Acne Problems: Should you pop your pimple?

by | Dec 2, 2019 | Acne, Blog, Cosmetic


Young redhead woman squeezing her pimples, removing pimple from her face


We’ve all been there, we can feel it coming under the surface, the feeling gets worse so we go to check in the mirror. There we have it, another pimple… The temptation to pop a spot or pimple can almost unstoppable but should we wait it out or attack our face?! We’ve got the details plus advice from our team of dermatologists…

Try our skin disease search engine here

The Standard Advice

Ask any dermatologist and they will likely give you the same answer: don’t do it! The American Academy of Dermatologists gives clear advice that popping your pimples should be left to the dermatologists only.  If not you could find your spot or pimple actually gets worse.

There is also increased risk of infection and by popping your pimple you could actually cause permanent scarring. That said, we simply can’t resist when we’re trying to look our best or the pain gets too much. So is there a way round it? That depends on the type of pimple…

Try our skin disease search engine here

The Type Of Pimple Is Important

Some you can squeeze, some you can’t. First step, we suggest you take a clear photo of your pimples and use our Free Image Search AI to understand what kind of acne or spots you may have.  By establishing this, you can proceed more safely when the temptation to pop that pimple arises.

Cysts and Nodules

Our dermatologists advise not to touch a cyst or nodule. Be patient. Trying to pop a cyst can increase the time it takes to heal so try to avoid touching them, if you’d like to have them checked you can of course speak to our dermatologists directly. They can give you an answer on your skin condition within 3 hours, which should be enough time for you to hold off from popping that pimple!

Try our skin disease search engine here


This is where you’re safe. Pustules are what you would commonly recognise as a zit. Typically, they are red and inflamed with a white head at the center. When you squeeze them, pus comes out – this contains the dead white blood cells that have rushed to the clogged pore.

Tips for popping a Pustule:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly!
  2. Swab the pustule with some rubbing alcohol
  3. Use your fingers to apply gentle pressure either side of the spot
  4. If no luck with gentle pressure, leave it! It needs time

Try our skin disease search engine here

After you have popped a spot

You can take extra steps to look after your skin once you have popped a pimple. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone can be great for reducing inflammation but use it sparingly on the face and sensitive areas. Vaseline will also help the open-wound from scabbing over.

There are of course, many acne creams available to treat your spots too. However, sometimes it can be difficult to understand what cream is for your right for your skin or condition. We recommend starting with our free image search to give you an idea of what to look for, alternatively, you can speak to our dermatologists for professional advice.

Try our skin disease search engine here

Ask a Dermatologist

Anonymous, fast and secure!

Ask a Dermatologist Now

Anonymous, fast and secure!

1 (415) 234-4124
Get Checked