It's normal to want a zit gone right away, but if you pop it, you could be risking an infection and scarring, as dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban explains on The Doctors today.
You can buy what's known as a comedone extractor to help pop zits without using your fingers, lowering your risk of infection, but it's still not a good idea. According to Dr. Shamban, even with the extractor, you still run the risk of infection and scarring. The best way to deal with a current breakout is to visit your dermatologist who can professionally remove your pimple or use a fast acting acne treatment.
The best way to avoid scars is to prevent zits from forming in the first place. Medications to treat both mild and severe acne are available. Prescriptions like isotretinoin, a vitamin-A derivative, are used to treat severe acne. However, isotretinoin is associated with some dangerous side effects and is rarely prescribed. Most physicians will opt for other treatments such as topical creams and cleansers, which commonly contain salicylic acid, or acne laser technologies.
Typically, acne medicines decrease the body's production of sebum, a natural body fluid produced by sebaceous glands. When your skin's pores are clogged, the sebum has nowhere to go and it builds up causing a small infection. White blood cells rush to the site and die, forming pus which becomes a 'whitehead' pimple, also known as a closed comedone. Another type of pimple that occurs are 'blackheads,' or open comedones. These are caused in much the same way, there is a build up of sebum in the pore, but as the pore remains open and not clogged, there is not the subsequent infection and build up of pus.
Technologies such as Isolaz from Aesthera offer a medication free form of acne treatment. The laser visibly reduces acne within a couple of days and over time reduces the production of sebum at the treatment site. Medications, on the other hand, reduce sebum production over the whole body. Having this kind of fast acting spot treatment is a useful tool in battling acne.