It doesn’t take one to be a board-certified dermatologist to know that popping, squeezing, and even touching a pimple is not the best thing to do. No matter how many dermatology appointments, wellness treatments, and facials a person books, their skin will be damaged if they pop their pimples. If you’re guilty of this habit, regardless of how often you do it, it’s time you stop putting your hands to your face.
Why You Should Leave Your Pimples Alone
When you break out, these areas are sensitive and more susceptible to infection. When you pick at your pimple, you introduce and force bacteria and other debris into your skin. This will cause the affected area to become more irritated, inflamed, and red. The worst-case scenario is that it may also become infected and leave a permanent scar after it’s healed. Obviously, nobody wants a permanent scar on their skin, especially if it’s self-inflicted. Sometimes the best solution is to ignore the pimple, no matter how hard it is to fight the urge to get rid of it. Let it live out its lifespan and exit your life like the way it was always meant to, even without you popping it.
When Skin Picking Is Really Harmful
Although picking at your skin can have permanent outcomes on your skin, in some cases, it’s deeper than a scar. Skin picking isn’t a disorder in and of itself. Healthy people occasionally pick at pimples and scabs. It can be considered a disorder when it creates severe anxiety or issues in other aspects of life. Skin picking is not considered a disorder until the behavior takes place often enough and is severe enough to cause a significant amount of distress or issues in other aspects of one’s life. The reasons for skin picking disorder are unknown. However, biology and the environment play a part in its progression.
To prevent self-diagnosing, be sure to see a health professional and consult with them about your skin picking.
Breaking the Habit
Popping your pimples may be a bad habit that you’ve developed over the years. It’s time to break it. Here are some ways to break the stubborn habit for good.
Know Your Triggers
Be it boredom, pleasure, or anxiety, whatever the reason, try your best to catch what triggers you. Understanding what triggers you to pick at your skin is an excellent place to start. For example, if you’re picking at your skin due to a skin problem like acne or itch, you might want to contact a dermatologist. But if you’re picking at your skin because of emotional and mental triggers such as anxiety, depression, or a strong desire to pick, consider consulting a mental health professional.
If you think popping a pimple speeds up the healing process, you’re wrong. Although a red, blaring pimple can be annoying to look at, it’s best to leave it be and let it live out its lifespan. Popping it can give you temporary relief, but know that it can leave a scar in the long run.
Out of sight, out of mind. If you’re conscious about the redness, the sight making it almost unbearable not to pop, try concealing it with a light dab of concealer and foundation. Apply just enough to minimize its redness. Although it’s ideal for letting your skin breathe, concealer is your next best friend in this situation. Remember to remove all makeup at the end of the day, just before your nighttime skin routine.
Treat It Immediately
Treat pimples and other problematic areas immediately before your hands make their way to them. Apply spot treatments, pimple stickers, and the like for a change of environment. Having products on these sites not only deters your wandering hands but also helps treat these spots, too.
As previously mentioned, skin picking may be triggered by a disorder. Should this be the case, it’s best to see a mental health professional. If ski picking has been interfering with many aspects of your life, consider taking therapy. Not only will the behavior be minimized, but it will be a holistic solution for your over well-being. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), for example, focuses on stimulus management techniques and habit reversal training. When people are provoked to pick, cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on redirecting the behavior into non-harmful behaviors and coping mechanisms. The therapist teaches the client to engage in harmless motor coping mechanisms when a trigger presents itself.
It may be a satisfying pop or a breath-taking relief, but picking at your skin, and doing it often, can prove harmful to your skin. Not only will your squeezing leave a mark, but it can also leave that area more exposed and vulnerable to bacteria. Before putting matters into your own hands, figuratively and literally, consult a dermatologist for professional advice.