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Why You Should Never Pop Pimples and What to Do Instead

You Should Never Pop a Pimple

Are you battling with a stubborn acne and a curious urge to pop pimple? 

We’ve all been there, feeling that irresistible urge to squeeze and rid ourselves of that pesky intruder. But hold on just a second! 

Before you go ahead and give in to the temptation, we have some important news for you.

Did you know that popping a pimple can actually do more harm than good? It’s true! While it may provide temporary relief, it can lead to a whole host of problems, including scarring, infection, and even more breakouts. 

Yep, it’s a vicious cycle that nobody wants to get caught up in.

So, what can you do instead? Well, that’s what we’re here to tell you. 

By understanding why you should never pop a pimple and discovering the alternative approaches, you’ll be on your way to achieving clearer and healthier skin in no time.

Understanding How Pimples Form – Demystifying Skin Issues

Demystifying Skin Issues
Source: Canva

Pimples are the result of various factors working together to clog the hair follicles and lead to inflammation. Understanding these causes is crucial in finding effective ways to prevent and treat pimples.

1. Excess Oil Production

Sebum, an oily material produced by our skin’s sebaceous glands, is produced in excess. Pimples can develop when there is an excess of sebum, which can combine with dead skin cells and clog hair follicles. 1

2. Bacterial Infection

Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) is a bacterium that lives on our skin in its natural state. However, P. acnes may proliferate quickly when too much oil and dead skin cells build up, causing irritation and the emergence of acne. 2

3. Inflammation

The body’s immunological response is a major factor in the development of pimples. The immune system responds to blocked hair follicles by causing inflammation and redness. 3

Types of Pimples and Their Characteristics

Types of Pimples
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Pimples can manifest in various forms, each with its own characteristics and severity. Understanding the different types can help in identifying appropriate treatments.

1. Whiteheads 

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These are small, closed comedones that appear as white or flesh-coloured bumps. They occur when the follicles are clogged near the surface of the skin.

2. Blackheads

Source: Canva

Blackheads, also known as open comedones, are similar to whiteheads, but the clogged pores remain open, allowing the trapped debris to oxidise and turn black.

3. Papules

Papules are small, raised, red bumps that are typically tender to touch. They result from inflammation caused by the body’s immune response.

4. Pustules

Pustules are pus-filled lesions characterised by a red base with a white or yellowish centre. They are often painful and occur when the immune system fights against bacterial infection.

5. Nodules

Nodules are larger, solid, and painful bumps that develop deep within the skin. They are a severe form of acne and can lead to scarring.

6. Cysts

Cysts are painful, pus-filled lesions that are deep and large and often result from the accumulation of bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells. They have the potential to cause extensive scarring.

What Are The Risks Associated With Popping Pimples?

Risks Associated With Popping Pimples
Source: Canva

Popping pimples may provide temporary satisfaction, but it can have significant negative consequences for your skin health in both the short and long term.

1. Infection Risk and Scarring

Infection Risk and Scarring
Source: Canva

When you pop a pimple, you create an open wound on the skin, increasing the risk of introducing bacteria from your hands or surrounding environment. This can lead to infection, causing further inflammation and potential scarring. 1

Popping a pimple can also rupture the follicle wall, pushing bacteria and debris deeper into the skin, which can result in more severe forms of acne and an increased likelihood of scarring.

2. Spreading Bacteria to Other Areas of the Skin

Spreading Bacteria to Other Areas of the Skin
Source: Canva

Popping a pimple can inadvertently spread bacteria and pus to nearby follicles and areas of the skin. This can lead to the development of new pimples, creating a cycle where more breakouts occur. It’s essential to avoid touching or picking at your face to prevent this bacterial spread and subsequent acne formation. 4

3. Delayed Healing and Prolonged Recovery Time

Delayed Healing and Prolonged Recovery Time
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Popping a pimple disrupts the skin’s natural healing process. It can cause further inflammation, damage surrounding tissue, and slow down the healing process. This often leads to extended recovery time, where the pimple takes longer to heal and may leave behind scars or dark spots. 1

4. Psychological Impact

Psychological Impact
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You know, popping pimples can have more than just physical consequences. It can actually have a negative impact on a person’s self-esteem and psychological well-being too. Sometimes people pop pimples because they want immediate relief or they think it will make the pimple go away faster. 

But unfortunately, it can often make things worse. When popping a pimple leads to infection, scarring, or even more breakouts, it can really affect how someone feels about themselves.

Having visible acne and scars can make a person feel self-conscious and anxious in social situations. It can also lower their self-esteem. Constantly examining and picking at the skin can create an unhealthy preoccupation with imperfections and contribute to a negative body image. This kind of obsessive behaviour can create a cycle of anxiety, stress, and a constant focus on perceived flaws.

Ayurveda’s Insights into Skin Health

Ayurveda’s Insights into Skin Health
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According to Ayurveda, skin health is closely linked to the three fundamental energies or doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. An imbalance in any of these doshas can contribute to skin problems, including pimples. 

Imbalances in Vata can cause dryness and roughness of the skin, Pitta imbalances can result in excessive heat and inflammation, while Kapha imbalances may lead to excessive oiliness and congestion.

It also identifies the accumulation of toxins and impurities in the body as a significant cause of skin issues, including pimples. These toxins, known as ama, can disrupt the skin’s natural functioning and contribute to various skin disorders. The presence of ama can be a result of poor digestion, improper diet, stress, and environmental factors.

Importance of Understanding Individual Constitution (Prakriti) in Ayurveda

In Ayurveda, each person has a unique constitution known as prakriti, which determines their physical, mental, and emotional characteristics. Understanding one’s prakriti is crucial in Ayurvedic skincare as it helps tailor treatments and lifestyle choices to restore balance and promote healthy skin. 

For example, individuals with a predominantly Pitta constitution may be more prone to inflammatory skin conditions like acne, and they would benefit from cooling and soothing skin care practices.

By considering individual constitutions, Ayurveda provides personalised recommendations for skincare routines, dietary choices, and lifestyle modifications. It emphasises the use of natural ingredients and remedies to promote balance and address the root causes of skin problems, including pimples.

Gentle & Natural Ways of Dealing With Pimples – The Ayurvedic Way

Natural Ways of Dealing With Pimples
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Various lifestyle and dietary changes can help in preventing pimples. Ayurveda puts a lot of emphasis on improving one’s lifestyle and eating habits in order to get rid of almost all diseases in the body. It is crucial to understand that Ayurvedic treatments are not to provide temporary relief; rather the approach is to treat the root cause of the prevalent disease. 

1. Significance of Prevention through Lifestyle and Dietary Choices

Prevention through Lifestyle and Dietary
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(i) Balancing the Doshas through Diet and Herbal Remedies

Balancing the Doshas through Diet and Herbal Remedies
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Ayurveda emphasises the importance of a balanced diet to maintain optimal health, including skin health. You can promote clearer skin by incorporating foods that balance the specific dosha imbalances contributing to pimples. 

For instance, including cooling foods and spices can help pacify Pitta, reducing inflammation and heat-related skin issues. Likewise, including warming and stimulating foods can help balance Kapha, promoting healthy circulation and preventing congestion. 

Ayurvedic herbs like neem, turmeric, and aloe vera are known for their skin-healing properties and can be incorporated into the diet or used externally.

(ii) Maintaining a Healthy Skincare Routine using Natural Ayurvedic Ingredients

Skincare Routine using Natural Ayurvedic Ingredients
Source: Canva

Adopting a skincare routine based on Ayurvedic principles can help prevent and treat pimples. This includes cleansing the face with gentle, natural cleansers that do not strip the skin of its natural oils. 

Ayurvedic ingredients like sandalwood, tulsi, and rose can be used in homemade face packs and masks to soothe inflammation and promote healthy skin. Additionally, using non-comedogenic oils like jojoba or almond oil for moisturization can help maintain the skin’s natural balance without clogging the pores.

2. Specific Ayurvedic Remedies and Practices for Treating Pimples

Ayurvedic Remedies and Practices for Treating Pimples
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(i) Herbal Supplements and Ayurvedic Formulations

Herbal Supplements and Ayurvedic Formulations
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Ayurvedic practitioners may recommend herbal supplements or formulations tailored to individual needs to address the root causes of pimples. These may include formulations containing neem, turmeric, or amla, known for their antibacterial and detoxifying properties. These supplements work internally to purify the blood, balance the doshas, and promote healthy skin.

(ii) Ayurvedic Facial Treatments and Home Remedies

Ayurvedic Facial Treatments and Home Remedies
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Ayurveda offers various facial treatments and home remedies to address pimples effectively. Ayurvedic facials may involve steam treatments to open the pores, gentle exfoliation using herbal scrubs, and the application of herbal pastes or masks to soothe inflammation and reduce bacterial growth.

Home remedies may include applying turmeric and honey paste to the affected area or using sandalwood powder mixed with rosewater as a spot treatment.

Achieving Clear and Healthy Skin – Balancing Ayurveda and Modern Skincare

Achieving Clear and Healthy Skin
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Growing Popularity of Ayurveda in the Beauty Industry

Ayurveda has gained significant popularity in the beauty industry as people seek holistic and natural approaches to skincare. The ancient wisdom of Ayurveda offers a unique perspective and a wide range of botanical remedies that align with the increasing demand for clean, sustainable, and effective beauty products.

Ayurvedic Principles Complementing Modern Skin Care Practices

Modern Skin Care Practices
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1. Ayurvedic Herbs in Commercial Skincare Products

Many modern skincare brands are incorporating Ayurvedic herbs and botanical extracts into their formulations. Ayurvedic herbs such as turmeric, neem, ashwagandha, and holy basil possess potent anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties, making them valuable additions to skincare products. These natural ingredients can help address specific skin concerns like acne, inflammation, and hyperpigmentation, offering a gentle and holistic approach to skincare.

2. Combining Ayurvedic Remedies with Dermatologist-Recommended Treatments

Ayurveda and modern dermatology can work synergistically to provide comprehensive skincare solutions. While Ayurvedic remedies address imbalances and promote overall skin health, dermatologist-recommended treatments can offer targeted interventions for specific skin conditions. 

For example, someone with persistent acne may combine Ayurvedic dietary and lifestyle modifications with prescription medications or clinical treatments recommended by a dermatologist. 

This integrated approach combines the best of both worlds, harnessing the power of Ayurveda’s holistic principles alongside modern medical advancements.

Summing Up

You Should Never Pop a Pimple
Source: Canva

To sum up, popping pimples can be extremely risky, leading to infections, scarring, and the spread of bacteria, not to mention the negative impact on self-esteem. Instead of giving in to the temptation, consider adopting an Ayurvedic approach to skin health

Ayurveda focuses on understanding the causes of pimples and balancing the body through diet, herbal remedies, and skincare routines. It’s important to prioritise your skin’s well-being and explore Ayurvedic alternatives that promote healing and prevent future breakouts. 

Consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner or dermatologist for personalised guidance. Embrace the wisdom of Ayurveda, make informed choices, and enjoy healthier, clearer skin with boosted self-confidence. Your skin deserves the best care, so invest wisely and revel in a radiant and blemish-free complexion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it really bad to pop a pimple?

Popping a pimple can lead to further inflammation, scarring, and potential infection. It’s best to avoid popping and instead follow proper skincare practices for acne treatment.

How can I treat a pimple without popping it?

Instead of popping, use topical acne treatments with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid ingredients. Apply a warm compress to reduce inflammation and promote healing. Seek professional help for severe cases.

When should I consult a dermatologist for pimple treatment?

If you have persistent or severe acne, or if home remedies aren’t effective, it’s advisable to consult a dermatologist. They can provide customized treatment options and guidance for your specific skin condition.


  1. Cunliffe, W., & Leonardi-Bee, J. (2012). The pathogenesis of acne: a review. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 67(2), 259-275. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2011.11.053[][][]
  2. Leyden, J. J., & Kligman, A. M. (1977). The role of bacteria in acne vulgaris. Archives of Dermatology, 113(8), 812-822. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01310080011002[]
  3. Pittiruti, M., & Nazzaro, M. (2015). Inflammation and acne: the role of the innate and adaptive immune system. Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia, 150(3), 275-286. doi:10.23736/S0026-4741.15.03182-0[]
  4. Strauss, J. S., & Kligman, A. M. (1980). The effect of repeated comedone expression on human skin. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 74(1), 71-74. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1747.1980.tb01200.x[]