Few skin problems are more maddening than a painful pimple. You feel it under your skin, you itch to pop it, and it seems to enter the room before you do. Even under a heavy layer of makeup, it feels like there’s no hiding it.
So how should you deal with those protruding nuisances? Step one, don’t do what you’re most likely to try.
Don’t Try To Pop It!
Did you know you can scar from popping a pimple? Plus, you’re not doing anything to help it heal. You may get a little of the “gunk” out, but not as much you think.
When you squeeze a pimple, you push the insides in two directions: up and down. In fact, most of the buildup goes deeper into the skin. Sure, a little comes out, but the oil, skin cells, and bacteria you drive deeper into your skin make a pimple even worse.
Related: Acne Break-Outs: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatments [INFOGRAPHIC]
What Causes a Painful Pimple?
Pimples hurt because the body is trying to get rid of the stuff that doesn’t belong there. The redness, swelling, and inflammation cause the pain. The body knows that the dead skin, oil, and bacteria are supposed to be in the hair follicle (which is outside the skin). So, as your body tries to push it out, you end up with more sensitivity in the area. If you try to pop that pimple, you reverse the progress the body has made in getting the buildup out.
A Blind Pimple
Ever had a pimple that doesn’t show its ugly head but you can feel underneath the skin? For women, these often occur right before that time of the month. Just before you start your period, your female hormone level declines, while your testosterone level stays the same. Consequently, you’ll produce more oil that can get trapped under the skin. If it clogs, it can result in a deep, painful cyst.
These cysts leave people looking for any remedy that sounds like it may possibly work. Popular articles recommend applying warm and cold compresses, tea-tree oil, aloe, apples and honey, milk and lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, rubbing alcohol, or even toothpaste. You might as well whisper an incantation too. None of those “tricks” work. You’ll end up with more frustration and sticky skin.
Why? Those methods don’t cure the root of the problem. In fact, they often irritate the skin in the process and even make a pimple worse.
Related: Teen Acne Treatments: How To Get Rid of Frustrating Breakouts
Decreasing the Pain
If you’re dealing with a painful pimple, just call your dermatologist. They can use a steroid to reduce the inflammation if necessary. Otherwise, be patient. The body is working to get that gunk out of your skin. Let it do its job.
Tired of battling frustrating and painful pimples? Give us a call at 817-369-8448 to schedule an appointment and find the right acne treatment for your skin.
Dr. R. Todd Plott is a board-certified dermatologist in Coppell, Keller, and Saginaw, TX. His specialization and professional interests include treating patients suffering with acne, identifying and solving complex skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, and identifying and treating all types of skin cancers. In his spare time, Dr. Plott enjoys cycling, traveling with his wife, and spending time with his children and new grandson.
Learn more about Dr. Plott.