Skip to main content

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Pick at Your Acne

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Pick at Your Acne

Almost three-quarters of women and men in the United States have had acne at some point in their lives. Even though acne’s most strongly associated with the teenage years — and their surge of androgenic hormones — you can develop acne at any age. 

Women, especially, are prone to acne breakouts as they grow older. Sometimes, they develop acne for the first time after menopause. And,because of widespread use of masks to control the spread of COVID 19, women and men of all ages are susceptible to a friction-caused form of acne informally known as “maskne.”

As embarrassing as acne can be, trying to remove acne lesions by yourself or picking at your acne will only make it worse and may cause complications. At Specialists in Dermatology, with offices in Houston, Texas, or The Woodlands, Texas, our team of expert dermatologists wants to keep your skin acne-free but also healthy. Here’s why you should never pick at acne. 

Picking makes acne worse

Even though picking at your acne gives a sense of momentary control, as you try to restore your skin to being pimple- and cyst-free, that’s just an illusion. When you pick at lesions, you actually make them look worse. 

The skin around the picked lesion may become red and inflamed, which makes the pimple look bigger. Your popped pimple could bleed or develop a scab. In other words, what was once just a single pimple has now developed into an angry, red region. And, strictly speaking, your pimple’s still there. 

You may develop an infection

You might think that popping a pimple forces the contents outward, and it does. But the force of popping also pushes the lesion’s contents inward, toward the inner layers of your skin. An acne lesion is usually already filled with bacteria, which feasts on the oil and dead skin in the lesion.

When you pop or pick at the pimple, the bacteria is forced down into the follicle that created it. The follicle ruptures from the pressure, so the bacteria spills into your skin. You may then have an inflamed and painful region, because of the bacterial infection. 

You could create a scars

Popping pimples and picking at acne causes trauma and increases your risk for scars. Your skin needs to be handled gently so that it can thrive and stay healthy. 

When your skin is traumatized, it tries to rebuild itself. But if the damage is too severe, your body can’t create enough collagen to create normal skin again. 

That’s why acne scars are often depressed or pitted.Those pimples that would normally disappear on their own with time now become scars that are with you for the rest of your life, unless you undergo specialized treatments to improve them.

You could create dark spots

Even if the trauma of picking and popping doesn’t create pitted scars, you can create another type of scar that’s related to pigment changes. In other words, you may create dark spots on your skin, known as hyperpigmentation. 

Hyperpigmentation is caused by inflammation. Popping or picking at a pimple or cyst creates inflammation. The inflammation then forms a dark spot on your skin. Eventually, the lesion is gone, but the hyperpigmented spot isn’t. 

You might permanently damage your skin

Hyperpigmented spots and scars don’t go away on their own. By trying to pick away or pop your acne, you risk permanent damage that may take many trips to the dermatologist to improve. 

The better choice is to see a dermatologist as soon as you’re troubled by acne. Depending on the type of acne you have, we may recommend a number of prescription-strength medications to resolve and manage it.

If you have an enlarged pimple or cyst, we expertly drain the contents so that they don’t spill into your skin and cause an infection. We may also inject acne lesions directly with medication that can clear them up within hours.

Put your acne into the right hands by getting help from acne professionals. If you’re tempted to pick at your acne, pick up the phone first and contact us at Specialists in Dermatology today. You can also schedule an appointment at the office nearest you by using our online form.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Does Melanoma Always Appear as an Atypical Mole?

You know your ABCDEs by heart, and you use them each month when you examine your skin. If you notice changes in a mole, you go straight to your dermatologist for a skin cancer evaluation. But does deadly melanoma always appear as a mole?

Why You Shouldn't Remove a Wart on Your Own

You hate the way your wart looks and want to get rid of it as soon as possible. You’re tempted to pick it, squeeze it, cut it, or burn it off yourself. Don’t. The end result could be an infection and even more warts. Everywhere.
4 Chronic Conditions That Cause Dry, Flaky Skin

4 Chronic Conditions That Cause Dry, Flaky Skin

When you have dry skin, it may not just be because of the winter winds or indoor heating. You may have an underlying, chronic condition that causes your skin to be dry, flaky, and uncomfortable, no matter the season or the weather.

How to Reduce Your Fine Lines Without Surgery

You aren’t ready for — and may never want — plastic surgery. You do want to look energized, refreshed, and youthful, which means getting rid of fine lines. Can you do that without surgery? Yes with dermal fillers, neurotoxins, and chemical peels.
5 Common Rosacea Triggers

5 Common Rosacea Triggers

Though you can’t cure rosacea, you can tame it. By learning your triggers and avoiding them whenever possible, you keep embarrassing blushes, flushes, and pustules to a minimum. Start with the most common, then find your personal triggers, too.

Using the ABCDE Method to Examine Your Moles

Whether you think of your moles as beauty marks or not, it pays to keep an eye on them. Normal moles are fairly stable throughout your life. Abnormal moles, which could be cancerous, change. Use your ABCDEs to keep track.