How to Pop a Pimple - Educating our Patients

Are you one of those aestheticians who can’t get enough of extractions?  I am.  It is so gratifying to get all of that dirt, oil, and pus out of the pores and help your patient on their path toward clear, beautiful skin.  If that is you - watch the video below - if not - skip the video and read the rest of the post. 

The video is from Dr. Sandra Lee's (aka Dr. Pimple Popper) YouTube Channel


Trust me - I understand the will power that it takes to leave a blemish alone when all you want to do is pick, poke, and prod at that mountain of a pimple forming on your chin.  That is why I am writing this post today - many of our patients go through the struggle of wanting to pick (even though they know better) and end up taking matters into their own hands when it’s not possible to see you - a professional.  

That is why it is really important for us to teach our patients the proper way to pop a pimple just in case they ever find themselves on the bathroom counter at 10:00pm with a pustule staring back at them. 

Let me stress that I always think going to a professional is the best answer but I do realize that sometimes it is not possible.  To help reduce the possibility of scarring and/or the reoccurrence of the pimple, I am going to give you a set of instructions you can share with your patients so they know the best way to pop a pimple (if need be). 

Here you go: 

Acne is a bacterial infection so if you are going to pop you need to be sure to get it all out.  Have you ever popped a pimple only to have it come back worse the next day?  That is because you did not get everything out.  When you squeeze a pimple, pus, lymphatic fluid, and sometimes blood will come out of the top but some can also be pressed deeper into the skin.  This is what causes that pimple to reemerge.  

If you are going to pop a pimple be sure that it is actually ready to be popped.  There needs to be a clear visible white head otherwise you should absolutely leave it alone.  You would be better off applying a topical product (recommendations below) on it until it shrinks or forms a white head.  

If you have a whitehead that is ready and you are going to move forward use the following steps to ensure a successful extraction.

  1. Cleanse and tone your skin.  Remember that acne is a bacterial infection and we don’t want to spread the bacteria or allow any that is on the surface of the skin to get into our target pimple.  

  2. Use a lancet (available at CVS) holding it horizontally to the skin and give the pimple a tiny poke to break the skin at the peak.  

  3. Use two Q-Tips to gently encourage the fluid out of the pimple.  Use a gentle rolling motion around the entire pimple and be careful not to press to hard.  If you do you may break capillaries or cause inflammation in the skin that could leave a red spot for weeks - even months.

  4. Once all of the fluid is out, tone the area again and apply your finishing products.

Popping a pimple should be a last resort but if you have to do it yourself, follow the steps above.  

SkinCeuticals makes a magic weapon for dealing with acne; it is called Blemish + A.G.E. and one drop on a pimple can make a huge difference.  It's secret is the blend of acids which includes dioic acid - a phenomenal ingredient for fighting post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (the red spots that pimples can leave that take forever to go away). I consider it my favorite product for dealing with active acne.  

Education is everything and you're patients will appreciate you sharing your knowledge.  

What are your favorite acne products?  Any tricks you want to share with the group? Let us know in the comments section below. 

With so much gratitude, 

Daniela XO

P. S. Know of someone who may benefit from this post?  Please share it with them!