The right way to squeeze a pimple

BRONWYN WILLIAMS
Last updated 05:00 05/12/2012
zits
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GENTLY DOES IT: There is a right way and a wrong way to squeeze those pesky pimples.

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Your mum told you never to pick your pimples right? Not that you ever listened. We can't stop you picking at your zits, but at least we can tell you how to do it right. 

The most important things to remember are:

KEEP IT CLEAN: One of the main reason blemishes hang about so long is because they are infected. Always wash your hands and face before squeezing to avoid the spread of bacteria.

HANDS-FREE: Never use your hands to squeeze a pimple. Even if you've cleaned them. Hold two tissues over your fingers and use them to squeeze your skin to keep the area as sterile as possible.

BE GENTLE: Fierce and ferocious squeezing is what causes pimples to linger and horrible redness to occur. Be gentle and patient, and the little nasty will heal itself and only go as red as it needs to go in order to fix itself.

Before you squeeze it's important to determine what type of blemish you're dealing with. We don't want to creep you out by showing you photos, so here's a break down of different types and what to do with them.

PIMPLES

A pimple is the common little pus-filled sac sitting just under the surface of your skin. It usually has a bit of redness surrounding it, as the pus often inflames the skin. Never squeeze a pimple unless you can see the white head. Squeezing a brewing pimple that's not yet ready to burst will only damage the skin and promote infection and scarring.

HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM

1. Get a needle from your mother's/partner's/friend's sewing kit. I wouldn't tell her what you're using for if I was you. Now sterilise it by either running it through a flame or dipping it in boiling water. Use your common sense and wait for it to cool.

2. Very carefully make a tiny prick in the top of the white sac.

3. Covering your fingers with a couple of tissues, gently massage the skin around the pimple to encourage the pus to release. Do not squeeze it hard. Stop as soon as the pus stops flowing - if you see blood rise up then you've damaged your skin.

4. If it's not ready to come out, simply leave the pimple to erupt like a volcano on its own accord.

5. Now leave the skin to its own devices to heal. Avoid putting moisturisers, makeup or serums on it for the next few hours. 

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BLACKHEADS

A blackhead is a blocked pore and can be determined by its easily distinguishable black dot on the surface of the skin.

HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM

1. Open the pores and soften the gunk in your blackhead by holding a warm flannel over your problem area. Leave it there for 30 seconds or so.

2. Cover your fingers with two tissues and very gently massage and squeeze the skin around the blackhead. Don't squeeze it too hard or you'll damage the skin.

3. After you've removed the gunk, wash your face with a gentle foaming face wash and leave the area to rest. You can moisturise the rest of your skin, but avoid applying anything to the affected area for a few hours. 

WHITEHEADS

A white head is like a combo of a pimple and a blackhead. It's a blocked pore, but instead of squishy goo it's a hard ball of white gunk sitting right underneath the skin. The only way to get these suckers out is with a needle.

HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM

1. Heat up a flannel and apply it to your problem area to open up the pores and soften the hard gunk.

2. Now take your sterilised needle and very carefully nick the top of the white head with the metal tip. This shouldn't hurt as you're only touching the first couple of layers of skin. You should be left with a teeny slice that you can hardly see with your naked eye.

3. Now cover your fingers in two tissues and very gently massage the ball of white hard stuff out. If it's not coming out you may need to go back in with the needle again.

4. If all goes well you'll probably be left with a teeny mark on your face. Wash the area with warm soapy water and leave it to breathe and heal without applying any products. 

If the pus keeps coming back then you're a filthy bugger - you let infection get in. Clean the area and repeat your first step again, but this time apply a gentle disinfectant ointment to the area after squeezing. And if you've got a tonne of spots, we suggest you ignore our advice and go see a dermatologist instead. 

 

- © Fairfax NZ News

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