Acne - the reasons behind it can be complicated for us. As a skin therapist I have seen severe cystic acne, oily skin with mild acne, and dried out skin from the treatments offered to reduce acne. When you have acne with pustules, aka whiteheads it’s almost impossible to want to squeeze or “pop” them. Being a skin therapist, I will start with leave it to the professionals. Licensed estheticians and dermatologists to take care of these through extraction, however the realist in me knows you are standing at the mirror right now staring down that white head and ready to be rid of it.
Here is a list of 5 things to do to care for white heads so you aren’t left with a very painful impacted pimple.
- Control -At the first sign of a bump, be sure to grab a clay mask. You can apply it directly to the bump to absorb the oil and keep the white head down, or if you know you tend to break out in other places you can apply the clay mask to the entire face. I love the Herbivore Pink Clay Mask found Here. Or Even Redmonds Clay found Here
- Calming - When the red irritated bump has formed into a whitehead before going directly to squeezing it - apply a honey compress to the white heads or feel free to make a mask with it if you have a full fledged break out. The anti fungal anti-microbial properties in the honey can be incredibly calming and helpful to balance the overproduction of sebum, and leave a clean surface for extracting. I have used C & Co.'s Daily Facial Polish which has a base ingredient of honey with the added benefit of Baking Soda on whiteheads with great success.
- Extracting - If you are going to proceed without the help of a professional, please do three things first. 1. wash your hands 2. clean your skin 3. use two tissues or two cotton swabs to remove the white head in order to avoid further infection and a bigger pimple than you started with. Once you have watched this video on wether or not you should "pop" you may proceed at your own risk. Please pinky swear now you will never ever use your bare fingers! There is too much bacteria and possibility of making your blemishes worse if you use your bare fingers.
- Post Pop - It’s important to clean the broken area of skin again with which hazel, or a toner to reduce bacteria and to soothe the now irritated skin. Simply pat (not swipe) the Toner or Witch Hazel on the blemish, and when the bleeding or inflammation has gone down you can apply cream.
- Days Following - Check your extracted blemish. Be sure not to pick (especially not with dirty fingers) if there is dry flakey skin. Apply another clay or honey mask if the blemish is still inflamed, but DO NOT attempt to extract again. This is where you run into the embarrassing bright red mountains on the skin, and then followed by a large scab. Moisturize, and keep your hands away from the face to avoid having to read this again.
Hopefully you will never use your fingers to “pop” another pimple, as you may now realize we type, text, eat, pet animals, and touch all sorts of surfaces that harbor bacteria we do not want on our face, so introducing it to a open wound like an extracted pimple will make it far worse.