We’ve all been there — standing in front of the mirror staring at a bright red, pus-filled pimple that seems to scream, “Look at me!” You know that popping it will get rid of the contents, but it will also leave you with a swollen sore that isn’t much better looking than it was before you worked on it.
Our skin experts at Gago Wellness see the problems caused by zit-picking every day, and we have treatments that can help you control your acne and diminish the damage. To help you understand why pimple popping is a bad habit, we take a closer look at what happens when you pick your zits.
How zit-picking damages your skin
When you see a zit on your face, and it looks ready to burst, it’s easy to understand that there’s already a lot of inflammation and pressure at play. Popping the pimple traumatizes the surface of your skin, especially if you use your fingernails to scratch or pick at your zits.
Also, when you use your fingers to squeeze out the pus, some of the infected contents goes the other direction and is forced deeper down into the follicle. The excess pressure breaks the wall of the follicle, and the pus seeps out into the dermis layer of your skin.
How zit-picking makes your acne worse
It’s normal to want to minimize the appearance of an angry pimple, but popping it rarely makes it better — in fact, it often makes it worse. After you squeeze a pimple, it typically oozes pus and sometimes blood. The broken skin crusts over and a scab forms. The surrounding tissue gets red and swollen, and the final result is often worse than the original problem.
In many cases, a popped zit returns in a few hours, filled with a new supply of pus and looking bigger and redder than before. Squeezing your pimples can also lead to more serious acne, such as large, painful nodules and cystic acne, where a membrane forms around the infection deep under the surface.
How zit-picking causes scarring
Whether you nick yourself shaving or scratch an itch a little too hard, any breach of your skin can potentially result in a scar. The trauma damages the skin, and your immune system sends healing substances to the site, including the fibrous protein collagen to build up the wound. Sometimes the scar is depressed, or lower than the level of adjacent healthy skin, and sometimes it’s raised.
Even if you don’t get scars, you may get discolored spots where your acne once was. This is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and it’s a common response to the swelling and trauma of acne.
A better way to get rid of acne and acne scarring
You can treat occasional zits on your own with over-the-counter topical treatments that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, but full-blown acne is better left to the professionals.
BroadBand Light (BBL)™
While topical treatments can reduce bacteria on the surface of your skin, a more effective approach to acne is to address it on the inside, where the infection resides.
We use Forever Young® BBL to correct a variety of aging-skin symptoms, such as fine lines and wrinkles, broken capillaries, ruddy complexion, and age spots — and it works wonders on acne and acne scarring, too!
Your treatment session is quick and painless. A handheld device delivers light energy into the deeper layers of your skin and gently heats up the tissues. Darker pigments — think post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation — absorb the heat and break into smaller pieces that your body can flush away.
BBL also stimulates your skin cells to regenerate and triggers the flow of fresh collagen supplies. The treatment clears away bacteria to calm active acne and prevent new breakouts, and your scars and spots fade away. Studies show that BBL diminishes 90% of acne scarring and reduces active acne by up to 80%.
Using a customized solution of acids, chemical peels trigger a reaction in your skin that causes the upper layers to lift up and slough off. As it flakes away, so do any problems that reside in that layer of skin, including active acne, acne scars, and other complexion problems.
To learn more about which acne treatment is right for you, schedule an appointment by calling us at Gago Wellness in Brighton, Michigan, or booking online today.