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We know, it can be tempting to pop, pick, or touch the pimples on your face. It might seem super satisfying to squeeze the white pus out of a zit, or maybe you think picking it away will minimize the appearance of the pimple all together. However, it’s important to be patient when dealing with these marks, because touching them in this way can actually make them worse!
Our fingers are hotspots for bacteria, dirt, and oil, the same things that are contained within pimples themselves. By prodding or squeezing at the pimples on your face, you may be transferring the bacteria from your hands to your face, which can cause even more pimples to show up. Bacteria also live on our skin - this is totally normal and natural - so when a zit is popped and there's a break in the skin, those bacteria can get inside. When they're hanging out on the surface, the bacteria don't typically cause any problems; once they get under the skin, that's when they can multiply and cause an infection.You also risk creating a scab or even a permanent scar if you pick at your face, which will make what was already there even more red, swollen, or noticeable.
As frustrating as it is, it's best to leave your pimples alone and avoid the urge to touch them. Instead, you could try using a topical treatment like a pimple patch, a small sticker that you can place over your zits that gently draws out pus and heals the spot. In addition, it’s important to make sure you wash your hands (and resist the urge to pick!) regularly to avoid bacteria transfer. Warm towel compresses can also help decrease redness and open up pores for the pus to naturally rise from under the skin. If you’re concerned about your skin, don’t be afraid to see a dermatologist - skin doctor! They can help treat your pimples in a safe way.