We've been warned by our mother -- stop popping pimples! But is popping a pimple really all that bad for the skin?
Yes, it is. An inflamed blemish happens when the pore becomes engorged with excess sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria. When you squeeze a pimple, you may inadvertently force the debris from the pore deeper into the follicle. That can cause the follicle wall to rupture and spill infected material into the dermis (the innermost section of the skin.)
Not only do you run the risk of scarring if you pick at or "pop" your pimples, you can worsen the blemish. Don't be fooled if you are able to coax pus and debris from the pore opening. Infected material may still be entering the dermis from below.
Squeezing a pimple can lead to a nodule (hard, red, painful blemish deep within the skin) or a cyst. The most serious form of a blemish, cysts are large and painfully inflamed lesions. They develop when a membrane forms around the infection in the dermis, creating a soft, fluid-filled lump. Cysts must by treated by a physician.
Picking at your blemishes can spread infection, and ultimately worsen your acne. Clearly a hands-off policy is the best choice when it comes to your skin.