Popped Your Pimple? Here's What to Do Next, According to a Dermatologist

The inevitable happened.  You couldn't help yourself and popped that pimple. Now what?

Even though we all know it's better to let pimples run their nasty course,  it can be hard to resist popping a pesky blemish. Believe us, we've been there. But you can't undo the past. and once you've popped a pimple you have to deal with the aftermath. So, we tapped board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jennifer Herrmann to figure out the best steps to follow after you get squeeze-happy.

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Pre-Pop: Clean Your Hands

So you're in the bathroom and somehow brushing your hair leads to examining your face with a 1000-times magnified mirror and declogging every pore on your face. According to Dr. Herrmann, one of the most crucial things to do is to wash your hands first! "If a pimple is popped it's important that you cleanse the skin and fingers before doing so," she explains. "Also, using Q-tips, rather than bacteria-laden fingernails, is preferred."


Don't Touch Anything That's Pink or Red

While it's best to leave all extractions to a professional, you're better off squeezing clogged pores, whiteheads and blackheads over pimples that are pink and red. "It's key to also make certain that you only drain very shallow white bumps or blackheads rather than anything pink or red," Dr. Herrmann explains. "If the pimple is inflamed, there is a much higher chance of creating a scar if it is manipulated."

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Post-Pop Cleaning

Right after doing the deed, your first priority is to clean! An antibacterial face wash formulated for acne-prone skin should be your first line of defense.


Apply a Drying Agent

Once the popped blemish area is clean, you'll want to apply a drying lotion. Dr. Hermann suggests Mario Badescu's drying lotion to "help soothe and minimize additional inflammation from the traumatic event." You can also reach for creams with hydrocortisone to help with inflammation. Dr. Herrmann also notes that, "getting into the habit of using a retinoid-like OTC Differin can also help exfoliate to make you less likely from developing another spot."


While we're talking about acne-prone skin, make sure you're avoiding THESE face oils.