How to Safely Pop a Pimple and Extract a Blackhead

You ‘re likely to want to pop a pimple at some point, though there are safer and smarter ways to deal with your skin blemishes .

If that ‘s the case, then you ‘ll want to know how to do it without causing more skin damage. You ‘ll besides want to avoid infection, specially if something more than a pimple is going on with your skin .

This article explains the best way to pop a pimple. Better so far, it offers some options that may work well instead—and some tips for when you should avoid disrupting a bark blemish all in all .

Shot of a young woman with hands that look like she is popping a pimple.
Katleho Seisa / Getty Images

Why You Should Avoid Popping Pimples

Hands down, the safest thing for your clamber is “ hands-off. ” The best way to deal with your pimple is to allow it to heal naturally. In other words, you should avoid popping or squeezing it .

If you do squeeze a pimple, you may be able to drain some plutonium from it. The problem is that the credit crunch pushes the pimple both improving and down. It ‘s not just the pus that you ‘re moving, either. The pimple ‘s core holds a chew of dead peel cells and sebum, a natural kind of oil .

When you squeeze your pimple, you push this plug further into the affect peel pore. The pressure from the pop besides may cause the wall of the pore to burst. This happens below the skin come on where you ca n’t see it and means the infection can spread in the dermis layer of the skin .

That ‘s why popping a pimple can cause more damage than just leaving it alone. The more the skin is damaged, the higher the probability you may develop acne scarring .


It ‘s best to let a pimple heal by itself. That ‘s because popping or squeezing a pimple wo n’t good remove the plutonium you see. It besides pushes it into the nearby clamber. This spreads the infect topic and can cause more skin damage .

Solutions Without Popping

There are other ways to get a pimple to drain without popping. Before you start squeezing, take a look at some of the options .

professional extraction

The best thing you can do is see a peel specialist. A dermatologist or an esthetician can drain the pimple or blackhead. They ‘re trained to know precisely how to treat a blemish without causing damage to the bark .

Extractions work particularly well for blackheads. The pros can get rid of most of the existing blackheads on your peel in merely a few visits .

Of course, it ‘s not realistic to run to the bark doctor of the church or salon every clock time a flaw appears. Both the cost and the time it takes are not likely to be practical .

Apply a Warm compress

If you have a pustule with a large, obvious white head, you can try a warm compress. Soak a soft fabric in affectionate water and hold it over the pimple for respective minutes. Rewarm the compress when it gets cold .

The warmheartedness helps to make the pore free and open. It softens the pimple head and allows it to drain naturally. Do n’t do this until the pustule head is at the identical surface of the skin. If you do this before it ‘s ready, a pimple that ‘s not quite formed will fair get inflame, look larger, and be more obvious .

The quick compress method acting wo n’t work on blackheads. This is because the core of a blackhead is more intemperate and sticky than the core of a pustule .

spot treatment

If you have a day or so to wait, over-the-counter smudge treatments are another commodity option. Dab a little sum on the pimple and leave it alone. The blot treatment helps dry up the pimple .

Hydrocolloid acne patches may help besides. They ‘ll keep you from picking at the pimple as it heals .

You can get spot treatments in the skin care aisle of your local drug memory. Products that contain benzoyl hydrogen peroxide or sulphur tend to work well on white-head pustules .

Some people besides have good results with products containing salicylic acid or tea tree petroleum. You may want to try a few brands in order to find the one that works best for your skin .


Besides pop, you can try early ways to remove a pimple. ardent compresses may work on a amply formed pimple with a blank headway, or pustule. nonprescription skin wish products besides can help.

Safer Steps to Pop a pimple

ideally, you ‘ll be able to take wish of your pimple without squeezing. Popping pimples should always be a last resort .


Click Play to Learn How to Pop a Pimple

This television has been medically reviewed by Casey Gallagher, MD. But, if you ‘re going to pop a pimple, it ‘s best to do it safely. Remember that when you squeeze a flaw, you can cause damage to your bark. These steps will at least reduce the opportunity of that happening .

This lone works for pimples with large, obvious whiteheads. They need to be close to the skin surface .

  1. Wash your hands well with soap and water.
  2. Sanitize a needle or pin with rubbing alcohol.
  3. Gently prick only the very top of the whitehead with the tip of the needle. Do so on an angle that is parallel to the skin. Don’t go so deep that you draw blood. If this hurts, either you’re poking too deeply or the pimple isn’t ready to treat yet.
  4. Wrap your fingers in tissue or cotton. Place your fingers on either side of the blemish.
  5. Gently pull away from the blemish. This motion is the opposite of squeezing. It will often work to drain the pimple without the risk of pushing any infected matter deeper into the skin. 
  6. Stop here if it works. There’s no need to squeeze at all. Cleanse the area with soap or facial wash, and apply a bit of toner or astringent.

If you calm have the whitehead :

  1. Grab two cotton swabs. Apply gentle pressure to the sides of the blemish. This is a better way to squeeze than using your fingers.
  2. Work the cotton swabs around the blemish. That way, you’re not continually pushing from the same sides.
  3. Don’t squeeze too hard or draw blood. You want just enough pressure to drain the whitehead.
  4. Once done, wash with cleanser. Apply toner or astringent. You can also use a tiny dab of antibacterial ointment on the pimple site.


Popping a pimple safely involves two independent ideas. First, keep the site clean and aseptic. then, use merely aristocratic pressure. Do n’t force it. If the pimple does n’t drain easily, then it ‘s not ready. Leave it alone and try a spot treatment overnight.

never Pop a Deep Inflamed Blemish

You can sometimes lightly “ pop ” a whitehead. But there are sealed types of pimples you should never try to pop. Do n’t do so if you see :

  • Any red pimple without a white head
  • Big, inflamed, deep blemishes. These may be nodular breakouts and cysts that should not be squeezed. The core is too deep in the skin, so it’s best to simply let them heal on their own. A spot treatment or acne medication might help to get them on their way.
  • A large and very painful blemish may not be a pimple. It may be a boil instead.

How to Extract a Blackhead safely

It ‘s generally safer to extract a blackhead than an inflamed pimple. There is less gamble of contagion and scar. still, you ‘ll need to treat your skin lightly .

You may want to try removing a blackhead right after your shower or bathroom. The steam and affectionateness will relax the pore openings. This loosens and softens the blackhead hack. It makes them easier to coax from the pore .

  1. Wash your hands with soap.
  2. Wrap your fingers in cotton or tissue.
  3. Place gentle pressure on either side of the blackhead. Try to get below the blackhead and push up carefully.
  4. Instead of steady pressure, massage the plug or use a rocking motion to help loosen it. Do this until the core is completely removed. Remember, don’t press so hard that you draw blood or leave finger marks on your skin.
  5. Use a toner or astringent on all the areas that you’ve extracted.

Comedone Extractors

Comedone extractors are small metallic element tools estheticians use to remove blackheads. They can be an option. however, they besides can do more harm than dear in incompetent hands. It ‘s comfortable to apply besides much imperativeness and bruise your peel .

If you do use a comedone extractor, make certain you sanitize it first with rubbing alcohol. Put the loop of the tool around the blackhead, with the blackhead in the middle. Apply aristocratic imperativeness straight down, and do n’t dig into the bark. If you leave bolshevik marks on the skin, you ‘re pushing besides hard .


Some blemishes, like a bolshevik or inflame one, should be left alone. Blackheads, though, may be easier to remove. You can do so by hand or, if you can use one safely, try the comedone extractor. Blackheads can be stubborn. If you ca n’t extract them, leave them alone for another day.


The safest way to pop a pimple is not to do it. There are times that it ‘s likely you ‘ll want to, though. So the next-best way is to use a proper technique therefore that you wo n’t damage the skin or scatter infection .

The proficiency you ‘ll need is going to depend on what kind of pimple you have and what stagecoach it ‘s in. Whether for a whitehead or blackhead, the steps presented here offer you the best chance to “ pop ” your pimple in a clean, dependable means .

If you think you need more help, do n’t hesitate to see a dermatologist or early clamber caution professional. That ‘s all the more true if you think you have inflammatory acne or another skin condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What happens if you don’t pop a pimple?

    A pimple will normally heal on its own within about five to seven days. As a pimple forms, white blood cells try to fight the infection. The whiten blood cells die and trust with dead skin cells to form pustules. Once the infection heals, the pimple starts to go aside .

  • When should you not pop a pimple?

    The general recommendation is that you should never pop a pimple. however, few people follow this. In general, you can gently pop a whitehead pimple once, but don ’ t try to draw more out again subsequently. Doing therefore can lead to scarring. You should never pop a pimple that does not have a whitehead or is trench under the skin. Deep inflamed acne can be ascribable to nodular breakouts or cysts and should not be squeezed. The core of the pimple is excessively deep under the hide to pop without causing injury to the surrounding tissue.

  • What should you do after popping a pimple?

    If you ‘ve already popped a pimple, do n’t try to squeeze any more out of it. To help it heal, wash it with a easy cleansing agent, and try using a position treatment with salicylic acerb or benzoyl peroxide. To help reduce any swell, you might try using a coldness compress with a fabric wrapped around an internal-combustion engine backpack .

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