Skin-care experts agree that when it comes to most bumps and blemishes, a hands off approach is best if you’re hoping to nip it in the bud.
“Popping anything causes your skin to physically break apart, making it more susceptible to infection and an even bigger problem than what was originally there in the first place,” says Dendy Engelman, M.D., board-certified dermatologist at Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery in New York City.
Types of Bumps and Blemishes You Should Never Try to Pop
Don’t even think about touching them. These blisters are caused by the herpes simplex virus which can be transmitted from one area of the body to another, through touching.
What to do: Look into one of these home remedies. See your doctor if you notice cold sores that are more frequent or spreading.
Ingrown hairs occur when the hair shaft becomes trapped beneath the skin’s surface. It’s never a good idea to use tweezers or manual force to pluck them, which can lead to further inflammation and infection, and even dangerous complications like staph infection or sepsis.
What to do: Apply hydrocortisone, which reduces redness and irritation, and wash the affected area with an exfoliating cleanser.
Squeezing them forces the bacteria even deeper and causes trauma to the skin.
What to do: try one of these natural remedies to help clear up any issues.
This type of pimple forms a red, tender nodule that is both painful and hard to treat. The inflammation can hinder the healing process, leading to permanent scarring that is difficult to eliminate.
What to do: Book an appointment with your dermatologist who can properly treat the situation and may even be able to save you from scarring altogether.
Often referred to as “chicken skin,” this condition is caused by a buildup of keratin, the protein that protects skin, hair, and nails from infection and other harmful environmental toxins. Picking at the lesions can cause it to worsen and increase effects like redness and the potential for scarring as well.
What to do: Use a chemical exfoliant that has salicylic acid or glycolic acid to calm the inflammation down. If it doesn’t go away – visit a dermatologist.
These bumps are hard, white cysts under the skin. Picking at them often has little to no effect and attempting to pop them will likely leave your skin red, irritated, and inflamed, with the milia still intact.
What to do: Schedule an appointment with your dermatologist who will most likely extract it with a heated sterilized tool.
Whiteheads keep acne bacteria contained to one area while the blemish heals, so when it is squeezed, it releases the contents of the blemish—often a mix of acne bacteria, oil, and skin cells.
What to do: Allow the acne to clear on its own.