How to remove a pimple the right way

Photo Credit: Alexandra Gorn
@alexagorn

The biggest myth related to pimples or cystic acne is that it only occurs when you’re in your teens or as a young adult -when in fact it can occur well into adulthood. It’s natural for someone who is over the age of 25 to wake up with a big zit the next day. It happens. Another big myth is that you should not ever pop your pimple. This is only true if the zit is very red, tender, and shows no sign of pus forming on the surface.

Usually a fresh pimple that is red or swollen is a little sore to the touch so it’s advised by many dermatologists to ice the pimple by applying a cold compress to it. Ice helps in reducing blood flow to the area thus reducing redness and swelling. It can also reduce pain in the area by numbing the nerve endings (usually in cystic acne). Cold compresses are also great for shrinking pores!

When to apply a cold compress:

  • When the pimple is brand new
  • If the pimple is very painful/sore
  • If the area is red or inflamed/swollen

You can apply a cold compress by using a clean washcloth soaked in fresh cold water or wrapped around ice cubes soaked in cold water – either or is effective and tested 🙂

You will want to apply pressure to the affected area with the wet washcloth for a few minutes until you feel very cold or the area begins to feel numb.

Once you complete this, let it calm down or give it a chance to reduce the swelling (overnight). Usually the next day, the redness should be reduced. Repeat the above instruction until the pain/redness is completely gone and you start to see the pimple coming to head (white pus) or completely reduce/go away -which sometimes can be the case without any pus or need to drain the pimple.

If the pimple is really extreme/deep and painful, an opposite temperature would be needed or required. This is when you would apply a hot compress to the area instead of a cold one. A hot compress increases the pressure of a swollen pimple to draw the pus up to the skin’s surface to make a “head” -> also called a white head; that way, you can drain it out shortly after.

Draining a pimple or popping it needs to be meticulously done as it can create a scar or mark on your face or worse- create more acne!

Credit: monetleebeauty.com
  1. Firstly, it’s very important that your hands are properly washed with antibacterial soap (kind of like a surgeon going in and doing surgery!)
  2. Next, make sure the head is visible meaning you see some white at the top (mentioned above, remember? white head!); this means it’s ready to be drained. But, if you see a lot of red surrounding the white then it is not fully ready to be popped yet, so don’t do it!
  3. If it is ready to be drained, then you can grab a fresh clean sanitary napkin/ tissue or even a small sheet of toilet paper (that is yours and not the one in a public restroom!) and create a cap or cover for two of your index fingers with it; meaning wrap each of them around in the piece of clean napkin.
  4. Take the two index fingers and place one index finger on one side of the pimple and the other index finger on the opposite side of the pimple.
  5. Gently push up against the pimple – with both fingers-from each side in small pulses – don’t put too much pressure but kind of like your pushing up a very expensive tube of la mer creme or something! do it gently!
  6. You should see some pus and or fluid rise out of the zit; don’t panic if some blood comes up with it, at that point just completely stop! And apply a bit of hot water if it happens (or a hot compress as mentioned above)..if not, continue on until all the pus is out.
  7. Afterwards, dab the area with some room temperature or lukewarm water and leave it! You may encounter clear liquid coming out or it leaking clear liquid, just keep cleaning it off or let it create a little scab so it can fall off on its own.

And Voila! With these steps, you have just mastered Dr. Pimple Popper’s method of draining a zit without leaving a scar. Otherwise, if you’re too scared or feel like you can’t pop your own pimple, you can visit a dermatologist’s office and ask to have it removed as they are professionals in this area (obvio!); they even have the right tools!  

I hope some of these tips of mine have helped. What I shared above are my own personal methods along with some good felt research. A lot of blogs will tell you similarly. If there are any useful feedback or tips of your own, please feel free to drop us a comment below or even send us a message through our contact us page 🙂

Until next time!

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