Ways to Prevent Pimple Popping
Pimple Popping | What is Acne?
Pimple Popping: also called acne, occur when your skin’s oil glands are overactive and pores become inflamed. Some types of skin bacteria may make pimples worse. Pimples can appear anywhere on the skin, but they most often occur on the face.
Because pimples are usually triggered by androgen hormones and, in some cases, genetics, there’s no surefire way to prevent them. Still, there are many methods to reduce their severity and keep them in check.
Types of Pimple Popping
There are several different types of pimples, and they have different signs and symptoms:
Whiteheads: Also known as a closed comedo, these are small pimples that remain under the skin. They appear as a small, flesh-colored papule.
Blackheads: Also known as an open comedo, these are clearly visible on the surface of the skin. They are black or dark brown, due to the oxidation of melanin, the skin’s pigment.
Some people mistakenly believe they are caused by dirt, because of their color, and scrub their faces vigorously. Scrubbing does not help. It may irritate the skin and cause other problems.
Papules: These are small, solid, rounded bumps that rise from the skin. They are often pink.
Pustules: These are pimples full of pus. They are clearly visible on the surface of the skin. The base is red and the pus is on the top.
Nodules: These have a similar structure to papules, but they are larger. They can be painful and are embedded deep in the skin.
Cysts: These are clearly visible on the surface of the skin. They are filled with pus and are usually painful. Cysts commonly cause scars.
What Causes Acne or Pimple Popping?
No one factor causes acne. Acne occurs when sebaceous (oil) glands attached to the hair follicles are stimulated at the time of puberty or due to other hormonal changes. Sebum (oil) is a natural substance that lubricates and protects the skin. Associated with increased oil production is a change in the manner in which the skin cells mature, predisposing them to plug the follicular pore. The plug can appear as a whitehead if it is covered by a thin layer of skin, or if exposed to the air, the darker exposed portion of the plug is called a “blackhead.”
The plugged hair follicle gradually enlarges, producing a bump. As the follicle enlarges, the wall may rupture, allowing irritating substances and normal skin bacteria access into the deeper layers of the skin, ultimately producing inflammation. Inflammation near the skin’s surface produces a pustule; deeper inflammation results in a papule (pimple); if the inflammation is deeper still, it forms a cyst.
Fifteen Ways to Prevent Pimple Popping
1. Wash the Face Twice Daily
Acne is rarely the result of a dirty face, contrary to popular belief. However, it is important to remove excess dirt and oil from the skin by washing regularly.
Many people prefer to use a mild cleanser and warm water. Applying an oil-free moisturizer after washing can keep the skin from becoming too dry. Over-washing the face may cause the skin to become dry, which can aggravate pimples.
2. Refrain from Harsh Scrubbing
Some people scrub the skin with rough cloth pads or washcloths. This can irritate the skin and cause inflammation, making acne breakouts worse.
Applying a gentle cleanser with clean hands or a soft brush intended for use on the face can help to prevent pimples.
3. Keep Hair Clean
If excess oil in the hair travels to the skin, it can worsen acne. Regularly washing the hair may stop acne from developing, especially close to the hairline.
Also, refrain from getting products such as hair gel or spray on the face. These can also clog pores and lead to breakouts.
4. Know your Skin Type
Anyone can get pimples, no matter their skin type. Oily skin is the most pimple-prone. It’s caused by your skin’s sebaceous glands producing too much oily sebum.
Another type of skin that may cause pimples is combination skin. Combination skin means you have both dry areas and oily areas. The oily areas tend to be your forehead, nose, and chin, also called your T-zone.
Knowing your skin type will help you choose the right skin care products. For example, if your skin is oily, choose noncomedogenic products that are formulated to not block pores.
5. Stay Hydrated
If you’re dehydrated, your body may signal your skin’s oil glands to produce more oil. Dehydration also gives your skin a dull appearance and promotes inflammation and redness.
To keep your body well-hydrated, drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Drink more after exercise, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, or you spend time in a hot, humid environment.
When should Someone Start Pimples Popping Treatment?
Since everyone gets acne at some time, the right time to treat it is when it becomes bothersome or when the potential for scarring develops. This can be when severe acne flares suddenly, for mild acne that just won’t go away, or even when a single pimple decides to show up the week before one’s prom or wedding.
Many of the ways you prevent pimples can also help you manage them. For instance, eating right, reducing stress, and not popping pimples may help contain them and reduce how long they stay around.
If you have bad acne despite taking steps to prevent it, you may need a prescription-strength treatment such as:
- topical retinoids (derived from vitamin A) to help prevent clogged pores
- oral contraceptives or antiandrogen agents to reduce hormones that increase sebum production
- oral isotretinoin (Accutane), a retinoid that helps prevent clogged pores, and reduces sebum production, inflammation, and skin bacteria
Prescription-strength treatments may cause serious side effects. Your dermatologist can help you weigh the pros and cons and determine which treatment is right for you.