filled bumps that are visible on the surface of your skin and often painful. Cysts can also cause permanent skin scars, especially if they become infected.

Why popping pimples is a bad idea

Many people who have pimples think that popping them will help the bumps go away. However, popping or squeezing pimples can actually worsen your condition.

Pressing on pimples can force bad bacteria and pus deeper into your skin. This can lead to increased swelling and redness in the area that makes pimples more noticeable. In some cases, trying to squeeze away pimples can cause a painful infection.

You can also end up with scabs or scars. Some scars may be raised while others may appear as pits in your skin. Either type of scar can be permanent.

Choose pimple treatments wisely

Keeping your hands away from your face or other areas of skin where pimples form is a good starting place when you want to reduce pimples and acne breakouts.

Our dermatologists can also recommend a daily skin cleansing and moisturizing regimen for your skin type. You may need to use special products to dry up extra oils to prevent new pimples. We can also suggest over-the-counter or prescription products that help eliminate pimples faster, so you aren’t tempted to pop them.

If you’re bothered by moderate to severe acne that’s painful or infected, our team may also prescribe antibiotics and oral or topical medications to treat your skin. It’s important that you continue using a high-quality sunscreen when you’re outdoors to prevent premature aging and other types of skin damage.

Stop! Don’t pop. Schedule a skin evaluation for pimples and acne online or by calling Dermatology Center of Northwest Houston today.

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