Yes, you CAN pop your pimples – just follow these steps to do so properly. By Eugene Quek
Photo: Irina Bogolapova / www.123rf.com
Those well-meaning folks forever badgering us to leave our blemishes alone? They’re dead wrong. Truth be told, a pus-filled pimple that isn’t relieved of its toxic load has no chance to heal. Which is why if you’re going to pop, you might as well do it the legit way.
First rule of thumb: Only squeeze spots that are “ripe”. Like plucking a plum, the pimple should be plump and well, throbbing with “juice” in the form of a visible whitehead. (That naturally precludes the “blind” blemishes lodged deep within the skin; that’s a whole other kettle of fish for another day.)
As long as you can see pus pooling in the centre of the pimple, it’s off with its head, baby. Here’s how to decapitate the baddie in a minute or less:
STEP 1. Using clean fingers, grab a cotton washcloth steeped in warm water and hold it against the zit for a few seconds. This hot compress softens the spot for easier extraction.
STEP 2. Time to have a go at gulp, DIY surgery. Toss the washcloth aside. Swaddle your thumb and index finger with a roll or two of kitchen towel (this keeps things sterile and sanitary), then gingerly and gently – and I do mean gingerly and gently! – press around the sides of the offending spot.
Important! Use the fleshy pads of your fingertips to palpate the pimple; never dig in with your talons as your scritchy-scratchy nails may drive the infection deeper into the dermis.
STEP 3. If all goes well, the merest prod ought to dislodge the debris from its hidey-hole; if it doesn’t budge, step back and give it another go a day or two later. Once the gooey gunk flows clear or if you see blood, cease and desist.
STEP 4. Post-surgery, do as my makeup artist buddy Larry Yeo does and rinse Ground Zero with a splash of cold water. Next, pat a bit of alcohol-based toner onto the site; the astringent will obliterate any lurking germs or grime. If you’re kiasu like me, feel free to follow up with an acne-alleviating treatment gel.
Some final bits and bobs you may find instructive: Reserve any zit-zapping action for just before bedtime, as you won’t want to be traipsing about town with well, an oozing crater; and try to resist the urge to wear makeup immediately after (that’d be like refilling a recently excavated landmine with more rubbish.)
With some luck and lots of love, the pus-free pimple ought to scab over and subside in a matter of days. Sayonara, suckers!
A version of this article first appeared on www.herworldplus.com.