If you must pop, do it right
Leave pimple popping to the pros. Doing it yourself could make the swelling worse or lead to scarring, says Sandra “Dr. Pimple Popper” Lee, MD, a dermatologist in Culver City, CA. If you can’t resist popping it yourself, follow Dr. Lee’s mantra: “Know when to pop and know when to stop.” Messing with the red zits deep under the skin will only leave them even more inflamed. Wait until your pimple has come to a head, with a white center, or apply a warm compress to speed the process along, says Dr. Lee. When you’re ready to attack that sucker, start by washing your face and hands, and sterilize the pin with rubbing alcohol. Squeeze the pimple from all directions. The white and a bit of red will start to come out, but try not to overdo it, warns Dr. Lee. “The more you push, the more swelling you have,” she says. “But if you can, get all the pustules out.”
Keep your hands off
Even if you aren’t trying to pop a pimple, absentmindedly picking at it can be just as bad. If you tend to touch your face or scratch at your blemishes, try putting a small circle bandage over the spot to block your itchy fingers, suggests Dr. Lee. You could also add a dollop of a thick or tacky spot treatment, she says. Not only will it fight the pimple, but it will also remind you to keep your hands off.