Remove Your Pimples and Acne Today!
If you have a nasty pimple staring back at you in the mirror, it is a temptation to try to pop it, lance it, or scrub it away—but don’t. Popping pimples only makes them worse. That is especially true if you have what looks like a pimple but that is really staph infection.
This article will tell you how to remove pimples in five slow but easy steps. Before you get started, however, it is important to know for sure that what you are dealing with is really a pimple.
- It’s never a good idea to pop, prick, poke, needle, or lance a pimple. This usually just forces the infection deeper into the skin.
- Not every blemish that looks like a pimple is caused by acne bacteria. Staph infections of the skin require different handling.
- Removing pimples the right way takes time, usually about two weeks. It’s possible to get rid of inflammation and redness much faster.
Why Popping Pimples Is a Bad Idea
Pimples are ugly, itchy, red, and sometimes tender. The inflammation of the skin caused by pimples actually is only in a small way caused by acne bacteria. A small number of acne bacteria on the skin is actually a good thing. Acne bacteria eat excess skin oils, keeping the skin from becoming oily. After all, for most of human history, there were no skin care products. Human beings relied on symbiotic bacteria on the skin to keep the skin healthy.
The problem starts when acne bacteria are trapped in a pore that normally opens to the surface of the skin. When they are trapped underneath hardened skin oils, they emit a small amount of hydrogen peroxide as a waste product of digesting those skin oils as they try to eat their way out.
Most of the inflammation of acne, however, is caused by the immune system itself. As part of their escape mechanism, acne bacteria release chemicals that make surrounding skin cells very sensitive to the immune system. Instead of zapping the bacteria, the immune system inflames the skin. Eventually enough skin cells will die that the infection drains out harmlessly to the surface, that is, unless something forces the bacteria to travel down deeper into the skin instead of up to the surface.
Popping a pimple forces some acne bacteria deeper into the skin while it forces other bacteria and the oil that had them trapped outward. The skin heals over the place that is popped, but the bacteria are still there. They keep on producing their sensitizing chemicals so the immune system continues to inflame the skin, but they are no longer in a pore. There is no easy exit. Instead of eventually being pushed to the stop by new, growing skin, they are trapped inside.
The bacteria form a nodule or a cyst that can only be drained by cutting the skin open or by taking a medication like Accutane, Retin-A, Differin, or Tazarac, that causes the skin to grow so fast it opens up over the cyst to let it drain. (These medications have many side effects.) Popping a pimple gets rid of the pimple, but can leave a cyst. That is, however, not the worst that can happen.
Not Everything That Looks Like a Pimple Is a Pimple
Not every kind of inflamed skin blemish is caused by acne bacteria. Many are the result of staph infections.
Staph bacteria, like acne bacteria, normally live in small numbers of the skin. Acne bacteria eat excess skin oils, and staph bacteria eat dead skin cells. Small numbers of staph bacteria are a kind of cleanup crew for the skin.
Staph bacteria usually don’t enter pores, because the acne bacteria can overwhelm them. The usually entryway for staph into the skin is through a tiny crack or cut. Inside the skin where they are not exposed to air, sunshine, and skin cleansers, they can multiply and emit their own toxic chemicals to cause a nasty zit, usually with a round yellow center in the middle.
Children most commonly get staph infections on their buttocks. Adults most commonly get staph infections on their faces. Staph infections, unlike acne infections, can occur almost anywhere on the body, and require special treatment:
- Staph infections and acne infections can both be spread from hand to face, but staph infections are also transmitted from kitchen utensils, seats in public buses, toilet seats, damp clothing and towels, and the like. A friend or family member is not likely to catch your acne infection. A friend or family member can easily catch your staph infection—especially from the pus you pop from bumps on your skin.
- Staph infections develop much more quickly than acne infections and spread to other parts of the body much more quickly. They may be “hot” to the touch and cause fever.
- An acne infection is extremely unlike to cause a life-threatening emergency, except in people who have HIV. A staph infection might.
Staph infections have to be treated much more aggressively than acne. Usually it is a good idea to see a doctor if you have a rapidly growing, very tender, warm-to-the-touch “pimple” with a yellow center anywhere on your skin. Knowing the difference between staph and acne is the first step to removing pimples.
Five Easy Steps to Removing Pimples
Once you have made sure that you are dealing with acne rather than some other skin problem, then the most important thing to remember about removing pimples is not to make the problem worse. Don’t try to scrub the pimple away. Don’t try to rub the pimple away. Don’t lance, poke, prick, mash, smash, or needle it. Be sure you use a mild skin cleanser that makes tiny soap bubbles. Big bubbles irritate the skin. Alcohol dries out the skin. Avoid sudsy soap and don’t use rubbing alcohol on your skin.
And do follow these five easy steps for removing pimples from your skin.
1. Stop inflammation. You can get the red out of pimples with tea tree oil. After you wash your skin every morning, take a clean cotton swab and dab a little pure tea tree oil directly on the pimple, taking care not to get the tea tree oil in your mouth or eyes. Benzoyl peroxide will deal with infection, but not with inflammation. Tea tree oil will deal with both.
2. Moisturize. There’s a difference between oil and moisture. Oil is on your skin. Moisture is in your skin. Excessive oil is a bad thing, but enough moisture is a good thing. Use a moisturizer once or twice a day to give your skin a chance to open the clogged pore on its own.
What is the very best moisturizer? Water! Simply splashing your face with water temporarily increases its surface moisture content as much as 500%. Since you can’t do that all day, choose a moisturizer that is made with water or oil, but not alcohol.
3. Protect your skin from the sun. You can’t heal a pimple if it gets sunburned, and the combination of acne and sun damage can leave noticeable brown spots. Be sure to protect your skin from sun.
4. Exfoliate. Gentle exfoliation with alpha- hydroxy or beta-hydroxy acids will loosen up the skin, increase circulation, and stimulate the growth of healthy cells beneath the pimple, effectively forcing it out of the skin. Do microdermabrasion for whiteheads and blackheads, but exfoliation for pimple.
5. Keep pimples from coming back by avoiding foods that trigger breakouts. Some people are very sensitive to iodine. Eating a lot of ocean fish or shellfish, taking an iodine supplement, or using iodine antiseptics can make the face breakout.
Many people are sensitive to chocolate. A University of Miami study found that some young men develop as many as 85 pimples in 5 days after eating just 6 oz (168 g) of dark chocolate. If you are sensitive to chocolate, dark chocolate will cause more problems than milk chocolate.
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