The science behind managing a pimple

Here’s how to tackle your blemishes

No matter how old or what gender you are, chances are you’ve had an unexpected blemish turn up somewhere super obvious like on your nose or your forehead, or have been on the receiving end of acne. Pesky pimples can either look red and inflamed (which is called a papule), or raised with pus (this one is called a pustule), but pimples can also come in other forms, such as as blackheads or whiteheads.

So what should you do when a pimple pops up? We had a chat with dermatologist Dr Jo-Ann See to see if we should try to remove them ourselves (spoiler alert – you really shouldn’t), along with some product recommendations from La Roche-Posay to try to alleviate the situation.

Don’t touch the pimple

When something as obvious as a pimple turns up, you’re likely to fuss over it by touching it, pressing on it or even trying to get rid of it. This is your first mistake; you shouldn’t even go near it. “When you pop a pimple, you rupture the oil gland which causes more inflammation,” explains Dr See. “This makes it worse, and can lead to more redness, pigmentation and even scarring.” Noted.

Try a spot treatment

If you want to make a blind pimple go away, try a spot treatment that targets the blemish directly. “Look for spot treatments that have benzoyl peroxide or niacinamide, or even sulphur-based products to dry up the spot,” explains Dr See.

A product like La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ Anti-Acne Moisturiser features niacinamide to instantly soothe and reduce redness, along with procerad to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation. What also makes this product unique is its ability to reduce sebum production and exfoliate dead skin cells which may be blocking your pores. Plus, the gel-cream texture is lightweight and can be used daily by all skin types, even sensitive. The benefits don’t stop there; this product can also be used as a spot treatment – all you have to do is take a tiny amount of the product and dab it on top of your spot.

Address it with the right tools

Ok, the only time that you should try and tackle a pimple is if it has a white spot inside. To get rid of it, you’re going to need this exact tool: “If you’re going to pop a pimple, use a comedone extractor which gives an even pressure around the pimple. You shouldn’t use your fingers as they have bacteria on them, which can make things worse.” Yikes. Also, make sure the area is sanitised first with some rubbing alcohol to prevent bacteria spread.

See a dermatologist

If your pimples still aren’t going away, you might want to talk to an expert about it. “Sometimes blind pimples can be a problem as they may represent a more severe or hormonal type of acne, where you need more than a spot treatment,” said Dr See. So, we recommend booking in with your GP or dermatologist who can provide an in-depth consultation and advice.

This article was written by Iantha Yu and sponsored by La Roche Posay

The All About Acne team – the authors of this site – are a group of medically-trained skin experts from across Australia who have an interest in acne management. Our experienced team of leading dermatologists guarantees the information on this website is independent and based on the highest quality research available.

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