Pimple picking, were all guilty of it.
Because let’s face it zits suck.
It’s almost like a rite of passage, see zit and pick at it.
But unless you want permanent pigmentation or scarring, you may want to stop that pimple picking in it’s tracks.
WHY PICKING PIMPLES IS A BIG NO
Chronic picking can injure the skin, spreading bacteria and possibly causing scars.
Scraping your skin with your nails is an easy way for all of those nasty germs to get into the skin, causing infection.
Picking causes inflammation which cause post inflammatory hyper pigmentation, darkening the skin in the area of the pimple.
Your best bet is to treat your pimple with a spot treatment, alpha/hydroxy acid or benzyl peroxide are spot treatments that help to flush out debris in the follicle, that cause the impaction and becomes the pimple.
POP DON’T PICK
But what if you just can’t resist?
How do you damage control that post pick?
Well your going to have to treat your pimple popping like a surgical procedure:
- Cut your nails short, making sure your hands are super clean
- Next take two tissues and wrap them around your index fingers
- Gently press down on the pimple until it pops, if nothing is happening GIVE IT UP, trying to force that pimple can lead to pigmentation or scarring
- Now you have caused trauma to the skin you need to treat it with some TLC, dab on natural antiseptics like propolis or tea tree to compound the area
But in truth in order to treat your pimple successfully, you really need to understand it’s anatomy.
ANATOMY OF A PIMPLE
Those bothersome overactive oil glands cause a build up of sticky skin cells and oil which clump together in the bottom of a follicle.
In the beauty industry we refer to this clumping as micro-comedo, which are the beginning of all those bothersome acne lesions in the skin.
Now because these sneaky little micro-comedo reside under the skin and can’t be seen by the naked eye, so we tend to ignore them
But bubbling below the surface is the start of that pimple, as more dead cell build up and oil build up in the follicle;
Blackheads: If this follicle opening dilates during this build up the sebum on the surface oxidises and darkens causing a blackhead.
White heads: If the follicle does not dilate the sebum cannot oxidises and instead becomes a closed comedone.
WHEN PIMPLES BECOME ACNE
Now at the bottom of all of our follicles these tiny P.acnes bacteria reside.
It’s normal for this bacteria to be here, they are constantly dividing making new bacteria and in a healthy follicle they are constantly being killed by oxygen.
When the oxygen is blocked from the follicle because of all that oil and cellular build, it makes the perfect breeding ground for P.acnes, which bubble away below the surface leading to inflammation and infection.
P.acnes get really busy breaking down sebum into simple fatty acids, a nutritious food source for the bacteria; the more they do this the more the follicle becomes inflamed with bacteria, dead skin cells and sebum.
The follicle gets so full to the seams it bursts open, all of which takes place in the dermis the living layer of the skin which is full of blood vessels.
In this blood are our lovely immune cells.
When the follicle wall breaks down the blood rushes to the follicle and floods it along with these immune cells, to fight the bacteria.
During this fight many white blood cells and bacteria are killed, the dead white blood cells pile up in the follicle along with fluids and debris and form a pustule, which is recognised by that white head that you just want to squeeze.
A little interesting fact, pus is mostly dead white blood cells.
So hopefully I’ve convinced you not to pick those pimples.
If you want to find out about the importance of a good home care routine, follow the link.