Is the Act of Popping Pimples Harmful to Your Skin?

Woman popping pimple

Although it may be quite tempting, resist the impulse to pop your pimples. The underlying tissue is damaged when you pop a pimple, which might make your skin look even worse.

Popping pimples on your buttocks, back, breast or face can cause scarring, discolouration, and more breakouts.

That said, this article addresses why it’s unhealthy for your skin to pop zits. In order to prevent skin damage and scarring, it also offers advice on how to treat them safely.

Learning about Pimples and Inflammation

Dermatologists, estheticians, and even our mothers have cautioned us against popping pimples. What the professionals say about popping zits being detrimental to our skin is true.

A pimple develops when an overabundance of sebum (oil), dead skin cells, and germs are sucked into a pore. Red, painful pimples that have white pus at the tips result from this.

In such a case, the pore is already enlarged and under great pressure when you get a zit.

What Happens Whenever You Pop a Pimple?

Whenever you squeeze a pimple:

  • You can press the pore’s debris deeper into the follicle.
  • The follicular wall may then burst as a result, leaking pus and other infectious material into the dermis, the skin’s lowest layer.
  • The surrounding skin may become even more inflamed than before, with more redness, swelling, and heat.
  • The skin split can also encourage infection, which may result in the growth of a new pimple immediately next to the one you just squeezed out or an even bigger one.

Have you ever thought you had a pimple under control only to have it reappear hours later, bigger and “angrier” than before? You are not hallucinating. This is due to the fact that both the surface and subsurface of the skin are damaged.

How Does the Skin Change after You Pop a Pimple?

In addition to scarring and discolouration of the skin, new pimples can also develop next to an existing pimple that has been squeezed.

When a papule (a pimple without a white head) is squeezed, the skin splits, and the pus spills out. As a result, a scab develops, and the surrounding skin becomes darker.

Squeezing the region repeatedly may cause the development of acne cysts or nodules, which are toughened acne lesions in deeper tissues.

The Correlation between Popping Pimples and Scarring

Popping pimples increase your risk of acne scars and might result in more than a swollen or crusted spot.

There is a chance that tissue will be lost throughout the healing process whenever your skin is harmed. You develop pitted or depressed acne scars in this way. The likelihood of tissue loss increases with the extent of the damage.

Even if depressed scars don’t appear, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can leave you with dark spots. This happens when keratinocytes, which are damaged by acute inflammation, emit a lot of the pigment melanin as a result of the damage.

The darkening of the skin will frequently go away if the damage is not severe. But if the damage is significant or persistent, it may lighten but not completely go away without treatments.


Overall, it is important to note that the act of popping pimples is harmful to your skin. This is because the act can cause inflammation, scarring, and even infections. If you must pop a pimple, it is important to do so gently and with clean hands.

Either that or approach a skin specialist who would know how to tend to your pimples immediately and efficiently.

If you are looking for skin experts who offer acne scar treatments, look no further than our dermal solutions here at Cleo Clinic. We are premium aesthetics practitioners based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and we specialise in anti-ageing injectables, dermal fillers, and microdermabrasion, among other things. Contact us today, and let us work on your acne scars and pimples for you.