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How to pop a pimple

How to pop a pimple

“Popping” your own pimples is generally discouraged, as it could cause the area to become infected, slow the healing process, and leave a discolored spot or even an indented scar. However, a dermatologist can successfully “extract” a pimple if the pimple meets certain requirements. Before I describe ... the process, it’s important to note that I don’t squeeze, pick, or pinch the pimple with my fingers. This is where a lot of patients go wrong when they try to clear their own pimples by “popping” them.

If a patient asks me to clear a pimple, I first make sure that the pimple has become a white-topped bump (called a pustule) and that the area around it is no longer red. I clean the area with alcohol then use a sterile needle to prick the pustule until it opens. I either use gauze to press down on the area around the pustule gently and with equal pressure all around the pimple, or I use an instrument called a comedone extractor to remove all the pimple’s contents. I finish by dabbing an antibiotic ointment to the area to prevent infection.


This article reflects the opinion of Dr Shirley Chi and is intended as general information only.  You should seek advice from a professional before starting any new regime or course of conduct.