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What to Do Instead of Popping a Pimple?

An inflamed blemish happens when the pore becomes engorged with excess sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria. When you squeeze a pimple, you may inadvertently force the debris from the pore deeper into the follicle. That can cause the follicle wall to rupture and spill infected material into the dermis, the deeper layer of the skin, just beneath the epidermis.

Not only do you run the risk of scarring if you pick at or pop your pimples, but you can also worsen the blemish and make it last longer on your face than it would originally have stayed. Don’t be fooled if you are able to coax pus and debris from the pore opening, you are most likely pushing some of the infected material deeper into the dermis.

Squeezing a pimple can lead to a nodule, which is a hard, red, painful blemish deep within the skin; or a cyst, which is a buildup of tissue that may feel like a pea beneath your skin and can be filled with air, fluid, or pus. A cyst is the most serious form of a blemish and may become a large and painfully inflamed lesion. They develop when a membrane forms around the infection in the dermis, creating a soft, fluid-filled lump and must by treated and drained by a physician.

Picking at your blemishes can spread infection, and ultimately worsen any level of acne you may have. It is apparent that the only way to truly avoid worsening a breakout is a hands-off policy is the best choice when it comes to taking care of your skin.

Acne scars are typically classified into boxcar, ice pick and rolling scars. Lasers are a commonly used modality in the treatment of acne scars. Laser resurfacing has long been used in the treatment of acne scars.  Fractional resurfacing or Fraxel is currently the most effective laser in the treatment of acne scars. In a study conducted by Dr. Rokhsar, the Fraxel laser can result in improvements of up to 50 percent in the appearance of acne and surgical scars. Dr. Rokhsar will tailor the procedure for to your skin depending on the type of acne scars which you may have. He may recommend subcision in addition for rolling scars as well as combining the Fraxel laser procedure with punch excisions for ice pick scars.

About author - Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar, MD, FAAD, FAACS, is the founder and medical director of the New York Cosmetic, Skin, & Laser Surgery Center. Dr. Rokhsar is a graduate of Harvard College and NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Rokhsar is double board certified in dermatology and micrographic dermatologic surgery, being one of the few select dermatologists in the country who is also fellowship trained in laser surgery. A researcher and innovator, Dr. Rokhsar is the creator of the non-surgical nose job and has been instrumental in the research and development of laser systems such as the Fraxel, CO2, Mirady, Vbeam, Themitight, and Ulthera devices. An Associate Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, Dr. Rokhsar actively teaches the cosmetic dermatology clinic to the resident at Mount Sinai. An expert injector of fillers, and a trainer for many companies, patients fly in from around the world to see Dr. Rokhsar in his Garden City and Manhattan offices in New York.

Learn more about Dr. Rokhsar | Dr. Rokhsar's Google Scholar