Does Popping Pimples Cause Acne Scarring?


I don’t know about you, but I have seen so many recent posts about pimple popping and even the correct technique to do it, that I decided to write a post. Over the past 30 years I have treated over 3,000 patients for acne scarring and I can say without a doubt that one of the most common causes for significant acne scarring is pimple popping, probing and squeezing.
You can think of a pimple as a little pocket beneath the skin that holds acne bacteria or germs and natural skin oils. In some cases this germ population can rapidly grow causing a localized infection. Our body tries to combat the infection by sending in cells to combat it.  This results in an accumulation of puss, which causes inflammation, swelling and pain. The red head now becomes a white head and the surrounding skin becomes reddened and tender.  It is only natural for us to want to remove this unsightly growth with either trying to squeeze the pimple or to lance it.

So now you have committed the ultimate skin care sin: you have popped the pimple.  This only worsens the problem by forcing this infected material deeper into your skin and spreading the infection to nearby normal skin which can result in the appearance of even more pimples.  After the pimple has been probed, picked and popped and is finally starting to heal itself, a new problem now occurs.  In an attempt to heal this process, your body naturally produces more collagen at the site, which can lead to scar contraction. The contraction process causes the skin surface to cave in, resulting in a sunken acne scar. Now if that wasn’t enough, this scarring can cause the most common long-term result of irregular pigmentation, or a darkened spot, at the site of the healed pimple.

My Approach to Stopping the Enlargement of that Pimple and Reducing the Risk of Permanent Acne Scarring:

When the pimple passes the stage of redness and swelling and now comes to a head, wipe the area with alcohol and wash your hands. Then take a clean washcloth and hold it under hot water until you can barely stand the heat.  (Don’t burn yourself).  Slightly rub the hot wash cloth with your index finger over the pimple.  This will open the pore and allow the infected fluid to escape.  (Don’t squeeze).  Now take a Q tip and dip it in a natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory solution and rub it over the opening in the skin. I recommend not using an ointment for it may further clog the opening in the skin. Because of the demand, a biochemist who specializing in skin care developed a natural topical solution specifically formulated for this treatment.

You can repeat this process several times over the next 24 hours to ensure a good result. Avoid the use of an excessively drying topical, such as benzoyl peroxide, because they can cause flaking and excessive drying of the adjacent already inflamed skin.

I hope this information on such a disgusting issue has been informative.  You might want to stop by later because I will be posting on the ways that scarring develops after the squeezing of a pimple. Stay Well

Article by
Eau Claire Plastic Surgeon