A pimple is a hair follicle or oil gland that is clogged with sebum or oil and becomes a breeding ground for bacterial growth. As with any area that becomes infected on the body, white blood cells go to fight the invaders and swelling occurs. From the outside you see a red bump with a white tip, but on the inside it’s a cesspool of infection with the potential to infect the surrounding skin if improperly released. When you ”pop” a pimple by squeezing excessively on the area and forcing the infection out, you cause undue strain on the skin around the follicle and potentially stretching or scarring it. Once the skin is stretched around the follicle, it is very hard to shrink it back down which leads to enlarged follicles or what is commonly called large pores. With a larger area open, it is easier for sebum to become impacted and for the entire process to begin again. Along with this vicious cycle, once a pimple is opened, there is a potential for that infection to spread into the surrounding follicles to infect them as well.
The best action is to let the infection run its course and to leave it alone. You may put warm compresses on the pimple to increase the blood flow and bring the infection closer to the surface and apply a 2% salicylic acid gel or hydrogen peroxide to help combat the infection. Keeping the area clean and lightly moisturized will help to speed up healing. If you have trouble with acne and get many pimples on a regular basis, come talk with our Master Esthetician about products and treatments to combat the infection and soothe your skin. Call (804) 330- 5501 to schedule an appointment today!