Is It OK To Pop A Zit?

Is It OK To Pop A Zit?

Popping out pimples is tempting, undoubtedly. But that does not justify asking- is it OK to pop a zit? We’ve got enough problems for our skin- dirt, dust, and pollution, you name it. 

Trust me, nobody likes to attend events with this uninvited guest. But there’s not much we can do. Once you are a teenager, hormonal changes in your body will cause acne and pimples. 

Popping a zit isn’t the right thing to do; there are several side effects associated. So, let’s get started with today’s article, where we will be discovering what causes pimples and how to tackle them gently without actually popping. 

What’s A Zit?

What’s A Zit

First things first, a zit or a pimple refers to small bumps that emerge on the skin’s surface. Acne, when it continues to grow bigger, takes the shape of pimples and is mostly seen on the face, shoulders, and even chest. 

There’s a range of severity in pimples, from cysts to blackheads- all types of zits are found in youngsters. Although their formation starts taking place during adolescence, pimples can impact people of any age. 

Causes Of Pimples

Causes Of Pimples

One of the fewest causes why zits occur is when dead skin and sebum clog pores. This results in inflammation and infection, and some individuals are affected more than others.

Zits and The Sebaceous Glands 

Sebum is an oily or wax-like substance secreted from the sebaceous glands of our skin. The sebum is responsible for lubricating our hair as well as skin. Sebaceous glands lie deep into the pores of the skin and all across the body. 

Only the soles of our feet and palms are devoid of these glands. The largest number of these are found on the scalp and face, which is why our skin produces the highest amount of oil.

As the sebaceous glands keep producing sebum within the pores, there’s a constant growth of new skin cells. Meanwhile, the skin’s outer layers keep shedding. But sometimes they are not shed. 

Consequently, they remain trapped in the pores and stick together along with sticky sebum. This ultimately blocks the pores and causes a pimple to pop out on the skin. 

Infection Caused Due To Bacteria

The spot where dead skin cells and sebum accumulate causes pore blockage. It promotes the growth of bacteria such as Propionibacterium acnes which is a slow-thriving bacterium. However, it is the root cause of acne on the skin. 

Propionibacterium acnes remain on the skin and do not cause harm. But as soon as they get an opportunity, they immediately reproduce and start creating problems for our skin. 

The slowly growing organism keeps feeding the sebum and creates substances that result in the immune response. And that’s how skin spots and inflammation are caused. 

Pimples that are caused due to bacterial infection are generally not contagious, but not taking good care might cause problems. 

Different Types Of Zits On The Skin

Different Types Of Zits On The Skin

What would be your first answer if your younger one asks you- is it OK to pop a zit? Obviously, you’d first want to know what kind of a pimple it is. Here are a few different types of them you might see around: 


Blackheads have the conception that they occur due to dirt accumulation. Strangely, some others also believe that scrubbing can help remove it. But that’s not the case. 

These zits are visible on the skin very clearly and are commonly referred to as open comedo. Usually, they have a dark brown or black color, based on their skin color. 


Whiteheads or closed comedones are generally caused due to clogged pores deep within the skin. These cause the sebum to keep developing and, ultimately, raising a white bump.

Squeezing a whitehead can result in pus and bacteria getting deeper into the skin’s surface, which is even more harmful to the skin. Whiteheads are usually smaller in size than other zits. 

Papules, Nodules and Pustules

Papules or small, rounded bumps around the skin cause mild pain and are usually pink in color. 

Nodules loOK more or less the same as papules, although they are bigger in size. Additionally, nodules are painful because they are rooted deep within the skin. 

Lastly, pustules are zits full of pus and they are found on the skin’s surface. Usually, the pus remains on the top with a red base. 

So, Is It OK To Pop A Zit? What Happens When You Do It?

So, Is It OK To Pop A Zit_ What Happens When You Do It_

Anything occurring on the skin is nature’s way of communicating things. Getting into nature’s process will have a consequence on the skin. This is exactly why we don’t recommend popping out a zit. Some of the end results include:

Skin Barrier

When someone tries to pop up a zit or squeeze it too hard, a barrier is created within the skin. This results in permanently scarring your face. Worse, if the zit contains infected pus, you might lead the bacteria infecting hair follicles and other pores. This eventually causes a bigger outbreak of acne. 

Delays Healing

The human body is made to heal rapidly after cuts or scratches. But when you interrupt the process by picking out zits and acne, the healing speed slows down. Ultimately, you get blemished on the skin, which is too difficult to wipe. 

More Skin Irritation 

It happens so many times that the popping attempt goes wrong. Instead of taking out pus and other contaminants, we unknowingly push the content deeper inside the skin layer. Not only does it clog pores, but also triggers inflammation and irritates the skin. 

Skin Discoloration and Hyperpigmentation

Last but not least, keep picking out zits and acne that result in skin discoloration as that particular area gets filled with dead skin cells. It sabotages blood circulation, thus causing hyperpigmentation in various parts of the face. 

How To Deal With Pimples Without Harming The Skin?

How To Deal With Pimples Without Harming The Skin_

Bursting a pimple is not the only way to get rid of it, thankfully. There are other alternatives that are gentler on the skin and cause no side effects. Here are a few of them:

Dealing with Blackheads

If you consult a dermatologist regarding blackheads, they are likely to prescribe you benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. These are over-the-counter topical drugs that can loosen the skin before someone pops it.

Antibiotics, chemical exfoliators, and even retinoids can help with first-line treatments. If your blackhead still persists, your dermatologist is likely going to prescribe you microdermabrasion or chemical peel therapy

Getting Rid of Whiteheads

Just like blackheads, popping out whiteheads is also not encouraged. But a few dermatologists have their own way of fixing a whitehead.

They use isopropyl alcohol, not more than 70%, for sterilizing a needle. Then, the needle is gently inserted into the skin where the pores are clogged. As the needle is injected outwards, the pus starts accumulating in the needle. 

If you are getting an acne or pimple treatment, it is important that you wash your face and hands properly. Not doing so will increase the chances of infection. 

Saying Goodbye To Pustules

As I mentioned already, pustules lie deep within the skin which are very complicated to bring out. So, what to do in case you have got a pustule?

Dermatologists recommend using a warm compress that will not inflame your skin and help in opening the pores. In some cases, they might also suggest OTC treatments.

It is best if you don’t try the pustule treatment at home because experts can deal with complex issues easily. DIYing might create more skin irritation. 

When To Consult A Dermatologist?

When To Consult A Dermatologist_

Acne or pimple, once or twice, doesn’t harm the skin. After all, we go through so many changes in a single day. But it gets problematic when these skin bumps start visiting you every now and then. 

  • You know it’s time to see a dermatologist when you have pimples that scar your skin and cannot be treated with OTCs. 
  • Check whether the pimple makes you too uncomfortable to walk out in the crowd. In that case, you can try the makeup alternative. 
  • If your pimple keeps changing colors, it might be a warning signal. The pus is usually white, but those dealing with skin infection may see yellowish pus which is mixed with blood. 
  • Consult a dermatologist if you accidentally popped out a pimple and the blood isn’t stopping. This, again can be an alarming sign. 

The Bottom Line

So, what do you think about squeezing acne? Is it OK to pop a zit? Should you do it very often? Everything that has been provided above is just a teaser of what your skin can go through if not taken good care of. 

It is better to leave nature’s process to itself. Let things heal at their own pace. But obviously, there are a few considerations that I have listed down when you try picking out a zit. 

Having said that, this guide approaches its end. Let me know your experiences of popping out acne and pimples in the comment box below. Thank you for reading!

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About Author

With an adept skill of curating content on multiple genres, Mony has harnessed success as a Content Writer quickly. Find her sharing profound thoughts and opinions on lifestyle, beauty, fashion, pets, and parenting.

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